Who Is Matt Bush?

Sep 5, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of the Texas Rangers logo before the game between the Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 5, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of the Texas Rangers logo before the game between the Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matt Bush is a name Texas Rangers fans are becoming familiar with quite quickly. But who is he and what can he do for the Rangers moving forward.

Matt Bush has a story to the Major League’s that is incomparable to that of any other player. Bush, was a number one overall pick of the MLB draft in 2004 for the San Diego Padres. His entrance into pro baseball was as a shortstop. Bush struggled in the minors as a shortstop never hitting above .230 from 2004 to 2007. At this point, the Padres elected to transition Bush to a pitcher. As a pitcher, Bush’s fastball reached 98 mph.

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In 2009 he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays after an incident involving an intoxicated Bush assaulting two high school lacrosse players. Bush missed the entire 2009 season after being released by the Blue Jays stemming from a report stating he threw a baseball at a woman’s head and hit her against a car window.

Bush then signed with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010 and played in Single-A and Double-A for them through 2011. In 2012, Bush was released following a drunk driving accident involving the serious injury of a 72-year old man. Bush agreed to a plea deal that landed him in jail for 3 years and subsequently out of baseball.

Texas Rangers and Matt Bush

The Texas Rangers signed Matt Bush on December 18th, 2015, less than two months after he was released from prison. Since his signing, he’s made two appearance in Cactus League play for the Texas Rangers and has shined in both outings.

In his first appearance, Bush went 2 innings against the Chicago Cubs allowing no hits and striking out 2 while flashing his highly touted 97+ mph fastball and hard breaking curve. Bush then was called on to pitch for the second time in a week to pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Bush hit 100 mph on the radar gun Sunday afternoon in his 1 inning of work. He allowed just 1 hit, walked 1, and struck out another.

No doubt Matt Bush has the stuff to be a major league pitcher. A high-90s fastball with an off speed, breaking pitch that’s nearly 20 mph slower is hard to come by. Bush has a live arm and seems to be able to locate his pitches fairly effectively. What benefits the Texas Rangers is that despite Bush being 30 years old, his arm has the pro baseball service time of someone in their mid-20s. With that “young arm”, what remains to be seen is how good Bush’s mentality is. As he becomes further removed from his jail time, he will still have to fight to keep himself on the right track if he hopes to make a career in the majors.

Many believe that Bush will find himself in the Texas Rangers bullpen before the 2016 season comes to a close. Currently he’s expected to be on Double-A Frisco’s roster when the season begins but if he can build upon his first two appearances in Spring Training, he could quickly make his way into an ever-changing Texas roster.

Comment below on what you think Matt Bush brings to the Texas Rangers in 2016.

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