Mike Zunino wins Golden Spikes Award

Florida catcher Mike Zunino was honored with the Golden Spikes Award on Friday in New York.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer
Published: Friday, July 6, 2012 at 4:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, July 6, 2012 at 4:17 p.m.

Former Florida catcher Mike Zunino made it a clean sweep of the major college baseball postseason honors Friday by being named the Golden Spikes Award winner.

Zunino, who led the Gators to their third straight College World Series last month and was the third overall pick of the Major League Baseball draft by the Seattle Mariners, beat out pitchers Mark Appel of Stanford and Carlos Rodon of North Carolina State for the award that recognizes the nation’s top amateur player.

“USA Baseball could not be more proud of the three Golden Spikes Award finalists, Mike Zunino, Mark Appel and Carlos Rodon,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “Each athlete authored an incredible season on the diamond this year, and they carried themselves with class off the field as well. Mike’s performance in 2012 stood above the rest, however, and we are honored to present such a deserving player with the award.”

The prestigious award, now in its 35th year, was presented on MLB Network live from Secaucus, N.J. Zunino joined fellow catcher Buster Posey (2008) as the only player to collect the Golden Spikes Award, the Dick Howser Trophy and the Johnny Bench Award in the same season.

Zunino becomes the third catcher in five years to win the GSA, joining 2010 and 2008 recipients, Bryce Harper and Posey (Florida State), respectively. Jason Varitek (Georgia Tech, 1994) is the only other catcher to have won the award.

Zunino is the Florida baseball program’s first winner of the Golden Spikes Award, and the first finalist since Matt LaPorta in 2007.

Zunino already had been named a first-team Louisville Slugger All-American by Collegiate Baseball to go along with his other honors.

He will start his professional career in Everett, Wash., where he will play for Seattle’s Single A Everett AquaSox club of the Northwest League.

Zunino concluded the college season hitting .322 with 19 homers and 67 RBIs.

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