Texas ex Stubbs making most of home with Express


Highlights

Center fielder batting .308 and catching most everything.

Some tweaks helping 32-year-old show new side to his game.

Nine-year major league veteran also is an excellent golfer.

Drew Stubbs relishes a return to the major leagues, but in the meantime it’s pretty nice to be able to drive to his house after home games.

The former University of Texas All-American and Tarrytown resident is on his third tour of duty in the Texas Rangers organization, patrolling center field for the Round Rock Express.

“Being at home is a huge thing, close to friends and family, having some semblance of normalcy,” Stubbs said after the Express’ 7-3 loss to Memphis on Sunday at Dell Diamond. “There’s a lot to be said for the comforts of home, sleeping in your own bed, the familiarity of it all.”

Stubbs is taking advantage, batting .308 over 30 games with a career-high .440 on-base percentage. A power-speed player who has always struck out a lot, the nine-year MLB veteran has made some changes at the plate since being waived by San Francisco in early May.

“When you’re an established major leaguer, get older and have some struggles, teams may attribute that decline to age or whatever,” the 32-year-old said. “You can be tagged or labeled a certain way. So it’s my job to change the perception teams may have.

“Defense and speed are the cornerstones of my game. Yet I can get on base and still hit the ball out of the park.”

Stubbs is a top defender who hit 15 home runs and stole 20 bases in 388 MLB at bats as recently as 2014. In a two-year stretch in Cincinnati, he scored 183 runs and swiped 70 bags over 2010-11.

“This (Texas) organization wouldn’t keep coming after him if it didn’t believe he has the talent to help the big league club,” Round Rock Manager Jason Wood said.

“Drew is still in his prime, roaming the outfield really well. He’s almost like a gazelle out there. Offensively, he made an adjustment, his plate discipline is a lot better, and he’s walking more than in the past.”

Stubbs has drawn 21 walks to 27 strikeouts in 104 at-bats to go with 12 extra-base hits and 25 runs scored. He’s batting .467 with runners in scoring position.

“I’ve made some tweaks,” said the center fielder on the Longhorns’ 2005 College World Series championship team. “I’ve kind of spread out a little bit. I was batting a little more upright, so I wanted to simplify the stance as much as possible. It’s allowed me to recognize pitches a little better and put good swings on the ball.”

Stubbs, who has earned more than $15 million in baseball, had a June 15 escape clause in his contract and has another July 1 but said, “Unless there’s a big league opportunity, it makes no sense for me to leave home for another Triple-A team.”

Stubbs’ wife, Brooke, served a residency in internal medicine at University Medical Center Brackenridge and will pursue a physician’s job.

On the rare day off from baseball, Stubbs can usually be found at Austin Country Club, where he’s a member and shot a 72 last offseason.

“That’s my best,” he said. “It was one of those days where everything was going right and I rolled in some putts. Most of the time I’m doing pretty good to break 80. I’ve whittled down my handicap over the last few years to a 5 or 6.”

In the meantime, Stubbs will try to stay the course that drives him back to the big leagues.

“It’s about showing teams I can still do the things I’ve done in the past,” he said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Longhorns in the NFL: Preseason
Longhorns in the NFL: Preseason

Is there such a thing as a former Longhorn? These players will always be Longhorns to University of Texas fans, even though they’ve graduated to the next level of football. Every week we’ll update you on how they performed the previous weekend. Here’s a look at the Longhorns in the NFL and how they’ve...
Perez’s run leads New Orleans to win over Round Rock

Eury Perez scored on an error in the sixth inning to help the New Orleans Baby Cakes secure a 6-3 victory over the Round Rock Express on Wednesday in Metairie, La. The error, part of a two-run inning, tied the game 2-2 before Steve Lombardozzi scored on a forceout later in the inning. The Baby Cakes (49-72) later tacked on three runs in the seventh...
Texas TE Andrew Beck suffers fractured foot, creating real depth concerns
Texas TE Andrew Beck suffers fractured foot, creating real depth concerns

Texas coach Tom Herman has always had this uneasy feeling about the tight end position. Those fears may be justified. Late Wednesday, the school announced that senior Andrew Beck suffered a fractured foot injury during practice earlier in the day. The Longhorns’ medical staff was currently reviewing treatment options, the school said...
Doug Ghim advances to round of 32 at U.S. Amateur
Doug Ghim advances to round of 32 at U.S. Amateur

Texas senior golfer Doug Ghim continued to roll at the U.S. Amateur, defeating Chris Waters 4 and 3 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. on Wednesday. He advances to the round of 32 which will be played Thursday. Ghim made back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth holes to lead by two. The senior took a 3-up lead when he made par ...
WATCH: Texas offensive lineman Garrett Graf earns a scholarship
WATCH: Texas offensive lineman Garrett Graf earns a scholarship

After three years as a walk-on, Garrett Graf has a scholarship. Texas coach Tom Herman put Graf on scholarship on Wednesday. A senior offensive lineman, Graf was surprised with the news in front of his teammates. The senior was acting as an assistant for a magic trick by Robby Bennett, but the magician pulled a scholarship out...
More Stories