Mariners Call Up Top Prospect – Mike Zunino
Today Mike Zunino got the call everyone knew he would eventually get, the call to the Major Leagues. The Mariners top prospect joined the Major League club for the first time in his career, catching a flight from Las Vegas (where the AAA Tacoma Rainiers were set to open their road trip) and arrived at Safeco Field just in time hit in the last group of batting practice.
At this time last year, Zunino was preparing for the College World Series, putting the finishing touches on a storybook career at the University of Florida.
Zunino hit .238 (44×185) with 34 runs scored, 12 doubles, 2 triples, 11 home runs, 43 RBI and a .808 OPS in 47 games for the Rainiers. Among Pacific Coast League leaders, he ranked 5th in RBI (43), T6th in home runs (11) and T14th in extra base hits (25).
Zunino was the Mariners first round selection (3rd overall) in the 2012 June Draft out of the University of Florida. In 91 minor league games during his rapid rise to the Majors, Zunino has combined to hit .295 (102×346) with 26 doubles, 24 home runs and 86 RBI. He made his professional debut last season, combining to bat .360 (58×161) with 13 home runs in 44 games split between A Everett and AA Jackson.
Five other players from the 2012 Draft have reached the Majors, but all are pitchers. Zunino will be the first position player from the 2012 Amateur Draft, sixth player overall.
Zunino entered the season as the top prospect in the organization, and the No. 17 (Baseball America) and No. 23 (MLB.com) prospect in baseball. The Cape Coral, FL native was the 2012 Golden Spikes Award winner and Johnny Bench Catcher of the Year during his junior season with the Gators. When he makes his MLB debut (wearing his old college jersey #3), Zunino will become the second Golden Spikes Award winner to play for the Mariners, joining Dave Magadan (71 games for Seattle in 1993, 1983 Golden Spikes Award winner from University of Alabama).