Results tagged ‘ Mike Zunino ’

Mariners Farm System Continues to Strengthen

Prior to the 2012 season, the Mariners farm system was ranked by as the No. 1 organization based on their prospect points system, with five players rated in the top 100. After a record 496 wins by the Mariners 9 minor league affiliates, and 6 playoff berths, the Mariners remained the top team when re-ranked the top 100 and each club’s top 20 prospects.

Here is an article by beat writer Greg Johns detailing the impressive group of prospects:

The updated rankings show the Mariners ranking first among all 30 MLB teams based on point values assigned to each of the top 100 prospects, just ahead of the Pirates, D-backs and Cardinals.

Top Prospect Points
 1.  Seattle               327
 2.  Pittsburgh            326
 3.  Arizona               321
 4.  St. Louis             320
 5.  Toronto               281

The following Mariners ranked in the top 100 by (prospect ranking):

And here are the players included in the Mariners top 20 prospects list by



Eight Mariners Selected to Play in Arizona Fall League

Major League Baseball today announced the rosters for the Arizona Fall League, and eight players in the Mariners organization will play for the Peoria Javelinas.

Mike Zunino has combined to bat .367 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in his first 40 professional games with Everett and Jackson.

“We are extremely proud with the seasons each of these players have had this year and look forward to seeing all of them compete in the Arizona Fall League,” said Mariners Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn. ” The Arizona Fall League allows each player to set goals and work on individual areas of their game, while competing against some the top prospect in the minor leagues.”

In addition to the eight Mariners players, Jackson (AA) pitching coach Lance Painter will serve on the Javelinas coaching staff.

Opening Day for the 20th Anniversary season of the AFL is set for Tuesday, Oct. 9. The six-team league, owned and operated by Major League Baseball, plays six days per week (Monday-Saturday) in six Cactus League stadiums in the Phoenix area — Mesa Hohokam Stadium (Solar Sox), Peoria Sports Complex (Javelinas), Phoenix Municipal Stadium (Desert Dogs), Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (Rafters), Scottsdale Stadium (Scorpions) and Surprise Stadium (Saguaros). Daily start times are 12:35 p.m. and 6:35 p.m., and games can be followed online at

You can follow the Arizona Fall League on twitter via @MLBazFallLeague.

Mike Zunino Promoted to AA Jackson

Mike Zunino hit .373 with 10 home runs and 35 RBI in 29 games with Everett.

Mike Zunino, the Mariners 2012 first-round draft selection out of the University of Florida, has been promoted from Single-A Everett to Double-A Jackson. Zunino was the 3rd overall selection in the 2012 in the June Major League Baseball Draft and was the recipient of the 2012 Golden Spikes Award.

With Everett, Zunino reached base safely in 26 of his 29 games, and recorded hits in 23 games to begin his career. He hit  .373 (41×110) with 29 runs, 10 doubles, 10 home runs, 35 RBI and 18 walks with Everett. Zunino heads to Jackson with a 6-game hitting streak (.583, 14×24, 7 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 16 RBI).

Despite only appearing in 29 games, Zunino lead the Northwest League in home runs (10) and ranked 5th in RBI (35).  With the late start on the season, Zunino lacks the at-bats to qualify for the batting title, a race he would lead by 40 points. He was recently named the Northwest League Player of the week,  the third time he has been bestowed that honor, including back-to-back weeks to begin his career (July 16-22, July 23-29 & Aug. 6-12).

– KM

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:

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 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

Mike Zunino News Conference

You can watch Mike Zunino get introduced to the Seattle Media in his news conference live on at 1 p.m PT.

Mike Zunino signs his professional contract with the Mariners, with Director of Amateur Scouting Tom McNamara (far right), his parents (Greg and Paola) and fiancé (Alyssa).

Here is the official news release and bio that will be handed out to the media this afternoon.

– JE

Zunino Named Johnny Bench Award Winner

Mike Zunino was named the 2012 Johhny Bench Award winner as the nation’s top collegiate catcher. (Gator Country photo by Tim Casey)

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.

– JE

Zunino up for ESPY Award

Mariners 1st Round Draft pick Mike Zunino is up for yet another award.

Zunino, who just wrapped up the 2012 season at Florida with a .322 average, 19 home runs and 67 RBI, is nominated for the ESPY for Best Male College Athlete.

Zunino’s competition is Jack Connolly, one of the nation’s top collegiate (Minnesota-Duluth) hockey players, Anthony Davis, who led the Kentucky Wildcats to a national title, Robert Griffin III, Baylor quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, and Andrew Luck, Stanford quarterback who was the top overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

You can vote for Zunino at this link.

Mike Zunino is nominated for an ESPY as the Best Male College Athlete. (Tim Casey)

– RH