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06/07/2004  2:10 PM ET
Padres select Matt Bush first in 2004 First-Year Player Draft
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The San Diego Padres today announced they have selected Mission Bay (CA) High School infielder Matt Bush with the first overall pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft. Bill Gayton, Padres Director of Scouting, made the announcement.

"We are very excited about Matt Bush," said Gayton. "He's a player that we've watched for several years now and we project him to perform at a high level once he reaches the Majors. Bush has one of the best arms I've ever scouted. He's a player who's a local talent that you rarely get an opportunity to bring into your system."

Bush, 18, is just the second San Diego native to be selected by the Padres with their No. 1 pick in the First-Year Player Draft. In 1979, the Padres selected catcher Bob Geren 24th overall out of Clairemont (CA) High School.

Recommended by Padres scout Tim McWilliam, Bush batted .450 (55-for-123) with 11 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs, 35 RBI and 12 stolen bases in his senior season at Mission Bay HS, leading the Buccaneers to a second San Diego Section Division III championship in three years. He split his time between shortstop and the mound, where he compiled a 9-1 record with a 0.42 ERA (5 ER/66.0 IP) and 91 strikeouts as a pitcher. The 5-11, 175-pound Bush set several state records during his prep career at Mission Bay, including hits (211) and runs scored (196). He also finished with 24 career home runs.

A 2004 First-Team preseason All-American by Baseball America, Bush earned Second-Team All-America honors following his junior season after batting .458 (54-for-118) with eight home runs, 34 RBI and 21 stolen bases.

In Baseball America's annual Best Tools survey of the top 100 prospects entering the draft, Bush was named as the best defensive infielder and having the best arm strength among high school eligible players. Bush participated in the AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic on August 23, 2003 in Fort Myers, FL, going 1-for-2 with a homer, two RBI, one run scored and one stolen base. Prior to the Baseball Classic last year, he was named as the top prospect at the 2003 Area Code Games by Baseball America.

Bush is the Padres' fifth No. 1 overall selection in the draft since 1969, joining a list that includes catcher Mike Ivie (1970), third baseman Dave Roberts (1972), shortstop Bill Almon (1974) and right-handed pitcher Andy Benes (1988).

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