Matt Bush, whom the Padres made the top overall choice of the 2004 MLB draft, was released from prison on Friday. Here are further details from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times:
Bush, 29, has been incarcerated since the spring of 2012, most of it coming at Hamilton Correctional Institution in Jasper, Fla. It was the result of a no contest plea deal he made in Charlotte County Florida for DUI with serious bodily injury.
As Smith notes, Bush had been driving with more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system when he struck a 72-year-old man on motorcycle. Bush fled the scene. While the man he struck, Tony Tufano, later forgave Bush, he almost died from his injuries.
Not long after the Padres drafted Bush as a shortstop, he was suspended for getting in a fight outside an Arizona bar. He was also involved in another drinking-related incident before the Padres traded him to Toronto in 2009. Later the Blue Jays released him. Bush then signed with the Rays in 2010 and tried pitching. He last played in the minors in 2011.
Here's more of Bush's story from a 2014 FOX Sports documentary:
Bush is one of just three first-overall picks from pre-2013 or before who never made it to the majors. Steve Chilcott (1966, Mets) and Brien Taylor (1991, Yankees) are the others.
Smith's story has some quotes from Bush's attorney suggesting that the time in prison -- i.e., finally being held to account for his actions -- has inspired the former ballplayer to better his life.
Bush will turn 30 in February.