The Seattle Mariners selected Mike Zunino with the No. 3 overall pick in the first round of Monday's First-Year player draft. Zunino is a 21-year old right-handed catcher from the University of Florida. Here is the reaction of the Mariners' draft pick from around the Seattle sports media and blogosphere, but first, here is Zunino's own reaction:
I'm just extremely honored. I didn't have any inclination that I was that pick right away. I got a call maybe 15, 20 minutes before the draft. I was just extremely ecstatic when I heard my name called by the commissioner. (Via: Seattle Times)
Thoughts from Mariners Scouting Director Tom McNamara:
When he signed at Florida we tracked him and we watched him for three years. He doesn't jump out and wow you like some other players but what you get at the end of the day is a steady, hard-nosed, tough kid who has power and can really catch (Via: Associated Press)
Lookout Landing's Jeff Sullivan's thoughts on Zunino's offensive capabilities:
As for the offensive part of Zunino's game, there's some stuff to write about here, too. He posted the second-highest OPS in the SEC. A year ago, he posted the second-highest OPS in the SEC. CollegeSplits.com is a neat little website and I don't know about their park and schedule adjustments, but if you apply their park and schedule adjustments, this past season Zunino posted the fourth-best adjusted OPS in the country. For a guy who isn't thought of as an offensive standout, he's posted the numbers of an offensive standout.
USS Mariner's Jay Yencich ponders what this means for the Mariners organization's depth at the catcher position:
The larger question for me at this point is how the organization's catching depth is implicated in this. In the same sense that Rendon last year likely would have trumped the assorted internal options we had at the hot corner, Zunino trumps all of the backstops we have, a large portion of which were drafted recently. Most of those guys came with defensive questions that Zunino just doesn't have. As raw power goes, Marlette might still have more, but his hitting skills aren't nearly as refined and the expected timetable for Zunino would render that an afterthought anyway.
Discuss Zunino and the Mariners' picks in the MLB draft at Lookout Landing