Poythress leads college 1B crop

Updated: March 5, 2009, 9:31 PM ET
By Jason A. Churchill
In last June's draft there were a number of college bats that profiled at the corner infield positions and figured to bring clubs a quick return and a long-term answer. Pedro Alvarez, Yonder Alonso, Justin Smoak and Brett Wallace all went in the top 15 in the 2008 draft, and are on the fast track to the big leagues for their respective organizations.

In this year's draft, the strengths lie on the mound, leaving the corner positions in both the infield and the outfield without depth or headliner talents. Outside of North Carolina's Dustin Ackley, whose bat profiles more appropriately in center field, the crop of first- and third-base bats stretched merely to the middle of the pack among the top 50 prospects, and is perhaps led by Georgia's Rich Poythress.

Poythress homered and walked twice for No. 3 Georgia and is now hitting .378/.479/.784 with four home runs, three doubles and a 7-3 BB/K ratio. The right-handed-hitting Grovetown, Ga., native, who is 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, hit .374/.461/.626 with 15 home runs and a 46-40 BB/K ratio in 2008.