Drew Stubbs has come home.
The national championship winner with the University of Texas and nine-year MLB veteran has spent nine seasons in the major leagues but joined the Texas organization as a free agent for the third time in his career in mid-May.
“I’m able to make the 25-minute commute up here and there’s really nothing like that,” he said. “Everybody here is trying to get to the big leagues for the first time or in my case, get back there. Hopefully, the stay isn’t all too long, but given the circumstances, while I’ll be here, it’s better than being anywhere else.”
His first stint in Texas was in 2015 after being released by the Colorado Rockies, where he appeared in seven Round Rock games before spending most of September in the majors. Stubbs donned the Express uniform for 12 games last year on a rehab assignment while his sprained left toe healed.
This season, he’s spent time with the Minnesota Twins and San Francisco Giants, the seventh and eighth different organizations he’s spent time with since getting drafted in 2006.
“Everybody’s kind of got the way they do things and handle player personnel,” he said of the differences in organizations. “I’ve been fortunate to not have bad experiences. There have been things I like more than others, but I can’t complain.”
Since joining the Express this season, he’s been a key part of the offense, boasting a .299 average with six home runs and 24 RBIs. Defensively, the center fielder has just one error in 44 appearances.
“He’s been here and he’s been up in the majors and he’s done a good job,” Express manager Jason Wood said. “They haven’t always wanted to get rid of him, it just happened to be a transitional type deal or a roster move so they move what he can do. They can call him up and he can fit in right now because they know he can do.”
Stubbs was a first round pick in 2006 and spent the first six seasons of his career with the Cincinnati Reds. He spent 2013 with the Cleveland Indians and 2014 and most of 2015 with the Colorado Rockies.
For his career, he’s batting .242 in the major leagues with 92 home runs and 283 RBIs in 911 appearances. His minor league numbers are even more impressive, holding a .269 average, 38 dingers and 219 RBIs.
For Stubbs, it doesn’t matter where he was drafted. The teams might have given him more of a look early on based on his pick, but after a few years in the system, all of the draft picks tend to even out.
“Once the draft is over, you’re one of 50 guys drafted by your team,” Stubbs said. “When it comes to draft picks, you're a success if you just make it to the big leagues. If you can stick around for a while, you’ve been a good investment for your team.”
At 32 years old, he still believes he has plenty to offer a major league team. And whether that’s Texas or some other squad, he hopes to be back in the big leagues sooner than later.
“I was just looking to get at-bats in Triple-A and I knew the organization and staff,” Stubbs said. “I have an out every two weeks where if any other team has a need, I can take the spot. So I’m essentially playing for 29 other teams too. But hopefully, stuff works out where I can go up to the Rangers.”