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Mariners make 25 selections on day three of Draft

Seattle Mariners Director of Amateur Scouting Tom McNamara announced today that the club selected 41 players in the 2012 Major League Baseball's First-Year player draft, highlighted by their first pick, catcher Mike Zunino, who was the 3rd overall pick in the draft.

"Overall, we're very pleased with the athleticism, talent level and character of the players we drafted," McNamara said. "Our scouts did an excellent job traveling all over the country finding the top talent at both the high school and college levels. We look forward to getting many of these young men signed and in uniform."

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.

In all Seattle selected players from 17 states: Alabama, California (7), Connecticut (2), Florida (6), Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts (3), New Jersey, New York (2), Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas (2), Virginia (2), and Washington (5); 2 countries & one U.S. territory: United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

The Mariners drafted 3 catchers, 13 infielders (3 1B, 3 2B, 1 3B, 6 SS), and 5 outfielders. Seattle selected catcher Mike Zunino from the University of Florida (3rd overall) with their first pick the 2012 draft. Of the 21 position players selected, 6 are left-handed hitters and 1 is a switch-hitter. In the first 19 selections of the draft, Seattle selected 14 position players, including 9 infielders.

Seattle selected 20 pitchers in the draft, including 15 of their final 22 picks. The Mariners selected 14 right-handed pitchers and 6 left-handed pitchers. RHP Edwin Diaz (3rd round) from Caguas Military Academy in Puerto Rico was the first high school pitcher selected by the Mariners, while right-handed pitcher Grady Wood (10th round) from Western Oregon State was the first college pitcher drafted by Seattle. In all, 13 of the 20 pitchers selected by Seattle were college pitchers.

With the 30th-round selection the Mariners drafted outfielder Mike Yastrzemski out of Vanderbilt University. Yastrzemski, who is from Andover, MA, is the grandson of Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer, Carl Yastrzemski. He hit .286 (67x234) with 46 runs scored, 11 doubles, 6 home runs and 41 RBI in 63 games during his junior season for the Commodores. He was originally selected in the 36th round of the 2009 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox.

Seattle selected catcher Alex Ross out of Bellevue Community College in the 34th round. Ross is the son of Mariners Northwest Area Scout Joe Ross. In his second season with the Bulldogs, hit .250 (24x96) with 14 runs scored, 4 doubles and 7 RBI in 28 games. Ross graduated from Lake Washington High School in 2009.

Seattle also selected infielder Jamodrick McGruder (10th-round) and left-handed pitcher Rusty Shellhorn (31st-round) teammates from the Texas Tech University. Seven players from the Red Raiders roster were drafted in 2012.

The Mariners selected five players with ties to Washington State in the 2012 June draft: INF Taylor Ard from Washington State University, RHP Levi Dean from Tennessee Wesleyan College, RHP Aaron Brooks from Edmonds Community College, LHP Rusty Shellhorn from Texas Tech University and C Alex Ross from Bellevue Community College. Ard was the Mariners 7th-round selection out of the Washington State University. The native of Vancouver, WA, was named to the 2012 All-Pac-12 Conference Baseball team after batting .332 (73x22) with 41 runs scored, 16 doubles, 1 triple, 12 home runs and 50 RBI in junior season. He currently leads the Pac-12 with 127 total bases, while ranking third in the conference with 12 home runs and a .577 slugging percentage, sixth in RBI (50), T8th in hits (73) and T10th in doubles (16). Ard is the first WSU player selected by the Mariners since Aaron Trolia in the 22nd round of the 2004 June draft. He also attended Mt. Hood Community College from 2009-10. Dean, who graduated from W.F. West High School in Centralia, WA in 2008, went 5-4 with 1 save and a 4.83 ERA in 18 games with during his senior season at Tennessee Wesleyan College. He also played two seasons at Lower Columbia College and his junior season at the University of Tennessee. Brooks is 7-3 with a 2.71 ERA (23 ER, 67.1 IP) and 60 strikeouts in 12 games (11 starts) during his sophomore season at Edmonds Community College. After graduating from Mount Lake Terrace High School in 2010, he played one season at Gonzaga (2011) before transferring to Edmonds Community College this season. Shellhorn graduated from Central Valley High School (Spokane, WA) in 2008. He attended Washington State University in 2009-10, before transferring to Texas Tech and sitting out a season in 2011. Shellhorn is 5-3 with a 4.98 ERA (31 ER, 56.0 IP) in 16 games (9 starts) for the Red Raiders in 2012.

The Mariners selected 15 players (rounds 2-15) on Tuesday afternoon. Seattle's only pick in the draft on Monday was catcher Mike Zunino (3rd overall). 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 also 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). 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.
 

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