Seattle Mariners‘ top non-pitching prospect is easy to choose. That honor goes to young catcher Mike Zunino. He was drafted by the Mariners as the third overall selection in the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft. Since that time just a little under a year ago, Zunino has done nothing but impress everywhere he has been.
First of all, he played so well in class-A ball that he was nearly embarrassing people. While playing with the Mariners A-class affiliate, Zunino put up 10 homers and 35 runs batted in, while playing just 29 games. Read that again.
From that point he quickly moved to Double-A, where he simply did the exact same thing. He slugged three homers and plated eight runs in only fifteen games. How long until his fast track lands him in the majors?
The answer there seems to be the same across the board: not long. All things being as they currently are, Zunino will begin the season with the Triple-A team in Tacoma. His career average of .360 isn’t likely to take too big of a hit there either. It has been said that the catcher position is the quickest road to the big leagues, and Zunino is proving that is doubly true when you bring a set of talent like his to the table.
The only problem the Mariners are likely to face is the fact that their current catcher, Jesus Montero, is also talented and young.
At this point, Zunino appears to have more raw power than Montero. What is about to happen is that the Mariners are going to be faced with a difficult decision. In 2013, barring injury, Zunino will probably be called up at the earliest convenience. What happens between he and Montero at the catcher spot after that is anyone’s guess.