A day after becoming the Seattle Mariners' second round draft pick, former Greenbrier High School star Rich Poythress was still soaking everything in.
"It's still a little bit of a surreal feeling," Poythress told reporters today during a noon conference call. "It really hasn't quite sunk in all the way."
Poythress joined fellow Georgia Bulldog Trevor Holder, who went to the Washington Nationals with the No. 1 pick in the third round, for the conference call. The Grovetown native, who helped Greenbrier to a state title in 2006, said the draft went the way he wanted.
"I've been in touch with the Seattle Mariners the last few weeks," Poythress said. "Going into yesterday, that's the team I wanted to go to."
Poythress said the Boston Red Sox also showed interest and were on the phone with him when Seattle made its pick. Boston was hoping to convince Poythress to let himself fall to the third round and accept first-round money to go to the Red Sox. But the Mariners were too quick.
"I turned down a very good opportunity with Boston, because I felt good about Seattle," Poythress said.
The next step in becoming a professional baseball player begins at the negotiation table, where Seattle must sign the power hitting corner infielder by the Aug. 15 signing deadline set by Major League Baseball. If the Mariners and Poythress can't come to an agreement by then, he still has a year of eligibility left with the Georgia Bulldogs.
Poythress said he'd prefer to sign with Seattle but didn't completely rule out a return to the college ranks.
"If things don't work out, I'm not opposed to it," he said.
Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.