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Mariners select catcher Mike Zunino from University of Florida

Zunino is a Two-Time Louisville Slugger First-Team All-American

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)


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