SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 07: MLB commissioner Bud Selig speaks during the MLB First Year Player Draft on June 7, 2010 held in Studio 42 at the MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Who will the Mariners target at the 2012 MLB Draft?
The Seattle Mariners will have yet another high pick at the 2012 MLB Draft and have numerous areas of their club to address. With the draft just two weeks away, more and more mock drafts are being released for the first round. According to this latest mock from Baseball America, the Mariners will select Florida catcher Mike Zunino in the first round. The M's will have the 3rd overall pick.
MLB.com recently featured Zunino in an article and called him the best college baseball bat available in 2012. Here is a snippet from the piece that had nothing but good things to say about the young catcher.
The University of Florida junior is the consensus top college bat in this year's First-Year Player Draft and is ranked No. 3 on MLB.com's Top Draft Prospects list. Zunino has drawn favorable comparisons to Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, a Georgia Tech product who was chosen fifth overall in 2007. Zunino is among the handful of candidates to be taken with the No. 1 overall pick, and it's hard to imagine him falling out of the top five, if not the top three.
None of Zunino's tools exactly jump off the scouting report, but he projects to be an above-average everyday catcher in all facets of the game. His offensive numbers have been outstanding over the past two seasons. Gators pitcher Hudson Randall, Zunino's freshman roommate, lauds the catcher's character, communication and the way he calls his own games, and Randall said Zunino "knows exactly what he's doing back there."
Having an elite catcher who can hit is a very valuable commodity in Major League Baseball, and he projects to move pretty quickly through the farm system due to his success with the Gators. Assuming the M's intend to make Jesus Montero their full-time DH in the future it only makes sense to take Zunino with their first round pick in June.
For more on the Mariners, be sure to visit Lookout Landing.