SEC Baseball Championship 2012: Mike Zunino and Top Hitters to Watch

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IMay 25, 2012

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 27:  Catcher Robert Beary #4 of the South Carolina Gamecocks makes the out against Mike Zunino #3 of the Florida Gators in the 9th inning during game 1 of the men's 2011 NCAA College Baseball World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on June 27, 2011 in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The SEC Tournament is stacked with future MLB talent. 

If you want to be able to say you saw these future All-Stars before they were, well, All-Stars, then the SEC tourney is a good place to look.

Here's a look at players you can't miss as the big tournament rolls on. 

Mike Zunino, C, Florida

Florida will be a national seed no matter what it does in this tournament, and they have gotten to that level of success in big part because of Zunino.

The big catcher, who is a likely Top 5 pick in the upcoming MLB draft, has been a force this season for the Gators.

In 56 games, Zunino is hitting .322, but he's truly special because of his ability to hit for power. He's racked up 25 doubles, 15 home runs, and 52 RBI on his way to a ridiculous .384 OBP and .654 slugging percentage. 

Oh my. 

Don't be surprised if Zunino goes deep another time or two before this tourney is over. 

Christian Walker, 1B, South Carolina

Walker is far and away the leader of South Carolina's offense, and if the Gamecocks are going to earn a national seed, he will have to lead them a little farther this weekend.

So far on the season, Walker is hitting .330 with 10 home runs, 50 RBI, and 41 runs scored. Throw in his insane .459 on-base percentage, and it's pretty clear that Walker is a feared hitter.

But if Walker and his .557 slugging percentage get some pitches to hit this weekend, he's going to make some pitchers pay.

Nolan Fontana, SS, Florida

I hate to include two Gators in this, but Fontana is too good to leave off this list. 

The talented major league prospect isn't just a fantastic defensive player, he also brings it at the plate.

The young shortstop is hitting .280, but he makes up for that mediocre average with great patience and vision. His 40 walks (to just 23 strikeouts) push his OBP up to .398, and he leads the team with 48 runs scored. 

Not only is he patient, Fontanta has power and speed. He has hit nine homers and slapped nine doubles to go along with 11 stolen bases (with zero caught stealing).

This is a fantastic all-around player and he has the ability to carry Florida. 


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