Archive for the ‘ Draft ’ Category

Mariners 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft Recap

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Seattle Mariners Director of Amateur Scouting Tom McNamara announced yesterday that the club selected 40 players in the 2015 Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft, highlighted by their first pick, right-handed pitcher Nick Neidert, who was a 2nd round pick (60th overall) in the draft.

The Mariners selected 25 pitchers, including 7 left-handers, 2 catchers, 9 infielders (3 1B, 4 SS, 2 3B), and 4 outfielders. Seattle selected 27 college players and 13 high school players.

In all Seattle selected players with hometowns from 21 states and 1 territory: Arizona (1), California (5), Connecticut (1), Florida (5), Georgia (3), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Louisiana (1), Maryland (2), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Montana (1), New Jersey (3), North Carolina (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (3), Pennsylvania (1), South Carolina (1), Texas (3), Washington (2) and Puerto Rico (1).

The Mariners drafted 2 catchers, 9 infielders (3 1B, 4 SS, 2 3B), and 4 outfielders. Outfielder Braden Bishop from the University of Washington, was the Mariners first position player selected in the 3rd round (94th overall). Of the 15 position players selected, 4 are left-handed hitters.

Seattle selected 25 pitchers in the draft; 18 right-handed pitchers and 7 left-handed pitchers. Right-handed pitcher Nick Neidert (2nd round) from Peachtree Ridge High School in Georgia was the first high school pitcher selected by the Mariners, while right-handed pitcher Andrew Moore (comp. round B) from Oregon State University was the first college pitcher drafted by Seattle. In all, 15 of the 25 pitchers selected by Seattle were college pitchers.

The Mariners selected 27 college players in the draft, including 10 of the Mariners first 13 picks.  At 17-year-old, Jio Orozco (14th round) out of Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona, was the youngest player the Mariners selected.

The Mariners selected 7 players with ties to the Pacific Northwest in the 2015 First Year Player Draft: Right-handed pitcher Andrew Moore from Oregon State University (Compensation Round B), outfielder Braden Bishop out of the University of Washington (3rd round), left-handed pitcher Joe Pistorese out of Washington State/Kalispell, Montana (17th round), catcher P.J. Jones out of Washington State/Vancouver, Washington (19th round), right-handed pitcher Parker McFadden out of Yelm High School (20th round), outfielder Gus Craig out of Columbia University/Eugene, Oregon (30th round), Oregon and Colton Sakamoto out of Westview High School in Beaverton, Oregon. Pistorese, who was born in Seattle but grew up in Kalispell, Montana, was 8-5 with a 2.41 ERA (37 ER, 104.2 IP) with 67 strikeouts in 15 starts during his senior season and combined to post a 2.82 ERA (118 ER, 376.3 IP) during his four seasons with the Cougars. He was previously drafted by the White Sox in the 44th round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Jones, a Vancouver, Washington native, played four seasons with the Cougars and posted a .394 on-base percentage during his senior season while appearing in 45 games. McFadden, the unanimous Class 4A Narrows League’s pitching MVP as a senior, was 5-2 with a sub-1.00 ERA, but had his season cut short just prior to Yelm’s appearance in the 4A West Central District III tournament because of a left hamstring injury in a non-baseball-related incident.. McFadden has committed to play baseball at Washington State University. Craig was the Co-Ivy League Player of the Year, batting a team-high .332 with nine long balls and 36 RBI. The right fielder was named Ancient Eight Player of the Week on two occasions and his eight outfield assists was tied for fourth in the nation.

Seattle’s 37th round selection Colton Sakamoto, the son of Mariners scout Jeff Sakamoto, has committed to play baseball at the University of Oregon. Seattle’s 39th round selection Dante Ricciardi is the son of former Blue Jays General Manager and current Mets Special Assistant to the G.M. J.P. Ricciardi. Seattle’s 40th round selection Mike Rojas Jr. out of Gulf Coast High School in Florida is the son of current Mariners bullpen coach Mike Rojas.

Seattle selected 7 players from the Pac-12 Conference: Oregon State University right-hander Andrew Moore, Washington outfielder Braden Bishop, Stanford shortstop Drew Jackson, Arizona State right-hander Darin Gillies, Washington State left-hander Joe Pistorese, Washington State catcher P.J. Jones and Stanford left-hander Logan James.

The Mariners selected 8 players (rounds 3-10) on Tuesday afternoon. The Mariners also made two selections during the first day of the draft: Right-handers Nick Neidert and Andrew Moore. Neidert (NYE-dert) played prep baseball at Peachtree Ridge High School in Lawrenceville, GA. As a senior at Peachtree Ridge he was named 7-AAAAAA All-Region. The 6-1, 185-pound right-hander was selected as a 1st-team All-American and Southeast All-Region 1st-team by Perfect Game in 2015. The 18-year-old signed a national letter of intent to play college baseball at the University of South Carolina. Moore, 21, was named a first-team All-Pac-12 selection as a junior in 2015. The right-hander went 7-2 with a 1.91 ERA (26 ER, 122.1 IP) in 16 starts for the Beavers. In 10 starts in Pac-12 play he went 6-1 with a 1.51 ERA (13 ER, 77.2 IP) while averaging 8.00 strikeouts per 9.0 innings. In three seasons in Corvallis, Moore combined to go 27-9 with a 2.10 ERA in 51 games/48 starts. He recorded 251 strikeouts and threw 4 shutouts during his college career. As a freshman in 2013 he posted a 14-2 record and a 1.79 ERA (26 ER, 131.0 IP) in 19 games/18 starts.

2015 SEA Draft Selections

Mariners Draft – Day 2 Recap

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The Mariners concluded the second day of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft selecting 8 more players. In the first 10 rounds, the Mariners have selected six pitchers (all RHP), three infielders and one outfielder. Seven of the 10 draft picks have been college selections and three from high school.

Here is a look at the Mariners first 10 selections in the 2015 Draft:

Draft

The Mariners selected outfielder Braden Bishop out of the University of Washington with their 3rd-round pick (No. 94 overall). Bishop hit .293 (154×525) with 26 doubles, 3 triples, 4 home runs, 65 RBI and 42 stolen bases in 149 games during his college career with the Huskies. He was a 2015 All-Pac-12 first-team selection and two-time All-Pac-12 Defensive selection (2014 & 2015). As a junior in 2015 the center fielder hit .295 (57×193) with 14 doubles, 4 home runs and 25 RBI in 49 games. His 43 career hit-by-pitches rank 2nd in Husky baseball history. Bishop is the 12th player selected by the Mariners out of the University of Washington, and first since current Tacoma Rainiers RHP Forrest Snow (36th round 2010).

Right-handed pitcher Dylan Thompson out of Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, SC was selected 125th overall (4th round). Thompson compiled a 16-4 record (6-2 as a sophomore, 5-1 as a junior and 5-1 as a senior), and never had an ERA above 1.99 and struck out 173 batters in that time frame and he was named to the South Carolina Select team this season.

Shortstop Drew Jackson was selected in the 5th round (155th overall) out of Stanford University. As a junior in 2015 Jackson hit .320 (47×147) in 40 games/39 starts. He was named All-Pac-12 honorable mention. He was also selected in the 37th round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Miramonte High School in Orinda, CA. His brother, Brett, was a first round selection by the Cubs in the 2009 MLB Draft out of the University of California and has appeared in 51 MLB games with the Cubs and Diamondbacks.

 

Right-handed pitcher Kyle Wilcox was selected in the 6th round (185th overall) out of Bryant University in Rhode Island. As a junior in 2015 Wilcox posted a 7-3 record with a 3.24 ERA (29 ER, 80.2 IP) in 15 games/14 starts. In three seasons at Bryant he was 10-6, 3.40 ERA (58 ER, 153.1 IP) and recorded 110 strikeouts. He was named the 2015 Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Year. He is a native of Sandy Hook, CT and attended Newton High School.

First baseman Ryan Uhl was selected in the 7th round (215th overall) out of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Uhl led the Division II Crimson Hawks with 29 home runs and 74 RBI in 44 games, batting .415 (59×142). He is a finalist for the 2015 Tino Martinez Award presented annually to the top Division II player in the nation. In four seasons at IUP he combined to bat .337 (177×525) while setting school records in home runs (42) and slugging percentage (.646). He is a native of St. Marys, PA and attended the same high school (St. Marys) as current Mariners LHP Joe Beimel.

Right-handed pitcher Cody Mobley out of Mount Vernon High School in Indiana was selected in the 8th round (245th overall). Mobley went 6-2 with 1 save and a 1.69 ERA (13 ER, 54.0 IP) in 12 pitching appearances as a senior. He recorded 104 strikeouts for a 17.33 K/9.0 IP average. He was named a Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American and 2nd-team All-Central Region. He was named an All-Big Eight Conference and All-Southwest Indiana All-Star in 2014 and 2015. He signed a national letter of intent to play college baseball at the University of Evansville.

First baseman/third baseman Conner Hale out of LSU was selected in the 9th round (275th overall). Hale, who is still playing as LSU has advanced to the College World Series, is batting .343 (86×251) with 17 doubles, 3 triples, 4 home runs and 56 RBI in 61 games for the Tigers. He led the Tigers with 18 multi-RBI games and recorded 24 multi-hit games. He made starts at third base (48 G), first base (8 G), second base (4 G) and designated hitter (1 G). Hale was named to the Baton Rouge Regional All-Tournament Team and was a 2015 All-SEC selection. Prior to his senior season Mobley was named a Cape Code League All-Star batting .327 (56×171) with the Falmouth Commodores. Hale transferred to LSU from State College of Florida and is a product of Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, FL.

Right-handed pitcher Darin Gillies out of Arizona State University was selected in the 10th round (305th overall) to round out the second day of the draft. Gillies made 84 career appearances as a Sun Devil, ranking 6th in the storied history of the program. As a senior in 2015 he posted a 3-6 record with a 3.83 ERA (21 ER, 49.1 IP) in 28 appearances (3 starts). He was a three-time All-Pac-12 Academic selection and recently graduated from ASU with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology.

The 2015 Draft concludes tomorrow with rounds 11-40, beginning at 9:00 am PT. On Twitter, the official Draft Twitter account, @MLBDraft, will provide up-to-the-moment updates and commentary while @MLBDraftTracker will tweet all picks as they are made

Mariners Select Neidert and Moore in MLB Draft

The Mariners made two selections in the first day of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft and drafted a pair of right-handed pitchers.

Neidert

RHP Nick Neidert (NYE-dert) was the Mariners first selection and the 60th overall pick in the draft. He played prep baseball at Peachtree Ridge High School in Lawrenceville, GA. As a senior at Peachtree Ridge he was named  7-AAAAAA All-Region. The 6-1, 185-pound right-hander was selected as a 1st-team All-American and Southeast All-Region 1st-team by Perfect Game in 2015. The 18-year-old signed a national letter of intent to play college baseball at the University of South Carolina.

Moore

RHP Andrew Moore was selected 72nd overall in the draft out of Oregon State University. As a junior in 2015 he was named a first-team All-Pac-12 selection. The right-hander went 7-2 with a 1.91 ERA (26 ER, 122.1 IP) in 16 starts for the Beavers. In 10 starts in Pac-12 play he went 6-1 with a 1.51 ERA (13 ER, 77.2 IP) while averaging 8.00 strikeouts per 9.0 innings.

In three seasons in Corvallis, Moore combined to go 27-9 with a 2.10 ERA in 51 games/48 starts. He recorded 251 strikeouts and threw 4 shutouts during his college career. As a freshman in 2013 he posted a 14-2 record and a 1.79 ERA (26 ER, 131.0 IP) in 19 games/18 starts. He played for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in the summer of 2014 going 2-0, 2.12 ERA in 7 G/1 GS.

Moore is a Northwest native from Eugene, OR (North Eugene High School). He was named the Oregon High School Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore and Junior, and the 5A State Player of the Year as a senior.

The 2015 MLB Draft continues tomorrow with rounds 3-10 (starts at 10 am PT) and rounds 11-40 on Wednesday (9 am PT).

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2015 Major League Baseball Draft Coverage

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The 2015 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft will be held next week, June 8-10. The Mariners will have two picks (No. 60 & No. 72) during the first day of the draft, which begins at 4 pm PT on Monday (June 8). The draft will resume with rounds 3-10 on Tuesday, June 9 (starts at 10 am PT) and rounds 11-40 on Wednesday, June 10 (9 am PT).

The Draft will have 40 rounds, and a club may pass on its selection in any round and not forfeit its right to participate in other rounds.  The 2015 Draft will span three days as it has since 2009.  For day one on June 8th, MLB Network and MLB.com will provide live pick-by-pick coverage during the first round, Competitive Balance Round A, the second round and Competitive Balance Round B.  For the first time, a flexible time interval will be used during round one.  The intervals between selections during round one will last between three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half minutes.  There will be one-minute intervals between selections during Competitive Balance Round A, the second round and Competitive Balance Round B.

Beginning with the Draft preview show at 3 pm PT, MLB Network’s live coverage will feature news, analysis, interviews with Club front office personnel and representatives, footage from Club draft rooms, and features and interviews with prospects and newly drafted players. MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger, Peter Gammons, Dan O’Dowd, Harold Reynolds and MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo will anchor the live coverage with contributions from MLB Network’s Scott Braun, Darryl Hamilton, Al Leiter, Pedro Martinez, Dan Plesac, Bill Ripken, Sam Ryan, John Smoltz, Tom Verducci and Matt Yallof, as well as Jim Callis of MLB.com and John Manuel of Baseball America.

As part of the 50th Anniversary celebration, MLB Network will air a feature on Rick Monday during the Draft preview show.  Monday was the first overall selection in the inaugural MLB Draft in 1965, which ironically was also held on June 8th.

MLB.com will begin its exclusive live programming of the Draft’s final two days with a live draft show from its New York studios at 9:30 am PT on June 9th, followed by a live pick-by-pick stream and draft and scouting expert commentary from Mayo and Callis.  It also will provide Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of more than 1,500 draft-eligible players with statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.  On Twitter, the official Draft Twitter account, @MLBDraft, will provide up-to-the-moment updates and commentary while @MLBDraftTracker will tweet all picks as they are made.

The MLB Network Radio channel on SiriusXM will also offer live MLB Draft coverage to listeners nationwide. SiriusXM’s Grant Paulsen and former MLB general managers Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden will host Monday, June 8th starting at 6:00 pm ET and will provide live pick-by-pick analysis throughout the first round on Sirius channel 209, XM channel 89 and on the SiriusXM App.

For a detailed look at the Mariners past draft selections, and just about any other draft selections, Baseball-Reference Draft.

Mariners Select LHP David Rollins in Rule 5 Draft

LHP David Rollins has averaged 8.6 K/9.0 IP during his minor league career (photo credit: MiLB.com)

LHP David Rollins has averaged 8.6 K/9.0 IP during his MiLB career (photo credit: MiLB.com)

The Mariners selected left-handed pitcher David Rollins from the Houston Astros in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft this morning to conclude the 2014 Winter Meetings held in San Diego, California.

Rollins was the 12th player selected in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft.

With this selection, the Mariners 40-man roster is now full (see below). Seattle did not lose any players in the Major League or Minor League phases of the Rule 5 Draft.

Rollins, turns 25 December 21, spent last season with AA Corpus Christi in the Houston Astros organization. He was 3-4 with a 3.81 ERA (33 ER, 78.0 IP) with 77 strikeouts in 27 appearances including 12 starts.

A player selected in the Rule 5 Draft must be kept on the Major League 25-man roster of the drafting team for the entirety of next season, and the selected player must remain active (not on the disabled list) for a minimum of 90 days. If the player does not remain on the Major League roster, he is offered back to the team from which he was selected.

Once a player is selected, he is automatically assigned to his new organization’s 40-man roster. Current Mariners LHP Lucas Luetge was a product of the Rule 5 Draft in December 2011 (from Milwaukee).

In parts of four minor league seasons he is 23-16 with a 3.39 ERA (135 ER, 358.2 IP) with 343 strikeouts in 88 games including 64 starts. During his minor league career, he averaged 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings.

Rollins was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays after being selected in the 24th round of the 2011 June Amateur Draft out of San Jacinto College, North Campus (Houston, TX). The left-hander was previously selected twice by the Mariners in the June amateur draft; in the 23rd round of the 2009 draft and in the 46th round of the 2010 draft.

Ironically, Rollins was traded by Toronto to Houston as part of a 10-player trade that saw current Mariners left-hander J.A. Happ go from Houston to the Blue Jays.

Mariners Sign OF Gareth Morgan (No. 74 overall Draft pick)

Gareth Morgan and his family with Mariners Scouting Director Tom McNamara.

Gareth Morgan and his family with Mariners Scouting Director Tom McNamara.

Welcome to the Mariners family Gareth!

Outfielder Gareth Morgan, the Mariners second selection in last week’s MLB Amateur Draft, officially signed with the Mariners this afternoon and will take batting practice with the Major League club.

Morgan, 18, is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound, right-handed hitting outfielder. He has played both right field and center field during his high school career. He is scheduled to report to the AZL Mariners in the Arizona Rookie League.

Gareth is a member of the Canadian Junior National Team, and has also played with the Langley Blaze travel team.

The teams played games against professional minor league clubs in Florida and Arizona during spring training.

Morgan and the Canadian Junior National team recently returned from playing eight games against professional teams in the Dominican Summer League.

Here are a few nice feature stories on Gareth from the Toronto Sun and Rogers SportsNet.

Mike Zunino Hits First Professional Home Run

Mike Zunino, Everett AquaSox

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:

Mike Zunino records his first professional home run against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (call by Pat Dillon)

You can follow Mike Zunino and the rest of the AquaSox online at:

AquaSox.com

Facebook.com/AquaSox

Twitter.com/EverettAquaSox

Twitter.com/AquaSoxRadio

Here’s Mike Zunino’s first professional hit (click picture for video):

Mike Zunino records his first professional hit, a double, on July 14, 2012.

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.

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Mike Zunino In Uniform Tonight For Everett AquaSox

Mike Zunino has joined the Everett AquaSox and will be in uniform tonight.

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 Wins Golden Spikes Award

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.

Mike Zunino with the Golden Spikes Award (USA Baseball).

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:

2012 Mike Zunino Florida
2011 Trevor Bauer UCLA
2010 Bryce Harper College of Southern Nevada
2009 Stephen Strasburg San Diego State
2008 Buster Posey Florida State
2007 David Price Vanderbilt
2006 Tim Lincecum Washington
2005 Alex Gordon Nebraska
2004 Jered Weaver Long Beach State
2003 Rickie Weeks Southern
2002 Khalil Greene Clemson
2001 Mark Prior Southern California
2000 Kip Bouknight South Carolina
1999 Jason Jennings Baylor
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
1989 Ben McDonald LSU
1988 Robin Ventura Oklahoma State
1987 Jim Abbott Michigan
1986 Mike Loynd Florida State
1985 Will Clark Mississippi State
1984 Oddibe McDowell Arizona State
1983 Dave Magadan Alabama
1982 Augie Schmidt New Orleans
1981 Mike Fuentes Florida State
1980 Terry Francona Arizona
1979 Tim Wallach Cal State Fullerton
1978 Bob Horner Arizona State

– JE

A Few Questions With Mike Zunino

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:

– JE

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