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Ten Questions with Rich Poythress
01/26/2011 10:00 AM ET
Rich Poythress' 2010 numbers provide convincing answers to questions about his ability on the field.

A second-round pick in the 2009 Draft, Poythress spent the season with High Desert of the California League, and he left a legion of frustrated pitchers in his wake.

Poythress led all Minor Leaguers with 130 RBIs, 19 more than anyone else at the Class A Advanced level, and finished in the top 10 in the league in batting (tied for ninth, .315), homers (third, 31), slugging percentage (second, .580) and total bases (fifth, 276).


Bearing in mind it was Poythress' first full season as a professional, it's hard to imagine what the future holds for the Mariners prospect.

Recently, he took a few minutes to field the kind of questions his bat can't answer.

MiLB.com: You had quite a college career at the University of Georgia. What's your favorite memory from those days?

Poythress: You know, I would definitely have to say it would be playing in a Super Regional and going on to the [College World Series]. That whole experience of the postseason was spectacular. Not many people have the chance to do that.

MiLB.com: And what about your summer in the Cape Cod League? What was that like?

Poythress: That was really good. Any college player dreams of playing in the Cape League. I was fortunate enough that, for me, all of it happened in that same summer [2008] -- I got to play in Omaha and on the Cape. [My time there] was shorter because of [the College World Series].

MiLB.com: I understand you grew up just outside Augusta, Ga., where the Masters takes place. Are you a big golfer?

Poythress: I like to golf. [Grovetown] is about 15-20 minutes outside of Augusta. I used to play a little bit more than I do now. During the offseason, I usually hunt. I got a piece of land, and, when I'm not working out and getting ready for the season, that's usually what I'm doing. [I hunt] deer and ducks.

MiLB.com: What was Draft day like for you? Were you following along or just kind of waiting for a call?

Poythress: It was just a good experience. I was with a couple of guys who were on my team in college and my family. With the Draft, most people have a good idea what's going to happen, so it's sort of just waiting for it to happen.

It's another one of those things for any baseball player -- you always dream of it, and it's something I'll always remember.

MiLB.com: You earned a number of honors in 2010, including the Mariners' Minor League Player of the Year award. What do you think the expectations are for 2011?

Poythress: That's definitely an honor I'm proud of, first of all. But for me, the expectation is just to show up and play every day.

Once I got to college, I started learning what it's like to play every day, and I started to learn to play as hard as you can every single day. I just try to be the same guy every day. You just have to show up every day and give your best effort.

MiLB.com: What are favorite things to do on an off day during the season?

Poythress: Mostly just relax. If there's a good movie out or something, I'll catch that. I'm a pretty low-key sort of guy, so I like to just relax. I love playing the game, but after five or six days in a row, your body needs a break, so I don't mind just sitting on the couch or something if I have a day off.

MiLB.com: After you got in a few Double-A games in 2009, were you surprised to be assigned to the Cal League last season?

Poythress: Not really. They had expressed to me where they wanted me to go and their reasons for it, and it made a lot of sense to me. I knew I was fortunate, because I could tell I had a good team to play with and I was with guys I'll hopefully be playing with up the system over the next few years.

It was a chance to be learning all about the pro game and all about myself. If you get caught up in where you or are or what happened yesterday or the day before, you can really mess with your head.

MiLB.com: What opposing player -- pitcher or hitter -- impressed you the most last year?

Poythress: I've got to go with Anthony Bass. He's a pitcher with the Padres system. We saw him maybe six, at least five times. He had good numbers, but there's just something about the guy. Every single time we faced him, his stuff was better and better. You could never really feel like you were in control of the at-bat against him.

MiLB.com: Do you have any specific goals for Spring Training?

Poythress: Kind of like I was saying, I just want to get myself prepared the best I can, mentally and physically, and get myself back in the swing of things. It's a time to get myself prepared to be able to show up and be the same guy every day.

MiLB.com: What was your favorite Cal League city?

Poythress: San Jose. It's a fun place to play. It kind of reminded me of a college park, the way the fans are right on top of you. And they have a really nice hotel. ... It's just a really nice city, a great place to visit.



This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.