Bubba Derby

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Bubba Derby was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 6th round of the 2015 amateur draft, out of San Diego State University. He began his pro career that year with the AZL Athletics of the Arizona League, then after two starts moved up to the Vermont Lake Monsters of the New York-Penn League. His combined record was 1-1, 1.21 in 14 games, during which he struck out 47 batters in 37 1/3 innings. He did not stay long in the A's organization though, as on February 12, 2016, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, alongside C Jacob Nottingham, in return for OF Khris Davis.

He spent the 2016 season with the Brevard County Manatees, making 26 appearances - 25 starts - and pitching 132 innings. His record was just 6-13 with a 5.59 ERA as he gave up 165 hits. He improved significantly in 2017, which he split between the AA Biloxi Shuckers and AAA Colorado Springs SkySox. He went 2-1, 2.88 in 18 games at Biloxi, largely as a reliever, and 5-0, 3.84 in 12 starts for Colorado Springs, a notorious hitters' paradise. That gave him an overall record of 7-1, 3.26, with just 99 hits allowed in 113 1/3 innings. He also put up a solid K/W ratio of 95/37.

After the season, on October 1st he was in Las Vegas, NV attending a concert that turned into one the largest mass murders in United States history when a gunman shot indiscriminately on the crowd from the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel. He survived the harrowing experience, and in fact helped fellow concert-goers escape safely. He spoke at various events honoring the victims and raising awareness for a charity set up on their behalf. In spring training with the Brewers in 2018, he sported a specially-embroidered glove with the message "58 strong" in honor of the victims of the tragedy. He said that he did not want to dwell on those tragic events, however, his philosophy now being to take things one day at a time, something that had served him well already in getting over his disappointing 2016 season in the minors to bounce back stronger.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Adam McCalvy: "Brewers prospect Derby honors Vegas victims: Pitcher commemorates '58 strong' with embroidery on glove", mlb.com, March 1, 2018. [1]

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