Yesterday was a special day for Mariners 1st round draft pick Mike Zunino. With the Everett AquaSox on the road against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Giants Short-A Affiliate) at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer, Oregon, Mike Zunino hit his first professional home run. It was a solo shot that came in the ninth inning off Volcanoes right-hander Armando Paniagua.
You can hear the AquaSox Pat Dillon call the action right here:
You can follow Mike Zunino and the rest of the AquaSox online at:
Here’s Mike Zunino’s first professional hit (click picture for video):
The AquaSox return home on Tuesday July 24th for a six game homestand against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and Vancouver Canadians. Tickets are available at http://atmilb.com/KmflUc. or over the phone at 425-258-3673.
Since finishing his college career in the College World Series, catcher Mike Zunino, the Mariners first-round selection in the 2012 First-Year Player draft, has zigzagged his way around the country accepting all the top college and amateur baseball awards and topped it off with the signing of his first professional contract with Seattle on July 3. After attending the 83rd annual MLB All-Star Game at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, Zunino is back in Washington to begin his professional career in the Mariners organization.
Zunino will be in uniform tonight with the Mariners Short-A affiliate the Everett AquaSox, but is not expected to make his professional debut in the starting lineup until Friday. After an off-day yesterday, Everett returns to action at Everett Memorial Stadium for a 5-game series vs. Tri-City tonight starting at 7:05 pm. The AquaSox currently sit atop the Northwest League West division with an 18-7 record and a 3.5 game lead over the Vancouver Canadians.
Mike Zunino, the Mariners first selection (3rd overall) in this year’s MLB Draft, has been named the winner of the 2012 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award.
Zunino, who signed his first professional contract with the Mariners on Tuesday, also won this year’s Dick Howser Trophy as the premier college player, the Johnny Bench Award as the best collegiate catcher and was named the Baseball America Player of the Year. He batted .322 with 19 home runs and 67 RBIs as a junior for the University of Florida Gators.
The Mariners newest prospect will attend the 83rd annual MLB All-Star Game at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium on July 10 before officially embarking on his professional career with the Everett AquaSox, Seattle’s Class A short-season affiliate in the Northwest League.
The award was announced on the MLB Network this afternoon. Zunino, along with Golden Spikes Finalists RHP Mark Appel (Stanford) and LHP Carlos Rodon (NC State) had a busy day as the trio were also guests at the MLB Fan Cave.
Here is a list of the Golden Spikes Winners through the years:
|2010||Bryce Harper||College of Southern Nevada|
|2009||Stephen Strasburg||San Diego State|
|2008||Buster Posey||Florida State|
|2004||Jered Weaver||Long Beach State|
|2001||Mark Prior||Southern California|
|2000||Kip Bouknight||South Carolina|
|1998||Pat Burrell||Miami (FL)|
|1997||J. D. Drew||Florida State|
|1996||Travis Lee||San Diego State|
|1995||Mark Kotsay||Cal State Fullerton|
|1994||Jason Varitek||Georgia Tech|
|1993||Darren Dreifort||Wichita State|
|1992||Phil Nevin||Cal State Fullerton|
|1991||Mike Kelly||Arizona State|
|1990||Alex Fernández||Miami-Dade Community College|
|1988||Robin Ventura||Oklahoma State|
|1986||Mike Loynd||Florida State|
|1985||Will Clark||Mississippi State|
|1984||Oddibe McDowell||Arizona State|
|1982||Augie Schmidt||New Orleans|
|1981||Mike Fuentes||Florida State|
|1979||Tim Wallach||Cal State Fullerton|
|1978||Bob Horner||Arizona State|
The Mariners No. 1 draft pick Mike Zunino was introduced to the media today in a news conference at Safeco Field.
Here are some video highlights from his introductory news conference:
Mike also took some time to answer fan questions as part of Twitter Tuesday. You can get a glimpse of some of the questions he answered via the hashtag #AskZunino.
We also had a chance to catch up with Mike ask him a few questions for the blog…
Any significance behind wearing #3?
Actually, it was just a number I wore growing up and I kind of stuck with it. When I got to high school, a pretty good player named Casey Coleman (who pitches for the Chicago Cubs) wore #3 already, so I ended up taking #17. When I got to Florida, #17 was taken, so I went back to #3.
You’ve won a lot of awards lately, which one may end up on your mantle in 20-30 years?
Oh man, the Johnny Bench Award is probably the one that is most special to me because it is just for catchers. But, I like all of them. Maybe I’ll just have to get a bigger mantel.
What is the most memorable game of your college career?
There were a lot between the College World Series and all the SEC rivalries, but probably the Friday night game at LSU during my sophomore season. We were down 3-2 heading into the 9th inning and I hit a game-tying home run and we went on score a few more runs to win the game. We ended up sweeping the series, which is pretty tough to do at their stadium, and their fans gave us a standing ovation. It was unreal.
What is your favorite cereal?
Probably Captain Crunch…or maybe Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I love both.
Who is your favorite Mariner?
I would have to go with Ken Griffey Jr. I am a little young to remember his prime years, but me and all of my friends would always play his video game on Nintendo 64. We would copy his swing in the backyard. I hope I get to meet him sometime soon.
You’ve been in Seattle for a few days. What have some of your favorite sights been?
We ate dinner at the Space Needle, and that was pretty cool. I am really enjoying the weather so far. It is a nice break from all the humidity in Florida. Safeco Field is awesome, and my family said Pike Place Market was pretty cool. I hope to explore more of the city when I come back.
Do you wear a 2-piece catcher’s mask or the hockey-style mask?
I’ve always worn a 2-piece catcher’s mask. I guess I am just old-school. I’ve tried the other, but nothing feels better.
What will your first purchase be now that you are a professional baseball player?
A car, definitely a car. My fiancé and I are in a little debate whether to get a Tahoe or Expedition.
Who do you think you pattern your game after?
I would love to be compared to a guy like Yadier Molina, who is a true catch-and-throw catcher. I don’t know, maybe someone like Buster Posey. I pride myself on being an all-around baseball player.
Who is the pitcher you would like to face in the Majors?
I would love to face Jered Weaver. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to face him a few times a year as they are in the same division as Seattle. He is really good and fun to watch. It would be fun to get to catch Felix Hernandez. I am excited to watch him pitch tonight.
Who was your favorite player growing up?
I really liked Jeff Conine when he was with the Marlins. My parents said he was the first player I got an autograph from, so maybe that is why.
Here are some additional video highlights of Zunino, including Mike accepting the Johnny Bench Award last week in Wichita:
Mariners first round draft pick Mike Zunino has been named the recipient of the 2012 Johnny Bench Award presented annually to the top collegiate catcher.
The Johnny Bench Award is the latest honor bestowed upon Zunino, who was also named a consensus first-team All-American, the Dick Howser Trophy recipient and Baseball America’s 2012 College Player of the Year. He is also one of three finalists for the Golden Spikes Award that will be presented next Friday, July 6.
As a junior in 2012, Zunino won Florida’s Triple Crown, leading the team in batting average (.322), RBI (67) and homers (19). Behind the plate Zunino was a two-time member of the SEC All-Defensive Team, registering a career .994 fielding percentage, with three errors in 510 chances, and threw out 20 runners who attempted to steal on him.
Zunino’s growing list of postseason awards include being named first-team ABCA/Rawlings, Baseball America, Louisville Slugger, NCBWA All-American and was the recipient of the Dick Howser Trophy as College Baseball’s Player of the Year. He is also a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award and the Johnny Bench Award. He finished his junior season with the Florida Gators “Triple Crown” winner, leading the team in batting average (.322), RBI (67) and homers (19), and paced the club in total bases (164), doubles (28), sacrifice flies (11) and slugging percentage (.669).
Zunino joins an elite list of players that have won the prestigious Baseball America Player of the Year honor:
1981: Mike Sodders, 3b, Arizona State
1982: Jeff Ledbetter, of/lhp, Florida State
1983: Dave Magadan, 1b, Alabama
1984: Oddibe McDowell, of, Arizona State
1985: Pete Incaviglia, of, Oklahoma State
1986: Casey Close, of, Michigan
1987: Robin Ventura, 3b, Oklahoma State
1988: John Olerud, 1b/lhp, Washington State
1989: Ben McDonald, rhp, Louisiana State
1990: Mike Kelly, of, Arizona State
1991: David McCarthy, 1b, Stanford
1992: Phil Nevin, 3b, Cal State Fullerton
1993: Brooks Kieschnick, dh/rhp, Texas
1994: Jason Varitek, c, Georgia Tech
1995: Todd Helton, 1b/lhp, Tennessee
1996: Kris Benson, rhp, Clemson
1997: J.D. Drew, of, Florida State
1998: Jeff Austin, rhp, Stanford
1999: Jason Jennings, rhp, Baylor
2000: Mark Teixeira, 3b, Georgia Tech
2001: Mark Prior, rhp, Southern California
2002: Khalil Greene, ss, Clemson
2003: Rickie Weeks, 2b, Southern
2004: Jered Weaver, rhp, Long Beach State
2005: Alex Gordon, 3b, Nebraska
2006: Andrew Miller, lhp, North Carolina
2007: David Price, lhp, Vanderbilt
2008: Buster Posey, c/rhp, Florida State
2009: Stephen Strasburg, rhp, San Diego State
2010: Anthony Rendon, 3b, Rice
2011: Trevor Bauer, rhp, UCLA
2012: Mike Zunino, c, Florida
Mariners fans can watch first round draft pick Mike Zunino and the Florida Gators in the College World Series starting tomorrow at 6 pm PT on ESPN. The Gators open CWS play in Omaha with two-time defending NCAA Champion South Carolina (the school that produced Justin Smoak).
Today, Zunino was chosen as the winner of the Dick Howser Trophy as college baseball’s player of the year. He heads into the College World Series batting .322 with 19 home runs and 64 RBI.
Right-handed pitcher Edwin Diaz and left-handed pitcher Tyler Pike signed on the dotted line today to officially become a Seattle Mariner. The Mariners have now signed 27 of the team’s first 30 picks, including 9 players in the first 10 rounds of the draft. Overall the Mariners have agreed to terms with 29 of the 41 players selected in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.
Diaz, 18, out of Caguas Military Academy in Caguas, Puerto Rico was the Mariners third-round (98th overall) selection. He was rated as the 75th prospect by Baseball America heading into the draft, including the 4th-ranked prospect out of Puerto Rico. His cousin, Jose Melendez, pitched in the big leagues for parts of five seasons in the 1990s for Seattle (1990), San Diego (1991-92) and Boston (1993-94).
Pike, 18, went 8-2 with a 0.51 ERA (6 ER, 82.0 IP) while striking out 134 batters in 82.0 innings during his senior season at Winter Haven (FL) High School. He also batted .360 (36×100) with 20 runs scored, 12 extra-base hits and 21 RBI as an outfielder. He was the Mariners third-round supplemental selection (126th overall).
Both Diaz and Pike will report to the Mariners Rookie affiliate in the Arizona League. Before Diaz and Pike head south to the Mariners Player Development complex in Peoria, Ariz., we caught up with them in the dugout at Safeco Field to ask some hard-hitting questions:
Short-A Everett will begin action on Friday, June 15 at Tri-City. Rookie Pulaski Mariners season gets under way on Tuesday, June 19 vs. Burlington, while Rookie Peoria Mariners begin play on Wednesday, June 20 vs. the AZL Padres.
The Mariners first round selection catcher Mike Zunino from the University of Florida is currently playing in the College World Series. The Gators, the No. 1 overall seed, begin play on Saturday vs. the University of South Carolina.
Seattle selected 41 players in the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, highlighted by their first pick, catcher Mike Zunino, who was the 3rd overall pick in the draft. The Mariners selected 20 pitchers, including 6 left-handers, 3 catchers, 13 infielders (3 1B, 3 2B, 1 3B, 6 SS), and 5 outfielders. Seattle selected 26 college players and 15 high school players.
Seattle has until Friday, July 13 at 2 p.m. (PT) to sign players selected in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Here is a list of the Mariners 2012 draft pick signings and where they will start their professional careers:
INF Patrick Kivlehan (4th)
INF Chris Taylor (5th)
INF Taylor Ard (7th)
INF Jamodrick McGruder (9th)
RHP Grady Wood (10th)
OF Michael Faulkner (12th)
RHP Blake Hauser (13th)
RHP Dominic Leone (16th)
LHP Steven Ewing (20th)
LHP Scott DeCecco (21st)
RHP Matt Vedo (24th)
RHP Mark Bordonaro (25th)
INF Brock Hebert (14th)
OF Dario Pizzano (15th)
OF Jabari Henry (18th)
LHP Nate Koneski (19th)
RHP Levi Dean (23rd)
LHP Blake Holovach (27th)
RHP Matt Brazis (28th)
C Toby Demello (29th)
INF Joe DeCarlo (2nd)
RHP Edwin Diaz (3rd)
LHP Tyler Pike (3rd-A)
INF Tim Lopes (6th)
INF Kristian Brito (11th)
INF Gabrial Franca (22nd)
RHP Aaron Brooks (26th)
LHP Rusty Shellhorn (31st)
INF Richard Palase (32nd)
RHP Aaron Brooks (26th)
Mariners first round draft pick Mike Zunino, a catcher at University of Florida, is participating in the NCAA Baseball Super Regionals this weekend.
Florida plays NC State Saturday, June 9 at 11am PDT and again on Sunday, June 10 at 10am PDT. If you are looking to watch the Mariners draft pick, the games will be available on ESPN3 and ESPNU.
Here’s a link to the ESPN SEC TV listings for the Super Regionals (TV listings).
Zunino, a two-time All-American, is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, the Dick Howser Trophy and the Johnny Bench Award as the nation’s top catcher. He heads into the Super Regionals batting .316 and leads the Gators in doubles (27), home runs (18), RBIs (60) and slugging percentage (.667). The All-SEC first-team catcher ranks No. 2 nationally in doubles (44), No. 5 in home runs and sacrifice flies (9), No. 10 in total bases (154) and No. 13 in slugging percentage (.667).
Sunday’s game (10 am PT) will surely be a game to keep your eye on, as two of the three Golden Spikes finalists will be playing against each other. Zunino will go against NC State left-handed starter Carlos Rodon (9-0, 1.61 ERA).