Checking in on former Longhorns in the big leagues


The Associated Press

Cincinnati Reds’ Drew Stubbs stands at home plate after striking out to end the eighth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in Cincinnati.

Sam Marie Jackson

Longhorn legends like Drew Stubbs, J.P. Howell, Huston Street and Omar Quintanilla have all played for Texas within the last decade and are now enjoying successful careers in the big leagues. Hard work over the years has given these former Longhorns their well-deserved spots in the major leagues. Distributed all over the states, each individual has encountered his fair share of struggle and success in a more competitive and fast-paced atmosphere.

Stubbs, an outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds, has shown promise since entering the major leagues in 2009. One of baseball's best defensive outfielders, he experienced success early on, winning All-American honors three different times while at UT. The former Longhorn found early success in the major leagues and has recently struggled, but his explosive speed and good work ethic make him a player that people are excited about.

After leading the Longhorns to the College World Series in 2004, J.P. Howell was drafted by the Kansas City Royals. Following a short stint with the Tampa Bay Rays, a reported "weakness" in his shoulder forced Howell to undergo surgery and miss the entire 2010 season. The healthy and newly confident player remains tough in the public eye and his personal career.

"If I'm not working hard, that's when I have a problem personally, because I pit more pressure on myself than the fans," Howell told reporters at spring training this year. "I expect way more out of me than probably the fans expect. So I have to pretty much shut off the positive and negative."

As for Omar Quintanilla, who helped the Longhorns win a national title in 2002, he's found himself all over the country spanning from the Lone Star State with the Rangers to Oakland, the team that originally drafted him. Quintanilla was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations in July and has already hit three home runs and racked up 12 RBIs.

Huston Street, always a crowd favorite, has agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension with the Padres with a club option for the 2015 season. Although the Padres have struggled as a team, Street had an excellent season despite missing a month due to a shoulder injury. He was a perfect 13-for-13 in converting save opportunities in the first half of the season and compiled a 1.13 ERA, earning him his first career MLB All-Star Game selection.