By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
Tanner Poppe didn’t have a lot of time to reminisce after his four-year career with the Kansas Jayhawks baseball program ended.
The Girard High School graduate was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 31st round of the Major League Baseball draft on June 8. Since then, life has been moving fast for Poppe.
“It’s been pretty hectic,” said Poppe, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound right-handed pitcher. “The day after I got drafted, I signed in Lawrence. After that, I had 48 hours to pack up and move out to Arizona.”
The Brewers formally announced Poppe’s signing with the organization on Tuesday. He was initially assigned to Arizona League Brewers’ rookie affiliate in Phoenix. The shortened season is scheduled to begin today.
“It’s been extremely hot,” Poppe said. “Every day has been 110 degrees or hotter. So I’m getting used to that. But I’m meeting a bunch of new guys and it’s going pretty well so far.”
Poppe said the Arizona League will be used as evaluation, and he will eventually be sent to either to the Helena Brewers of the Pioneer League or the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of the Midwest League. At that time, coaches are likely to make the determination of whether Poppe will be used as a starter or reliever.
“I did both in college,” Poppe said. “I’m comfortable with both.”
Poppe enters professional baseball after turning down the opportunity twice before. He was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 37th round of the 2009 draft and by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 37th round of the 2011 draft. Both times, Poppe opted to pitch at KU.
“Out of high school I wasn’t as ready as I am now,” he said. “I’m excited to be in professional baseball. It’s a fun experience.”
Poppe finished his senior season with the Jayhawks with a 4-3 record, a 4.22 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings.