The Padres have decided to turn Matt Bush into a pitcher, nearly three years since they drafted him first overall as a shortstop.
“I just think now is the time,” said Padres vice president of scouting and development Grady Fuson, who made the decision.
Fuson said Bush, 21, is “ecstatic” to return to the mound, where he last performed in 2004 for Mission Bay High.
In his high school career, Bush went 9-1 with a 0.42 ERA, striking out 91 in 66 innings. His fastball regularly topped 90 miles per hour.
“He had a big arm,” said scouting director Bill Gayton.
Bush was having his fourth below-average season at shortstop, batting .204 with 13 errors in 26 games with Single-A Lake Elsinore.
Fuson said that Bush will begin working with pitching coach Steve Webber this week and probably will pitch for the Peoria Padres in the rookie-level Arizona Summer League.