Mike Zunino, the 21-year-old catcher taken with the third pick of the draft this year has agreed to terms with the Seattle Mariners on a contract, passed his physical and will be introduced to the media tomorrow at 1 p.m.
The University of Florida junior led his team in batting average (.323) home runs (19) and RBI (67) and won the Johnny Bench Award as the top collegiate catcher in the nation.
Though the Mariners have 22-year-old Jesus Montero learning the position on the job, the organization does not have catching depth, and Zunino could move up through the chain quickly.
“You never have enough catchers. Fortunately, in our league, we have a DH. As you move forward, things happen. We do think this guy is a very nice receiver. We like Montero an awful lot. They’ll both be in our plans as we move forward,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said at the draft.
Never miss a local story.
Zunino is 6-foot-4, 220 pounds was named Baseball America’s Collegiate Player of the Year.
"I liked him as a high school player,'' Mariners scouting director Tom McNamara said of drafting Zunino. "I liked his defense and leadership ability. I knew he had instincts. He comes from a baseball family. When he signed with Florida, we tracked him. We've watched him for three years. He's steady.
“He doesn't jump out and wow you like other players. What you get at the end of the day is a steady, hard-nosed tough kid who has power and can really catch.''