I realize football season is here, but what former Greenbrier High School and University of Georgia star Rich Poythress is doing this season deserves an update.
Poythress, who is playing for the High Desert Mavericks (California League), has not only kept up a first-half pace that made him a California League All-Star, he has even stepped it up a notch. High Desert is the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, and thanks to Poythress' bat they are just one game back in the division.
For the season, Poythress is hitting .305 with 28 home runs and an astonishing 109 RBI. Poythress has put up these monsters numbers in just 111 games and 432 at bats. He also has 28 doubles, a .565 slugging percentage and an OPS of .932.
To put his RBI total in perspective, here is a look at the leaders in every other professional baseball league:
Major Leagues: Alex Rodriguez, 97 RBI
International League (AAA): Dan Johnson, 95 RBI
Mexican League (AAA): Victor Diaz, 96 RBI
Pacific Coast League (AAA): Mark Trumbo, 97 RBI
Eastern League (AA): Brandon Laird, 90 RBI
Southern League (AA): Corey Smith, 79 RBI
Texas League (AA): Steven Hill, 86 RBI
Carolina League (A-Advanced): Tyler Moore, 89 RBI
Florida State League (A-Advanced): Quincy Latimore, 88 RBI
Midwest League (A): Matthew Adams 81 RBI
South Atlantic League (A) Chris Dominguez, 86 RBI
Former Evans slugger Todd Greene was the California League Player of the Year 16 years ago while playing for Lake Elsinore. That season, Greene hit .302 with 39 doubles, 35 HR, and 124 RBI.
That stat line is very similar to the one Poythress has produced so far this season. In 1995, Greene was named Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year after hitting 40 homers and splitting time between AA and AAA.
I cannot imagine there is another county the size of Columbia County that boasts a pair of players to win League Player of the Year, much less Player of the Year Honors in all of Minor League Baseball. Poythress might not win these awards, but if he finishes hot, it will be tough for voters to overlook him.
Parker to miss opener
Lakeside High School senior linebacker Kendal Parker will be out two to four weeks after suffering a hairline fracture to his right fibula.
Parker, who piled up more than 100 tackles for the Panthers last season, will miss at least the first two games.
Lakeside opens the season on Friday at home against Glenn Hills.
The next week they travel to Thomson.
The staff is hoping to have Parker back in uniform the following game for a trip to North Augusta.
The Panthers could really use Parker against the Yellow Jackets. Dan Pippin's squad has one of the more high-powered offenses in the state of South Carolina, led by quarterback Loranzo Hammonds.
Last season, Hammond threw 30 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
He ran for more than 1,000 yards and passed for more than 2,000 as he led North Augusta to an 11-2 mark.
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