Trey Griffin has learned to see through the distractions.
As one of the top high school baseball players in the state and a long-time travel ball player, Griffin has learned to deal with constant attention from college and pro scouts.
The M.L. King senior outfielder has signed a baseball scholarship with Oklahoma State University and could be in line to be a high pick in this summer’s Major League Baseball draft.
“I’m just trying to get stronger and faster and do what I have to do to get ready for college and pro ball,” Griffin said. “All I can do is hope for the best.”
Things have gone well for the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder so far. He spent the summer playing for the East Cobb summer league team and participated in two All-American games.
“Those games were important because they gave me more exposure, and they helped me get bigger and stronger,” said Griffin, who has put on about 10 pounds since last season. “I’m just trying to polish my tools and learn everything I can about baseball.”
Griffin has gotten stronger in the off-season and is considered by scouts to have a strong arm and good speed in the field and on the bases. He gets pitched-around a lot during the high school season and is learning to make the most of each chance at the plate.
Griffin certainly has people around him who can help him on the journey. Older brother Xavier Avery, a graduate of Cedar Grove, was taken in the second round of the 2008 MLB draft by the Baltimore Orioles and earned a $900,000 signing bonus.
Avery often returns to M.L. King to visit with Griffin and the other Lions players, as does Lions graduate Brian Hunter who is in the San Diego Padres organization.
“He keeps me working hard in the weight room,” Griffin said of his older brother. “When I see what he does on a day-to-day basis, how he works out four to five times a week, it makes me understand that baseball is his job. I know I could possibly be in the same situation as he is, and I want to make sure I stay level-headed.”
M.L. King co-head coach Carlos Howard sees the potential in Griffin and encourages his players to keep working.
“Sometimes I remind him that he has a scholarship, but he hasn’t accomplished anything yet,” Howard said. “He’s still got to work, and I tell him just to stay humble. I tell him to be ready for whatever the Lord has (for him).”
Co-head coach Sean Brinkley, who has been around baseball for more than 15 years but is in his first season at M.L. King, sees plenty of potential in Griffin.
“He can hit for power, has good speed, he’s good on defense and he works really hard,” Brinkley said. “There’s a lot of pressure that’s put on kids with a lot of potential, and he’s done a good job putting that behind him.”
Howard said it helps to have former players come by to let his current players know the possibilities.
“They see what those guys have done and are still doing and it gives them something to work for,” Howard said.
Griffin said his parents also help keep him focused. Teddy and Sandra Griffin are big supporters of the M.L. King baseball program.
“They’re great parents,” Howard said. “They do everything they can for the program. His dad even built us some new bat racks. They’re heavily involved in the program and want to see the team do well.”
With such a large support system, Griffin has plenty of help focusing on staying focused.