Poytress, a Fresno, California native, was drafted in round 18 of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft from California State University Fresno by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has spent the last two years in their farm system.
In 2012, he appeared with three different squads (Rookie-A-A+) and comprised a miniscule 2.17 earned run average out of the bullpen in 26 games. The southpaw posted a 5-0 record in 54 innings pitched, striking out 40 batters while allowing 29 free passes.
His first professional season was spent with State College in the New York-Penn League (low-A), posting a 4-3 record, allowing 16 earned runs in 33.2 innings pitched, a 4.28 earned run average. He struck out 29 batters in his 17 appearances that season.