Mike Zunino was selected by the Mariners with the third overall pick in the draft two weeks ago and today Baseball America named the University of Florida catcher their college player of the year.
Zunino hit .322 with a 1.069 OPS for the Gators, ranking fourth in the country with 19 homers, 10th with 67 RBIs, and 11th with a .669 slugging percentage. He also received praise for his leadership and defense behind the plate.
He hasn’t signed with the Mariners yet because the Gators were only recently eliminated from the College World Series, but the slot amount for the No. 3 pick is $5.2 million.
UCLA pitcher Trevor Bauer was Baseball America‘s college player of the year in 2011 and the 21-year-old right-hander is already at Triple-A after being selected third overall by the Diamondbacks. Other winners during the past five years are Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey, and David Price.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.