Poythress signs with Mariners

Morris News Service
Former Greenbrier and Georgia star Rich Poythress signed a professional contract with the Seattle Mariners. He will spend five days at rookie level.

Former Greenbrier High School star Rich Poythress signed with the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, 2 1/2 weeks before the Aug. 17 deadline set by Major League Baseball for teams to sign their draft picks.


"We just came to an agreement yesterday," Poythress said Monday afternoon. "I feel pretty good about it, and I'm just ready to start my career."

Poythress said the deal included a signing bonus around $700,000, but the specific dollar amount had not been set.

The 21-year-old corner infielder, who finished his junior season at the University of Georgia last spring, was the Mariners' second round pick and the 51st overall selection in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in June. He said he and his family will fly to Seattle today, and he'll spend a couple of days with the big league team before starting his professional career at the rookie level in Arizona.

"The plan is to spend five days there just to get some at bats, and then I'll move on to Double-A," Poythress said.

The Mariners' Double-A team, the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx, is located in Jackson, Tenn., and is the closest full-season Seattle affiliate to Augusta.

Poythress played third base for the Greenbrier baseball team that won a Class AAAA state championship in 2006. He played three seasons at Georgia and helped the Bulldogs reach the College World Series finals in 2008 as the team's starting first baseman.

The Grovetown resident was named a Louisville Slugger All-American and was voted First Team All-SEC in 2009 after leading the Bulldogs with a .376 batting average, 25 home runs and 86 RBI.

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.



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