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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Trey Griffin follows brother to Aflac game

Jim Ecker        
Trey Griffin's brother got a $900,000 bonus when he signed with the Baltimore Orioles last year after being drafted in the second round as the 50th pick overall, so the bar has been set. Trey figures he has to beat that.

"We're so competitive," Trey said, laughing. "You know, who can blow the biggest bubble? It doesn't matter. We compete. I always tell him, 'Man, my goal is to go higher than you.'"

He might.

Trey Griffin is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound centerfielder from Georgia with five-tool potential, according to the scouts. He also carries a 3.2 GPA at Martin Luther King High School and has been selected to play in the Aflac All-American High School Classic at PETCO Park in San Diego on Aug. 16.

Trey's brother (actually, half-brother) is Xavier Avery, who played in the Aflac game in 2007. "We have different mothers, same father," Trey explained.

Xavier, also a center fielder and also a tremendous athlete, is playing for the Delmarva Shorebirds this year, a Class A team in the Baltimore organization.

"People always ask this question: Who's the better baseball player?," Trey said, laughing again. "He says, 'Well, my brother is a better baseball player, but he's not a better athlete than I am.'"

Xavier played football in high school and had a scholarship to play football at the University of Georgia, but turned it down to sign with the Orioles. Trey also played football in high school for a while, but stopped playing to focus on baseball.

"It was a family decision," he said. "My brother, we believe, could have been a lot better if he had been able to play baseball full-time, but he played football. I kind of let that go, to stay free from injury and to focus on baseball, going that extra mile."

Trey said Xavier was generous with his $900,000 bonus. "He looks out for me," he said. "He gave me two outfits. I don't ask for much."

Trey knows how much money might be available if he becomes a first-round pick next June, or a high second-round pick. "But I'm not focused on just the money," he said. "I want to play ball. I just love the game. My goal is to get into college and go to college, but if the money is there ..."

He didn't finish the sentence, but didn't have to. If the money is there, he'll seriously consider following his brother into pro ball. If not, he'll go to college, and at last report said he's leaning toward LSU.

Trey was impressed with his brother's training regimen as Xavier got prepared for pro ball.

"He tells me you've got to get yourself prepared for the season ahead, with all those games, because they play every day in the hot sun," Trey related. "I think he worked out five days a week, so it was pretty impressive. He was getting big, he was getting ripped. It was pretty cool seeing that."

Don't forget, if Xavier does something impressive, Trey has to top it, or at least equal it. Xavier played in the Aflac All-American game in 2007, so Trey set his sights on making it, too.

"My brother made it, so I'm like, 'I've got to do it, too,''' he said. "It's been a goal."
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