Griffin Russell Drafted by Padres! - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Griffin Russell Drafted by Padres!

"I just kept thinking, wow my little brother is a professional baseball player," Landry Russell said.

Wichita Falls High School standout Griffin Russell was drafted in the 28th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, 855th overall by the San Diego Padres.

"It's kind of surreal," he said. " It still hasn't fully sunk in yet."

Griffin had signed to play with Oklahoma St. next season, but after he and his family weighed his options, he chose to go pro.

"It played a big part, getting to know all the scouts and coaches," he said. "It's a real good environment around them. They made a good impression."

For the whole Russell family, it's been a whirlwind the past couple of days. Griffin leaves for camp in Arizona on Friday morning. From there, he'll either stay in the state or head to Vancouver to start pitching. His parents are focusing on things like insurance and passports, just another day in the Russell household when it comes to their son and baseball.

"It was his dream, so we helped him pursue that dream," Suzanne Russell, Griffin's mother, said.

The pursuit included camps, pitching coaches and summer baseball, including time with the Burkburnett Blacksox.

But, if you ask any other member of the Russell family about Griffin, they'll share memories of a much younger baseball player.

"We used to always play in the backyard," Landry Russell, Griffin's older brother, said. "We used to do a home-run derby kind of thing."

While Griffin provided a strong bat for the Coyotes in high school, he'll be developing as a pitcher at the next level.

He was 7-3 with a 1.36 ERA and 111 strikeouts this season, leading Old High to a share of the District 4-4A title.

For Suzanne Russell and Dale Russell, Griffin's father, they'll have to adjust to life without their son around the house. They say Griffin's summer time with the Blacksox the past couple of years will help prepare them for this summer.

"That was usually a quick turnaround as well," Dale Russell said.

For Griffin, he simply wants to get to work.

"I'm going to work hard. I want to get as far as possible," he said. "Obviously, I want to get to big leagues, but I got to work my butt off to start."

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