With the 2012 MLB Draft fast approaching (June 4th - 6th), mock draft projections are being released fast and furiously by the various outlets. The Mariners again holds a very high pick - the 3rd overall this season, and with that pick come a lot of possible options. One player has been more common than others in the mock drafts I've seen thus far, and according to Through the Fence Baseball's Dan Kirby, a catcher from Florida might be at the top of the Mariners' list. Says Kirby:
3. Seattle Mariners - Mike Zunino, C, Florida
With all of the depth the Mariners have in their rotation, and even more in their farm system, they can grab the best catcher in the draft in Zunino, who excels on both sides of the plate. Through 54 games, the right-hander is hitting .323 with 27 doubles, 16 home runs, 55 RBI and has even swiped nine bases. The 6'-3", 220-pound junior is a big presence behind the dish and also brings outstanding leadership skills with him. Should be a quick riser to the show.
This pick probably depends a little on how long-term the Mariners see Jesus Montero behind the plate. If they think that Montero would be better utilized as a DH, the Zunino pick might be a no-brainer.
Here's what Baseball Prospect Nation has to say in summary on the Florida catcher:
Potential plus defender with receiving, throwing and leadership ability. Should be a standout defender long term. Has excellent feel for hitting and a good concept of the strike zone. Makes easy hard contact and has started to use the whole field better. Will need minimal adjustments to hit as a pro and should hit right out of the gate. Power has some projection though I see him as more of a big doubles hitter with average home run pop. Star potential that contributes in every facet on the field and is a leader off the field.
For updates and perspective on the Seattle Mariners, head on over to Lookout Landing.