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Interesting article on Astros/Drew Stubbs

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by countingcrow, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. countingcrow

    countingcrow Contributing Member

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    Interesting read...this Drew Stubbs kid will be a top 5 pick in this month's draft according to scouts...we had him and let him go... :confused:

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/justice/3243714.html

    McLane let this big fish get away

    By RICHARD JUSTICE
    June 28, 2005


    University of Texas center fielder Drew Stubbs remembers being "a little bit disappointed" when the Astros abruptly pulled out of a deal with him two years ago.

    "I would have liked to have played for them," he said. "Maybe I'll get another chance some day."

    Not likely.

    He'll probably be one of the top five picks in the 2006 draft. He's got such a dazzling set of skills — speed, power, instincts, smarts — that some scouts believe he'll be the overall No. 1 choice.

    The Astros could have a Top 10 draft pick by finishing with one of the 10 worst records in the majors. But they may not pick high enough to get Stubbs, who has a .306 career average, 19 homers, 93 RBIs and 60 steals in 143 games at UT.


    The highest praise

    Texas coach Augie Garrido said Stubbs, despite a late-season slump, is the most talented player he has ever had, and Garrido has been coaching college baseball since 1969. Stubbs is only 20 and likely not yet as good as he's going to be.

    "He's a great athlete," Garrido said. "What he has to learn is to deal with the failure that comes with playing at this level. He hasn't had a lot of failure, but failure is part of baseball. He needs to be more forgiving of himself. It's a process he's learning."

    If the Astros drafted Stubbs again, they would only be reminded how shortsighted they were the first time around. He'll get at least three times the money he could have been signed for in 2003.

    He has no regrets. He'll remember helping the Longhorns win the national championship far longer than whatever he would have been doing in the minor leagues.

    He also played for Team USA last summer and is headed to Durham, N.C., this week to try out for this year's team. Oh, and he's on schedule to graduate.


    McLane hits the brakes

    It's the Astros who should be upset. It's the Astros who should be taking a hard look at how they do business.

    Stubbs was signed, sealed and delivered for $900,000 when they took him in the third round of the 2003 draft.

    Scouts thought he'd be a bargain at that price.

    And then Astros owner Drayton McLane got involved.

    In a move he may long regret, McLane ordered his baseball people to renege on that $900,000 deal. He told them the Astros could only pay Stubbs $450,000.

    "I wouldn't say we reneged," McLane said. "I never approved the deal you're talking about."

    His baseball people clearly didn't think his approval would be an issue. Signing Stubbs should have been as routine as signing any other draft choice that year.

    How the deal fell apart, how the Astros lost a terrific prospect, isn't the organization's finest hour.

    "Please don't mention Drew Stubbs to me," a club source said. "I get sick thinking about the way we handled that."

    They handled it badly.

    Before the draft, Stubbs and his dad, Rick, told any interested team their asking price was $900,000. Otherwise, Drew was headed to Texas.

    "We had a firm figure," Rick Stubbs said. "The Astros knew what it was. I remember sitting with one of their scouts and discussing this. He said, 'Are you telling me that if we offer $750,000, he won't sign?' I said, 'I'm telling you if you offer $889,000, he won't sign.' "

    In other words, he wanted second-round money no matter where he went in the draft. The Astros discussed the matter internally and agreed it was a good deal.

    "I'm angry with the way they handled it," Rick Stubbs said. "They strung us along for a month. They asked Drew not to play summer ball. They understood what our price was. They said they needed to sign the guy they picked in front of him. They said they had the money and would pay us what we wanted. We waited a month."

    The deal fell apart when a representative of commissioner Bud Selig's office telephoned McLane and told him the price for Stubbs was too high.

    In baseball's new economic world, the commissioner's office essentially sets the prices teams can pay draft picks. Some teams such as the Yankees, Dodgers and Angels ignore the guidelines.

    What's strange is that the Astros also ignore them. In 2003, they used the 389th pick on Jimmy Barthmaier, a high school pitcher from Georgia. He was taken in the 13th round but got second-round money ($750,000).


    Red flag goes up

    Selig's office ignored Barthmaier's deal, but when the Astros wanted to sign Stubbs for second-round money, the phone call came. Stubbs, McLane was told, should be paid $450,000.

    "I think Drayton panicked," a club source said. "He didn't want the commissioner mad at him. Barthmaier was such a low pick, it kind of flew under the radar. Stubbs was a third-round pick getting second-round money, and I guess they noticed."

    McLane doesn't apologize for his decision. He acknowledges there was pressure from New York.

    "That (Stubbs') contract was way over the slot," he said.

    Ironically, the Stubbs disaster probably helped the Astros land Tomball High School lefthander Troy Patton a year later. Patton slipped in the draft because teams didn't think he would sign. The Astros took him in the ninth round but gave him second-round money ($550,000).

    "Drayton may have felt bad about the way the thing with Stubbs played out," the source said, "and so he approved Patton's signing."

    Patton may end up being a better big-leaguer than Stubbs.

    But then Stubbs is exactly the kind of player McLane covets. Had they ever met, had McLane not allowed one of baseball's bean counters to tell him how to run his club, he might have fallen in love with the kid.

    At Atlanta (Texas) High School, Stubbs was a four-sport star. He quarterbacked the football team. He ran on track teams that won two state championships.

    Wait, there's more. He was second in his graduating class. He was the school's top English, math and Spanish student. He was a member of the National Honor Society and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Calculus Club, United Methodist Youth Fellowship, Big Brothers and Young Republicans.

    Are you kidding me?

    National Honor Society? Young Republicans?

    Had a young Ronald Reagan walked through the door, he wouldn't have been anymore perfect for Uncle Drayton.

    McLane apparently never investigated the matter. All he learned about Drew Stubbs is that someone in New York didn't want the Astros to sign him for $900,000. So he didn't.


    Happy ending ... for Stubbs

    Stubbs is happy things turned out the way they did. Instead of bus rides and fast food in the minors, he's living large with the Longhorns.

    He probably learned a lesson, too, about baseball economics and about how the real world works.

    As he celebrated a national championship this weekend, he seemed to be coping fine without the Astros.

    "This," he said in Omaha, "is a dream come true."
     
  2. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member
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  3. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member
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    Old old old news. With the 3rd highest payroll in MLB, I think we can lay off the "Drayton is cheap" crap.
     
  4. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    Stubbs can't hit a curveball to save his life. His strikeout numbers have been bad his entire time at UT-Austin. Drayton made a good decision on this guy.

    It may be surprising to many here, but I am a fan of Drew Stubbs due to his focus on academics.
     
  5. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    Yeah, I'm sure this had nothing to do with it:

    :p

    Go Owls this weekend, btw.
     
  6. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Happy ending?

    We'll see how happy he is in the Royals, Devil Rays, or Pirates farm system.
     
  7. Burzmali

    Burzmali Member

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    Not everything is about politics, man.

    I'm in College Republicans, and you still like me.

    ;)
     
  8. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    Who is this?

    ;)
     
  9. rikesh316

    rikesh316 Member

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    I heard Stubbs is overated but he would be better than Taveras right now.
     
  10. wesnesked

    wesnesked Contributing Member

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    At hitting home runs? probably...at bunting for base hits? doubtfull
     
  11. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member
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    wait...a guy who hasn't played a lick of MLB is better than the guy who finished 2nd in ROY voting last season...."RIGHT NOW????"

    as my friend KingCheetah would say:

    DOUBTFUL
     
  12. arkoe

    arkoe (ง'̀-'́)ง
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    Sometimes he doesn't even say it. He just shows a picture. :D
     
  13. Buck Turgidson

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    good college pitching = average AA pitching
     
  14. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Well, to be fair, Willy didn't have that many XBH in AA either.
     
  15. Buck Turgidson

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    Prarie View's giving 'em a tough day so far. PV got 5 in the 3rd and bottom 6 down 5-3, Rice loads the bases on a single & a couple of HBP. One out, dude crushes a liner to 3rd, great diving catch. Next guy flies out to end the inning.
     
  16. gr8-1

    gr8-1 Contributing Member

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    Wonder when Humber/Townsend will make it to the show?


    Stubbs must have alot of talent if he's more talented than Mark Kotsay.
     
  17. Buck Turgidson

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    All the tools in the world. Still questions if he can hit.

    Bottom 7 Prarie View up 5-3, Rice has a guy on w/ 2 outs & next batter launches one to left. Leaping grab at the wall, possible HR/definite RBI 2B, inning over.

    This is a great game. Online here: http://riceowls.cstv.com/multimedia/rice-epg.html
     
  18. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    The Rice Owls won, 6-5. PV got lucky in one inning and were shut out in every other inning.
     
  19. Buck Turgidson

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    Who cares what innings they scored? Coupla breaks go different (the runner's interference at 1st in the 8th was tough) & Rice loses.

    Go Owls.
     
  20. DoitDickau

    DoitDickau Contributing Member

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    I have no idea if this is true, but i've heard that after drafting stubbs the astros were set to offer him a large signing bonus (first round money that would have been record breaking for a player drafted in that round/slot) that in all likelihood he would have signed. That didn't happen because mlb told the astros they couldn't offer that amount because it would have set a bad precedent for players drafted in similar situations.

    Whatever the case Stubbs stock has dropped a decent amount this year. He's had a relatively mediorce senior season and his large strikeout rate worries scouts to how well he'll adjust to more advanced pitching. he's now projected to go towards the middle of the first round and may even be available when the stros pick 23rd.
     
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