The Seattle Mariners selected catcher Mike Zunino from the University of Florida with their first selection (3rd overall pick) in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Director of Amateur Scouting Tom McNamara announced today.
Named a first-team Louisville Slugger All-American on Thursday by Collegiate Baseball, Zunino is a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, the Dick Howser Trophy and the Golden Spikes Award. He was the 2011 SEC Player of the Year and a 2012 first-team All-SEC selection. A two-time first-team All-SEC recipient and two-time member of the league’s All-Defensive Team, he has registered a .993 fielding percentage, with three errors in 452 chances, and has thrown out almost a third of the runners who have attempted to steal on him (45 of 144).
“Mike is a sturdy, blue-collar, talented defensive receiver with extra-base offensive potential,” McNamara said. “He is a winning player, and will be a good fit with the Mariners. We look forward to having him in our organization and working his way towards being part of our Major League club in the future.”
Zunino, 21, led the University of Florida in nearly every offensive category. After a 3-game sweep in the NCAA Gainesville Regional over the weekend, he is batting .316 (73x231) with 27 doubles, 18 home runs and 60 RBI in 62 games. He has started 58 of his team’s 63 games at catcher, and recorded an additional 4 starts as the designated hitter. He was named to the Gainesville Regional All-Tournament Team, and has hit seven career post-season home runs.
The 6-foot-2, 220 pound backstop leads the Gators in Slugging Percentage (.667), RBI, Home Runs, Doubles, Sacrifice Flies (9) and Total Bases (154). He is also 2nd in Batting Average, Stolen Bases (9), 3rd in Hits, Runs (50), At Bats, Walks (28) and On-Base Percentage (.388).
Zunino is a three-year letterwinner for the Gators. In 189 career games (thru Sunday), Zunino hit .325 with 57 doubles, 1 triple, 46 home runs and 168 RBI. He swiped 24 bases (in 30 attempts), including 9 of 10 this season. Mike has a career on-base percentage of .391 and a career slugging percentage of .617.
Zunino was named a 2012 Louisville Slugger first-team All-American, first-team All-SEC and first-team All-SEC Defensive Team. He is a semifinalist for the 2012 Golden Spikes Award, a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and a Semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award.
As a sophomore (2011), was voted SEC Player of the Year, was one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award, and was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy. He was chosen first-team All-American by ABCA, Baseball America and Perfect Game. Was named to the second-team by Louisville Slugger. Was also first team all-SEC and a member of the SEC All-Defensive Team. As a freshman (2010) was chosen to Baseball America’s Freshman All-America Team and to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Zunino graduated from Mariner High School in Coral Gables, FL. He was selected first team all-state in Class 5A his senior year after hitting .464 with 43 hits, 37 RBI, 12 home runs and 9 doubles. Mike was drafted by Oakland in the 30th round of the 2009 June Draft, but elected to attend Florida.
Mike’s father, Greg, is a scout for the Cincinnati Reds.
YEAR CLUB AVG G AB R H TB 2B 3B HR RBI SH SF HB BB SO SB CS SLG OBP
2010 Florida .267 55 176 31 47 83 7 1 9 41 4 4 5 9 38 8 3 .472 .314
2011 Florida .371 72 264 75 98 178 23 0 19 67 2 2 3 32 52 7 2 .674 .442
2012 Florida .316 62 231 50 73 154 27 0 18 60 0 9 5 28 45 9 1 .667 .388
Florida Totals* .325 189 671 156 218 415 57 1 46 168 6 15 13 69 135 24 6 .617 .391
Thru games of June 3, 2012
Here’s a look at the Mariners first picks in the June draft through the years:
1977 Dave Henderson, of (26th)
1978 Tito Nanni, of (6th)
1979 Al Chambers, of (1st)
1980 Darnell Coles, ss (6th)
1981 Mike Moore, rhp (1st)
1982 Spike Owen, ss (6th)
1983 Darrel Akerfelds, rhp (2nd)
1984 Bill Swift, rhp (2nd)
1985 Mike Campbell, rhp (7th)
1986 Patrick Lennon, ss (8th)
1987 Ken Griffey Jr., of (1st)
1988 Tino Martinez, 1b (14th)
1989 Roger Salkeld, rhp (3rd)
1990 Marc Newfield, 1b (6th)
1991 Shawn Estes, lhp (11th)
1992 Ron Villone, lhp (14th)
1993 Alex Rodriguez, ss (1st)
1994 Jason Varitek, c (14th)
1995 Jose Cruz Jr., of (3rd)
1996 Gil Meche, rhp (22nd)
1997 Ryan Anderson, lhp (19th)
1998 Matt Thornton, lhp (22nd)
1999 Ryan Christianson, c (11th)
2000 Sam Hays, lhp (116th)
2001 Michael Garciaparra, ss (36th)
2002 John Mayberry, of (28th)
2003 Adam Jones, ss (37th)
2004 Matt Tuiasosopo, ss (93rd)
2005 Jeff Clement, c (3rd)
2006 Brandon Morrow, rhp (5th)
2007 Phillippe Aumont, rhp (11th)
2008 Josh Fields, rhp (20th)
2009 Dustin Ackley, 1b/of (2nd)
2010 Taijuan Walker, rhp (43rd)
2011 Danny Hultzen, lhp (2nd)
2012 Mike Zunino, c (3rd)