Richard Douglas Poythress
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 235 lb.
- School University of Georgia
- High School Greenbrier High School
Rich Poythress began 2010 in A ball. He is the son of Richard Poythress.
Poythress hit .544 with 13 homers (best in his county) as a high school junior. As a senior in 2006, his team finished ranked 12th in the nation by Baseball America. Going on to college, he batted .282 as a freshman. In 2008, the sophomore hit .374 with 15 homers and 75 RBI as the first baseman for the #2-ranked team in NCAA Division I. He was second on Georgia in average, homers and RBI, trailing only first-rounder Gordon Beckham. He set a school record for assists (55) at first base. He finished 5th in the Southeastern Conference in average and third in RBI, but lost All-SEC honors at 1B to Justin Smoak. He then batted .409 in the 2008 College World Series with 8 RBI; in their semifinal win over Stanford University, he tied the College World Series record with three doubles in a game.
As a junior, Rich became the first Georgia player with two 70 RBI seasons and broke Beckham's school RBI record by nine, finishing at 86. He finished second on Georgia's career RBI list with 185. He batted .376/.468/.765 with 25 home runs. Baseball America named him the All-American designated hitter. He had tied for 5th in NCAA Division I in homers, trailing only Kent Matthes, Bryce Brentz, Tommy Mendonca and Marc Krauss. He was 6th in Division I in total bases, with 181, between Tyler Townsend and Chris Dominguez. He tied Derek McCallum for second in RBI, behind Paul Goldschmidt. He led the SEC in RBI and was second in homers to Matthes. He was named All-SEC at first base, though Matthes took home Player of the Year honors.
The Seattle Mariners chose Poythress 51st overall in the 2009 amateur draft. The selection was the second one of the second round as Rich just missed being a first-rounder. He was the only first baseman taken in the first 80 picks of the draft, though Seattle's first pick, Dustin Ackley, had been a first baseman in college (he was listed as an outfielder in the draft). He was signed by scout Garrett Bell for a $694,800 bonus.
Rich started his career with the AZL Mariners and went 6 for 20 with five walks and a homer. He got bumped all the way from Rookie ball to AA at that point and batted .230/.337/.287 in 26 games for the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx.