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Baseball

Padres select Bush No. 1; Weaver, Drew slip

By wire services
Published June 8, 2004

NEW YORK - The San Diego Padres' decision to make hometown high school shortstop Matt Bush the No. 1 pick in Monday's draft came down to overall talent - and more importantly, money.

Leading up to the draft, the Padres said they narrowed their choices to three college players, including Florida State shortstop Stephen Drew and Long Beach State right-hander Jered Weaver.

Instead, they selected the strong-armed Bush from Mission Bay High, located just minutes from Petco Park.

"I hope to get out here in a couple of years and prove to everybody I'm a major-league player and that I deserved to be the No. 1 pick in the draft," Bush said.

Padres general manager Kevin Towers acknowledged that signing ability played a major role, as agent Scott Boras advises Drew and Weaver, whose brothers play in the majors and are clients of Drew's.

The Padres were said to be close to signing Bush to a bonus worth around $3.15-million. Both Drew and Weaver were believed to be asking for significantly more than Bush.

"I'm not disappointed at all," Drew said.

Weaver, brother of Dodgers pitcher Jeff Weaver, fell to Anaheim at No. 12 - two picks higher than his brother went in 1999 to Detroit.

"I just kind of figured money kind of scared them off, the rumors," Weaver said of San Diego. "It was always in the back of my mind that picking Scott, something could happen. But I trust him and he's the best in the business."

Drew went to Arizona with the 15th pick and joined brothers J.D. and Tim as the first trio of sibling first-rounders in draft history. He is hitting .353 with 17 homers and 55 RBIs for the Seminoles.

Rice had three pitchers taken in the opening round: Philip Humber, Jeff Niemann to the Devil Rays and Wade Townsend. Never before had a school produced three of the first eight picks.

"It's something that probably won't ever happen again," Humber said.

Bush, who also pitched, was the first high school shortstop selected with the top pick since Seattle took Alex Rodriguez in 1993. His defensive abilities and strong arm put the 5-foot-11 Bush at the top of the draft.

- Times staff writer Brian Landman contributed to this report.

FIRST ROUND

1. San Diego, Matt Bush, ss-rhp, Mission Bay HS, San Diego.

2. Detroit, Justin Verlander, rhp, Old Dominion.

3. New York Mets, Philip Humber, rhp, Rice.

4. Tampa Bay, Jeff Niemann, rhp, Rice.

5. Milwaukee, Mark Rogers, rhp, Mount Ararat School, Orr's Island, Maine.

6. Cleveland, Jeremy Sowers, lhp, Vanderbilt.

7. Cincinnati, Homer Bailey, rhp, La Grange (Texas) HS.

8. Baltimore, Wade Townsend, rhp, Rice.

9. Colorado, Chris Nelson, ss, Redan HS, Decatur, Ga.

10. Texas, Thomas Diamond, rhp, New Orleans.

11. Pittsburgh, Neil Walker, c, Pine Richland HS, Gibsonia, Pa.

12. Anaheim, Jered Weaver, rhp, Long Beach State

13. Montreal, Bill Bray, lhp, William & Mary.

14. Kansas City, Billy Butler, 3b, Wolfson Senior HS, Jacksonville.

15. Arizona, Stephen Drew, ss, Florida State

16. Toronto, David Purcey, lhp, Oklahoma.

17. Los Angeles, Timothy Elbert, lhp, Seneca (Mo.) HS.

18. Chicago White Sox, Josh Fields, 3b, Oklahoma State

19. St. Louis, Chris Lambert, rhp, Boston College.

20. Minnesota, Trevor Plouffe, ss, Crespi Carmelite HS, Northridge, Calif.

21. Philadelphia, Greg Golson, cf, Connally HS, Austin, Texas.

22. Minnesota, Glen Perkins, lhp, Minnesota.

23. New York Yankees, Philip Hughes, rhp, Foothill HS, Santa Ana, Calif.

24. Oakland, Landon Powell, c, South Carolina.

25. Minnesota, Kyle Waldrop, rhp, Farragut HS, Knoxville, Tenn.

26. Oakland, Richie Robnett, cf, Fresno State

27. Florida, Taylor Tankersley, lhp, Alabama.

28. Los Angeles, Blake Dewitt, 2b, Sikeston (Mo.) HS.

29. Kansas City, Matt Campbell, lhp, South Carolina.

30. Texas, Eric Hurley, rhp, Wolfson Senior HS, Jacksonville.

[Last modified June 8, 2004, 01:00:38]


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