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Mariners select catcher Mike Zunino from AAA Tacoma


SEATTLE, Wash. -- Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager Jack Zduriencik announced today the following roster moves:

  • Mike Zunino, C, selected from AAA Tacoma
  • Brandon Bantz, C, designated for assignment

Zunino (#3) will be in uniform and available for tonight's 7:10 p.m. game vs. the Houston Astros at Safeco Field.

Zunino, 22, hit .238 (44x185) with 34 runs scored, 12 doubles, 2 triples, 11 home runs, 43 RBI and a .808 OPS in 47 games for the AAA Tacoma Rainiers. Amongst Pacific Coast League leaders, Zunino ranked 5th in RBI (43), T6th in home runs (11) and T14th in extra base hits (25).

Zunino was the Mariners first round selection (3rd overall) in the 2012 June Draft out of the University of Florida. In 91 minor league games during his rapid rise to the Majors, Zunino has combined to hit .295 (102x346) with 26 doubles, 24 home runs and 86 RBI. He made his professional debut last season, combining to bat .360 (58x161) with 13 home runs in 44 games split between A Everett and AA Jackson.

Five other players from the 2012 Draft have reached the Majors, but all are pitchers. Zunino will be the first position player from the 2012 Amateur Draft, sixth player overall.

Zunino entered the season as the top prospect in the organization, and the No. 17 (Baseball America) and No. 23 (MLB.com) prospect in baseball. The Cape Coral, FL native was the 2012 Golden Spikes Award winner and Johnny Bench Catcher of the Year during his junior season with the Gators.

Bantz, 26, made one start for the Mariners (June 8 vs. NY Yankees), going 0-for-2. He was selected from AAA Tacoma on June 5. The Mariners now have 10 days to trade, release or outright Bantz's contract to the minors.

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