The Seattle Mariners are pulling out all of the stops in order to stay away from the cellar of the AL West. Their next move: calling up another top prospect.
Larry Stone of the Seattle Times reported Tuesday afternoon that the Mariners are promoting the top position player in the organization, Mike Zunino, from Triple-A:
Got it confirmed from someone who would know: Mike Zunino has gotten the callup, catching a plane from Vegas to Seattle this afternoon— Larry Stone (@StoneLarry) June 11, 2013
Zunino has played the entire year in Triple-A Tacoma and hit .238/.303/.503 with 11 home runs and 43 RBI in 47 games. He has less than 100 games of professional experience, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Good move by Seattle?
The Mariners have had a tough time getting production from behind the plate all year long. They’re currently ranked 27th in the league in terms of WAR for catchers, according to FanGraphs. The problem was Jesus Montero, who hit .208/.364/.327 through 29 games and had to be demoted.
Zunino was the No. 3 overall draft pick a year ago, taken by the Mariners. That came after a fantastic collegiate career at the University of Florida. He helped the Gators to three straight College World Series appearances and was named the SEC Player of the Year in his senior season.
As the official Twitter account of the MLB Draft notes, Zunino is the first position player from last year’s draft to get called up—Kevin Gausman was called up by Baltimore earlier in the year:
David Cameron of FanGraphs doesn’t think that Zunino has earned the opportunity to be called up, citing his weak slash line and his biggest problem at the plate:
I'm a Zunino fan, but he hasn't earned this callup. .238/.303/.503 in PCL, still has serious problems with off-speed pitches.— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) June 11, 2013
The Mariners promoted Nick Franklin, another top prospect within the organization, a few weeks ago after Dustin Ackley wasn’t getting the job done. Now, it appears that if a regular performer isn’t producing like the Mariners want him to, Seattle is going to bring up some young talent to see if they can do any better.