Former Florida Gators catcher Mike Zunino was named as the recipient of the 2012 Golden Spikes Award on Friday. Zunino was the top pick for the Seattle Mariners in the 2012 MLB Draft and the No. 3 overall selection. Now he has been given the highest honor possible for a college player, joining past winners like Tim Lincecum and Buster Posey.
Zachary Finkelstein of MLB.com reports that Zunino beat out other amateur standouts such as pitchers Mark Appel and Carlos Rodon. It is the latest award in a string of them for the standout backstop, who wrapped up his last year of college by batting .322 for the Gators while slugging 19 home runs and picking up 67 RBI.
The Mariners front office is obviously pleased with the announcement of the award.
"I think when you look at what [Zunino] brings to the table, his offensive numbers are impressive," Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said at the catcher's introductory news conference on Tuesday.
"But his defensive leadership, what he does behind the plate, I think is going to be very important to this organization as we move forward."
Mariners fans will likely have to wait a few more years to see Zunino playing in a regular-season game at Safeco Field, but this is a very good indication as to the level of talent that the M's have acquired.
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