Florida alum Zunino promoted to majors
Published: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 9:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 9:35 p.m.
Former Gator catcher Mike Zunino was called up to the major leagues by the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.
He becomes the third player in head coach Kevin O'Sullivan's tenure at Florida to reach professional baseball's highest level after left-hander 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.
Chosen in the first round of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft by the Mariners with the third overall pick, Zunino's final collegiate appearance in his junior season came on June 18, 2012, at the NCAA College World Series against Kent State.
He had been recently playing 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 RBIs (43) and homers (11), to go along with 34 runs, 12 doubles and a .503 slugging percentage. Zunino becomes the first position player and the sixth player from last year's MLB draft to reach the majors — Rodriguez was the first.
Besides Zunino, there are five other players with UF ties in the MLB: infielder Mark Ellis (Los Angeles Dodgers), right-hander Darren O'Day (Baltimore Orioles), outfielder Ryan Raburn (Cleveland Indians), Rodriguez and catcher David Ross (Boston Red Sox).