Generals Activate Top Draft Choice Mike Zunino

Zunino was named the 2012 College Baseball Player of the Year and Golden Spikes Award Winner

(Shari Sommerfeld/

January 24, 2013 7:53 AM ET

JACKSON, TENN. (AUGUST 13, 2012) - The Seattle Mariners and Jackson Generals announce the following roster moves. C Mike Zunino has been promoted from Short-A Everett of the Northwest League to Jackson and C Ralph Henriquez has been released from his minor league contract. Zunino was selected 3rd overall in the 2012 draft by the Mariners out of Florida, the highest selection in Univ. of Florida history. Earlier this season, Jackson boasted the Mariners 2nd overall selection in the 2011 draft, pitcher Danny Hultzen.

Zunino will debut with the Generals on Tuesday when the Generals play a double-header starting at 5:05 p.m. against the Mississippi Braves at Pringles Park. Tickets may be purchased at or by phone at 731-988-5299.

Activated from Short-A Everett: · C Mike Zunino

Released from Minor League Contract: · C Ralph Henriquez

ZUNINO, 21, has been activated from Short-A Everett of the Northwest League. He was leading the league with 10 home runs, despite only playing in 29 games since signing. He was batting .373 with a .474 on-base percentage, ranking 5th in RBI's with 35, adding 10 doubles. With Everett, from July 14th to August 12th, Zunino had the most hits in the league (41), 14 more RBI, 7 more runs scored and 16 more total bases than the next closest hitter in the league. Zunino reached base safely in 26 of his first 29 games, recording 8 multi-hit contests.

Zunino was a consensus first-team All-American, the Dick Howser Trophy recipient and Baseball America's College Player of the Year during his junior season at the University of Florida. He was the recipient of the 2012 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award (GSA). The prestigious award, now in its 35th year of recognizing the nation's top amateur baseball player, was presented live on MLB Network. He was also the Johnny Bench Award winner which is given to the nation's top catcher.

As a junior in 2012 he won the Gators Triple Crown, leading the team in batting average (.322), RBI (67) and home runs (19). He helped lead Florida to their third consecutive trip to the College World Series with a 47-20 record.

Zunino hit .327 (224x685) with 58 doubles, 47 home runs and 175 RBI in 193 career games at Florida. The Gators advanced to the College World Series in each of his three seasons in Gainesville, combining for an impressive 147-56 (.724) record. In addition to being named a two-time All-SEC Selection and All-SEC Defensive Team, he was also a Freshman All-American in 2010.

Zunino resides in Cape Coral, FL and played college baseball at the University of Florida where he studied advertising. His father, Greg, is a scout with the Cincinnati Reds and mother, Paola, was a catcher on the Italian national softball team. He was a 2009 graduate of Mariner High School (Coral Gables, FL) and was selected All-State in Class 5A his senior year after batting .464 with 12 home runs. He was originally selected by Oakland in the 30th round of the 2009 June Draft, but did not sign and elected to attend Florida.

Mariners Top Draft Choices in Jackson:

Player Draft Year/Position Year in Jackson
INF Dustin Ackley 2009 #2 Overall 2010
RHP Taijuan Walker 2010 #43 Overall 2012
LHP Danny Hultzen 2011 #2 Overall 2012
C Mike Zunino 2012 #3 Overall 2012

HENRIQUEZ, 25, has been released from his minor league contract. Henriquez caught in 45 games for the Generals and 5 games for Triple-A Tacoma this sesason. He combined to bat .226, with 3 home runs and 19 RBI. Henriquez was signed by the Mariners in 2010 and has played 8 pro seasons with the Astros and Mariners. He is a career .228 hitter with 22 home runs and 193 RBI. He is a native of Key West, Fla.

Henriquez is the third Jackson player to be released by the Mariners joining outfielder Chris Pettit and infielder Eric Campbell.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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