Mariners invite Zunino to spring training

Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 11:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 11:38 p.m.

Former Gator Mike Zunino was among the 18 non-roster invitees to spring training recently announced by the Seattle Mariners. Pitchers and catchers will report to Peoria, Ariz., on Feb. 12. He had been selected with the No. 3 overall pick in last June’s Major League Baseball Draft, the highest selection in school history.

The recipient of the 2012 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, the Dick Howser Trophy and the Johnny Bench Award, Zunino batted .373 (41-for-110) with 35 RBI, 29 runs, 10 homers and 10 doubles in 29 games for the Everett (Wash.) AquaSox, the Class A short-season affiliate of the Mariners, before hitting .333 (17-for-51) with eight RBI, six runs, four doubles and three homers in 15 games for the Jackson (Tenn.) Generals of the Double-A Southern League.

Playing for Peoria of the Arizona Fall League, Zunino was a key cog in the Javelinas’ run 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 edged 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.

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