Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Remember Matt Bush?
The No. 1 overall pick by the San Diego Padres in the 2004 MLB draft has been a bust. He never made it past Class A-Advanced. In three and a half years as a shortstop, Bush hit .218 and committed 75 errors. He was hardly consistent and oft-injured.
So, in June, with Bush still struggling, the Padres decided to convert him to a pitcher. Afterall, the guy was given the largest bonus in club history at $3.15 million, so it was worth a shot. Plus he was 9-1 with 91 strikeouts in 66 innings as a senior at Mission Bay High School in San Diego. Not to mention, he's only 21.
Bush was the hometown kid who grew up a Padres fan. More importantly, he was easier to sign than the likes of Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, Homer Bailey, Philip Hughes or Stephen Drew. Sadly, for the Padres, signability doesn't always translate to success. And Bush certainly hasn't been successful.
And, as we're sure you know, all of those fellas chose after him, among many others in that first round, are already in the majors, have at least played in a few MLB games, or are in Double or Triple-A.
Not all is lost. Bush has slowly began to work his way back up the ladder. He was promoted today from the Arizona rookie league (Peoria) to Class A Fort Wayne (Indiana), where he started his career.
In 7 2/3 innings (six outings), Bush fanned 16 and allowed just one run (1.23 ERA). He's working from the bullpen and apparently can throw gas, as evidenced by his "best infield arm" ranking he got from Baseball America.
This is Bush's third trip to Fort Wayne.