Seattle's Zunino leap-frogs three levels

No. 3 overall pick jumps to Jackson after stellar start in Everett

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By Zack Cox / Special to | August 13, 2012 7:46 PM ET

It has been less than two months since Mike Zunino played his final college game for the University of Florida. Now after 29 Minor League games, the young catcher is two steps from the big leagues.

On Monday, the Seattle Mariners promoted Zunino, whom they selected third overall in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, from Class A Short-Season Everett to Seattle's Double-A affiliate in Jackson, Tenn.

The reigning recipient of the Golden Spikes Award -- given annually to the nation's top amateur ballplayer -- Zunino performed just as advertised in his first taste of professional competition. The 21-year-old led the Northwest League in nearly every offensive statistical category during his short stint with the AquaSox, batting .373 with an OPB of .474, 10 homers and 35 RBIs.

His home run total leads the circuit, and more than half of Zunino's 21 RBIs have been notched in his last eight games.

His early pro success came on the heels of a stellar junior season as he led the Gators to the College World Series while putting up team highs in average (.322), home runs (19) and RBIs (67).

The Coral Gables native is slated to make his debut for the Generals on Thursday.

"Just got the news. [I'm] heading to Jackson [tomorrow] to play [for] the @jacksongenerals!" Zunino Tweeted on Monday night. "Can't thank my teammates and coaches at Everett enough #blessed."

Zack Cox is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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