OK so I, like many others here, have spent countless hours on the roads north of Orlen and Agramis in search of those elusive Starters and Hatchlings. My frustration of wasting entire days with nothing to show was compounded by the extreme irritation of how unreliable attempting to escape each battle was, or how long it took to get through various menus if I just decided to KO the foes (3 XP YAY!).
BUT THERE IS ANOTHER WAY
First, you must catch a Metallo (those shiny silver ditto-esque blobs) in the Ziggurat in the desert. Evolve it into a Metallodious (you're gonna want another unevolved Metallo for the Barricadus recipe later), and it learns the ability Escape. This is instantaneous and 100% effective, and if you send it out with two lower level or very slow starters, and gets the first move every time.
I managed to cut my farm times down by at least half, probably 2/3. It's so much quicker that immediately after I adopted this method, I caught 2 hatchlings and 2 starters in the span of literally 20-30 minutes (I was so excited haha). Now all I have left is a Snorkling, but with this method, it'll soon be mine!
Hope this helps, and makes farming a little less frustrating for all!