MLB Draft League skipper Bush named Staten Island manager

January 6th, 2023

After seven seasons in a big league dugout as a player and one at the helm in the MLB Draft League, Homer Bush fulfilled his desire to get back into pro ball Friday when he was named the new manager of the Staten Island FerryHawks.

Bush joins the FerryHawks -- members of the independent Atlantic League, an MLB Partner League -- after he spent last season as the skipper of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the MLB Draft League. (Staten Island drew the attention of the baseball world in 2022 when Kelsie Whitmore became the first woman to join and subsequently start a game in a league affiliated with Major League Baseball.)

Bush, a member of the 1998 World Series champion Yankees, cited Joe Torre as a skipper he will look to emulate as he moves forward in the managerial seat. A proponent of playing the game with an emphasis on speed, the 50-year-old skipper is also focused on developing top-tier clubhouse camaraderie, an element of the job he honed during his time in the pro ranks and in the Draft League. 

“Homer Bush is an outstanding person,” Yankees president Randy Levine said in a statement. “The fans on Staten Island are going to love him on and off the field.”

Bush’s Major League experience was not a one-off occurrence league wide, as managers and coaches in the Draft League are comprised of former big league instructors and players who help lay the foundation for life ahead in pro ball.

“The way they do it with the managers being former MLB players, we were talking [to the players] about just the grind, how to conduct themselves when they go to the next level,” Bush said. “A lot of story sharing from our experiences and things we probably wish we had done differently.”

A collegiate summer league dedicated to showcasing Draft-eligible prospects, the Draft League produced 47 selections in 2022 alone, with a handful of other players signing undrafted free-agent deals.

“The competition is really good in that Draft League,” Bush said. “I feel like hitters can leave there and go into affiliated ball and compete just as well as if they were coming from a big time program.”

In addition to Draft League players parlaying their success into pro ball, coaches and employees have similarly done so over the first two seasons: 15 former Draft League staff members have transitioned to roles with Major League clubs in a variety of departments and settings.

The Draft League boasts the unique element of enhanced exposure for players, as all games are video streamed on In addition to garnering more eyes from coaches, scouts and family, the advanced technology that has become ubiquitous with player development (Trackman, Rapsodo) is heavily utilized.

The next 12 months will be significant for Bush not just as a manager, but also as a father. His son, Homer Bush Jr., is ranked as MLB Pipeline’s No. 88 Draft prospect for 2023 and he was tabbed as a potential fast-riser on Draft boards if everything clicks during his junior season at Grand Canyon University.

“Defense and speed have always been there,” the elder Bush said of his son. “But just watching his hitting develop has been pretty impressive.”

While Bush is able to remove the manager’s cap when it comes to watching his son on the diamond, he’ll be all-in once the Atlantic League season gets underway in late April. The journey to becoming the preeminent decision maker for Staten Island has been circuitous -- including a foray into the financial world -- but Bush’s experiences since hanging up his glove have helped to shape the opportunity.

“Homer Bush’s enthusiasm and intellect for baseball is matched by his passion for community engagement," Eric Shuffler, the FerryHawks' president, said.

“Community outreach is a lot of what I’ve done since my playing career ended,” Bush said. “I’m big into community engagement. We really want to grow the game locally and we’re going to be out in the community.”