EVERETT – The Seattle Mariners were all set to unveil the newest crown jewel of their minor-league system Friday night.
Mother Nature had other ideas.
The professional debut of Mariners first-round draft pick Mike Zunino was pushed back a day when the Everett AquaSox’s game against the Tri-City Dust Devils was postponed because of unplayable field conditions.
Zunino, a catcher selected third overall in this year’s amateur draft out of the University of Florida, was scheduled to make his debut with the AquaSox.
The Golden Spikes Award winner as the nation’s top amateur baseball player was set to serve as the designated hitter and was penciled into the fifth spot in the lineup.
However, two massive cloudbursts prior to the game’s start dumped large amounts of water onto the outfield at Everett Memorial Stadium.
The rain stopped, but the outfield grass didn’t dry. After delaying the game’s start for more than an hour-and-a-half, the decision was made to postpone the game.
Zunino, who also won the Dick Howser Trophy as the top college baseball player and the Johnny Bench Award as the best college catcher, will instead play his first professional game today as part of a doubleheader.
The AquaSox and Dust Devils will play two seven-inning games, beginning at 5:05 p.m.
As a junior this year at Florida, Zunino had a .316 batting average, with 18 home runs and 60 RBI in 62 games. As a sophomore, he hit .371 with 19 homers and 67 RBI in 72 games.
For his career, he hit .325 with 46 homers and 168 RBI in 189 games.