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Storm Chasers' Bubba Starling makes U.S. Olympic baseball team
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Storm Chasers' Bubba Starling makes U.S. Olympic baseball team

Bubba Starling

Bubba Starling has been in the Kansas City Royals' organization since he was drafted in 2011. He's batting .271 with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 24 games with the Omaha Storm Chasers this year.

The Omaha Storm Chasers got a win over the St. Paul Saints in the baseball season opener on Tuesday, May 4.

Omaha Storm Chaser Bubba Starling will be playing for USA Baseball when it takes the field at the Tokyo Olympics this month.

Starling is part of the 24-man roster that USA Baseball announced Friday. Fourteen roster members have played in MLB, but most currently are in the minors.

That includes Starling, who has played in 91 games with the Royals during the past two seasons. In 35 games last season, he hit .169 with a homer and five RBIs.

Starling has played well in limited action for the Storm Chasers this season. He’s batting .271 with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 24 games.

A former Husker football recruit, the 28-year-old Starling has played for the Royals organization since being drafted in the first round in 2011.

Among other Team USA players with MLB experience are infielder Todd Frazier, a two-time all-star, three-time all-star pitcher Scott Kazmir and Edwin Jackson, who has 107 career wins.

Former Angels manager Mike Scioscia is the Olympic team manager.

Team USA will begin training for the Olympics on July 17 in Cary, North Carolina. The United States will seek its third Olympic gold medal in baseball after winning in 1988 in Seoul and 2000 in Sydney. This is the first time baseball will be played at the Olympics since 2008.

Team USA opens the tournament July 30 against Israel.

O’Hearn wins award

Ryan O’Hearn needed to play only 17 games for the Storm Chasers in June to be named the Triple-A East player of the month.

O’Hearn, who was recalled to Kansas City on June 21, earned the honor Friday.

The left-hander hit .385 with 12 homers and 24 RBIs in June with the Chasers. He hit 10 of those homers by June 11. He had back-to-back multi-homer games on June 9 and 10, becoming the first Chaser to accomplish that since 2013.

O’Hearn stayed hot after his promotion as he homered in his first two games back with Kansas City.

It’s the second time this season a Chaser has earned a Triple-A monthly honor as Jackson Kowar was named pitcher of the month for May.

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