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Friday October 29, 2010 1:58 am

Matt Bush’s career fizzling out before it begins

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Matt BushWhen the San Diego Padres selected Matt Bush first overall in the 2004 Amateur Draft, they were probably hoping to get a little more out of him when they signed him including a $3.15 MM signing bonus. Instead, they got a guy whose career highlights may include memories that end with his high school team. Bush was let go by the Padres in 2007, was picked up in February 2009 by the Blue Jays and released less than two months later before joining the Rays in 2010. He has never made it past High-A ball.

If his career continues it’s fizzling pace, Bush may become the third ballplayer to ever get picked first overall and not make the big leagues, joining Brien Taylor (1991) and Steve Chilcott (1966). Chilcott made it to Triple-A ball but had to retire injuries while a fistfight wrecked Taylor’s arm, effectively ruining his ability to pitch well. Bush’s inability to crack the big leagues stems not from inability to play, but inability to control his actions off the field.

Bush’s name is known more for his numerous suspensions and behavioral violations. Alleged assaults and attacks on high school students run rampant in his past and it has cost him both his positions within San Diego’s and Toronto’s organizations, as well as his progression through the minor league system. Nothing significant has come out since he joined the Rays Class-A affiliate, but he still has lots of time to screw up there too. But for the sake of his career, he’d better not.

Bush started out as a shortstop with the Padres, but now works as a pitcher with a strong fastball, but an injury took his 2008 season from him before his release. Already his career will never live up to the hype that surrounds a first-round pick, let alone a first-overall selection. If Bush ever wants to rise up from the ranks of Class-A baseball, he’ll have to completely turn around his game in 2011. The old “fool me once” adage does not apply. Bush has already fooled everyone.



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