BOSTON -- Outfielder Bubba Starling, the Royals' first-round Draft choice of 2011, is an All-Star in his first pro season.
Starling and two other players on the Burlington, N.C., Rookie classification club were named to the 14-member Appalachian League All-Star team. Also selected were third baseman Patrick Leonard and designated hitter Mark Threlkeld. Starling was picked as the utility outfielder on the squad.
In addition, Burlington's Tommy Shields was named the Appalachian League Manager of the Year. The first-year skipper guided the Royals to the East Division lead with a 39-22 record, and has a clinched a playoff spot with five regular-season games left. Shields joined the Royals after six years as the Braves' Minor League infield coordinator.
Starling, 20, from Gardner, Kan., is hitting .282 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs in 50 games. He was the fifth overall choice in the 2011 Draft.
Leonard, 19, from Katy, Texas, has 13 homers and 43 RBIs in 57 games. He was taken in the fifth round in 2011. Threlkeld, 22, from Louisiana Tech University, has 10 homers and 37 RBIs in 58 games. He was a 25th-round selection in 2011.