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Mariners call up 2012 third overall pick Mike Zunino

Jun 11, 2013, 3:15 PM EST

Baltimore Orioles v Seattle Mariners Getty Images

Seattle ranks dead last among AL teams with a .607 OPS from the catcher position and the Mariners will try to fix that glaring weakness by calling up last year’s No. 3 overall pick, Mike Zunino.

As a college star Zunino was always expected to move quickly through the minors and indeed he’s the first position player from the 2012 draft class to reach the majors, but his performance has hardly screamed out for the promotion. He’s shown excellent power with 11 homers and 12 doubles in 47 games at Triple-A, but Zunino hit just .238 with an ugly 59/14 K/BB ratio and .303 on-base percentage in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

He’ll probably be an improvement over what little the Mariners have gotten from their catchers so far, but that isn’t saying much and improving a 28-37 team seemingly shouldn’t take precedence over a 22-year-old top prospect clearly needing to hone some pretty crucial skills. Whatever the case, Zunino is arriving in the majors after just 91 games in the minors and almost exactly one year after being drafted.

  1. specialkindofstupid - Jun 11, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    “A .303 on-base percentage? Clearly no Sabermetrics brainwashing going on with this kid. Okay, let’s call him up.” – Eric Wedge. I’m assuming.

  2. dondada10 - Jun 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    28% k rate in AAA. You can’t expect Zunino to be ready. If the k-rate stays the same, it’s pretty bad. Figure it jumps to ~35%, and you’ve got Rick Ankiel squatting behind the dish.

    • shaggylocks - Jun 11, 2013 at 3:41 PM

      Actually, now that you mention it, I’d love to see Rick Ankiel squatting behind the dish for Seattle, if only because it would prolong his awesome reinvention comeback narrative.

      • RickyB - Jun 11, 2013 at 4:02 PM

        And it would give all of us the chance to see a left-hander catcher again, which is simply awesome. Is Benny Distefano still the last lefty backstop in the bigs? I remember seeing Mike Squires squat behind the dish as well …

      • valarmorghuliss - Jun 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM

        Jason Castro of the Astros is a lefty

    • foreverchipper10 - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      I bet Ankiel would gun down most base stealers so there’s that.

  3. jdd428 - Jun 11, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Castro bats left-handed. But he throws righty.

  4. anelson1466 - Jun 11, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Terrible move by the Mariners. We rushed Ackley in 2011 and now he is back at AAA. A better move been would have been to trade for a stop-gap catcher until Sucre comes back healthy. This could hurt Zunino’s confidence and hurt his development.

  5. kelshannon19 - Jun 11, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Meanwhile, 23 year old center fielder and 2011 first round draft pick George Springer is rotting in AA with his milb leading 18 homeruns and .307 batting average…

  6. largebill - Jun 11, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Lou Marson is available.

  7. fearthehoody - Jun 11, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Hultzen? Paxton? I know Tijuan Walker is too young but, anything is better than Harang and Saunders

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