|This article needs to be updated. (July 2015)|
Zunino with the Seattle Mariners in 2015
|Seattle Mariners – No. 3|
March 25, 1991 |
Cape Coral, Florida
|June 12, 2013, for the Seattle Mariners|
(through 2016 season)
|Runs batted in||133|
|Career highlights and awards|
Michael Accorsi Zunino (born March 25, 1991) is an American professional baseball player, a catcher for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB). Before beginning his professional career, he played college baseball at the University of Florida, where he won the Dick Howser Trophy, Golden Spikes Award, and Johnny Bench Award in his senior year. Zunino was selected by the Mariners with the third overall pick in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.
Born and raised in Cape Coral, Florida, Mike is the son of Greg and Paola Zunino. He is of Italian descent. His parents met in Italy while Greg played professional baseball in Italy for Fortitudo Baseball Bologna and Paola was a catcher for the Italian national softball team. Greg Zunino was drafted in the 31st round of the 1981 MLB June Amateur Draft. Mike’s uncle, Gary Zunino, was a catcher in the St. Louis Cardinals system.
Zunino accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he played for coach Kevin O'Sullivan's Florida Gators baseball team from 2010 to 2012. He led the Gators to three consecutive College World Series appearances in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Zunino was named to the Baseball America All-American team as a sophomore in 2011 and was named Southeastern Conference (SEC) player of the year. He was the second Florida Gator to win the SEC player of the year award after Matt LaPorta did so in 2005 and 2007. In 2010, he played with the Yarmouth–Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Draft and minor leagues
He was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 29th round of the 2009 MLB Draft, but did not sign and chose to attend college. Three years later, Zunino was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 2012 draft with the third overall pick. He signed with the Mariners on July 3 and was assigned to their short season Class A affiliate Everett AquaSox in the Northwest League. Zunino spent six weeks with the Aquasox in 2012, batting .373 with 10 HRs and 35 RBIs. He was promoted to Double-A affiliate Jackson Generals on August 13.
Major League Career
The Mariners promoted Zunino to the major leagues on June 11, 2013. He made his first major league start the next day and singled in his second at bat, on an 0-2 pitch. On June 14, Zunino hit his first career home run on his third at bat. Against the Chicago Cubs on June 28, Zunino collected the first walk-off hit of his career. On July 25, Zunino broke his hand and he had to spend time on the 15-day DL. He returned in early September, getting the bulk of the starts to end the season. In 52 games with the Mariners, he hit .214/.290/.329 with 5 HR and 14 RBI.
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- 2012 MLB Draft Top Prospects with Scouting Grades
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- Baker, Geoffrosters. "Mariners announce their minor league". Archived from the original on April 4, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
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- "Mariners' Mike Zunino dazzles in first big-league camp". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
- "A.L. West: Mariners' Zunino still on honeymoon". The Orange County Register. Retrieved July 6, 2015.