2012 MLB Draft: Mariners Select Catcher Mike Zunino

Mike Zunino, C, University of Florida: A 6-2, 220 pound backstop, Zunino is an impressive defensive catcher with a strong arm and standout leadership skills. He has a strong power bat, but his performance this spring was uneven at times and his stock slipped slightly in the weeks before the draft. Nevertheless, Zunino is still the best college position player available. He was hitting .318/.392/.655 with 16 homers, 27 walks, and 43 strikeouts through 223 at-bats. Zunino is very advanced and he won’t need as much minor league time as most draftees. The idea here may be for Zunino to be the long-term catcher, with Jesus Montero eventually moving to DH or first base full time. The Mariners have a lot of strong pitching prospects, and adding a top defensive backstop to help bring them to fruition makes sense.

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