I recently read a great article comparing the legend of Bubba Starling to that of Bryce Harper. It might seem silly to put Starling in the same stratosphere as a once in generation talent like Harper, but from a talent perspective they really aren’t that far apart. As the article states, both players are athletic freaks and showed their skills at an early age, dominating much older competition for most of their lives.
Bob Button, of the Kansas City Star, wrote,
“Baseball America, in its Prospect Handbook, recently graded Starling at 75 on the 20-80 scouting scale, which projects his potential to be in the company of “franchise players and No. 1 starters such as Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Roy Halladay.”
A select group.
Baseball America rated 900 players in its Handbook. Two others received 75s — Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Rays pitcher Matt Moore. The only player with a higher grade was Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper with an 80.”
That is elite company, but is Bubba overpriced? I’ve seen posts from other prospectors say that Bubba is risky and that he hasn’t done anything yet. Why should I pay more for his Blue Refractors than I do for someone like Profar who has proven he can do it for a couple of seasons?
I am here to tell you why I have and will continue to buy Bubba Starling cards. Game changing Superstar upside. This is the closest we have come to Josh Hamilton since Josh Hamilton. Prospecting is all about what might be. Bubba has a cult following already, and that following will only grow as Bubba starts to hit the radar of the mainstream baseball fan. I think the buying window for Bubba will be open for a while. Unlike Harper, Bubba hasn’t focused on baseball his whole life, so it is entirely expected that he may struggle early as he adjusts and works on his mechanics. Eric Hosmer, a more polished hitter, struggled in his first year too. As a prospector, I hope Bubba struggles initially….it will give me more time to buy, but given his physical gifts he may hit the ground running this year. Even if he does come out the gates mashing, I will still be buying. You see Bubba will take 3-4 years to get to the show. That is 3-4 years for the legend, hype, and the Cult of Bubba to get going. Risky? Yes…but only if he flops and I just don’t see that happening. I see overprinted Bryce Harper auto cards going nuts. It isn’t out of the question to think that shorter supply Starling cards can’t reach Harper prices over time. I plan to buy and hold Bubba and cheer for the next Josh Hamilton along the way!