Former Gator Mike Zunino gets called up to Major Leagues by Seattle
Former Florida catcher Mike Zunino was called up to the Major Leagues by the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, one year after he was drafted in the MLB Draft first round with the third overall pick.
Zunino most recently played for the Tacoma (Wash.) Rainiers of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he had a .238 average in 47 games, with team-highs in RBI (43) and home runs (11). He also had 34 runs, 12 doubles and a .503 slugging percentage.
Playing for Peoria of the Arizona Fall League, Zunino helped lead the Javelinas’ to the league title and was named to the AFL’s Top Prospects Team. In the championship game, he finished 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI as Peoria defeated the Salt River Rafters, 4-3.
Baseball America rated him No. 1 on the Mariners’ list of top-10 prospects at the beginning of December and said that he was the best power hitter and the best defensive catcher within the organization.
Zunino is the third player in coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s tenure at Florida to reach the Major Leagues. Pitcher Nick Maronde (2009-11) was called up to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last August and left-hander Steven Rodriguez (2010-12) joined the Los Angeles Dodgers last September. Zunino becomes the first position player and the sixth player from last year’s MLB Draft to reach the Major Leagues – Rodriguez was the first.