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.
Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz was of limited utility during the postseason as he began experiencing soreness in his left forearm near the end of the 2016 season. There was some thought that he might need offseason surgery but Pomeranz was examined by doctors who determined that he does not need any surgery, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said:
He has seen the doctor, the doctor looked at him. I can’t really disclose totally everything that was done, but the doctor said no surgical procedure and the doctor feels he will be ready for next spring training for us.
Pomeranz, 27, finished the 2016 regular season with an aggregate 3.32 ERA and a 186/65 K/BB ratio in 170 2/3 innings between the Padres and Red Sox. He operated out of the bullpen during the playoffs, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings.
The Red Sox acquired Pomeranz in a trade with the Padres in July. It was a trade that earned Padres GM A.J. Preller a 30-day suspension from Major League Baseball, as he reportedly kept two sets of medical records in order to deceive trade partners.
After managing the Pirates’ Double-A affiliate to a 76-64 record this past season, the organization has promoted Joey Cora to third base coach for the major league club, Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror reports. The Pirates fired previous third base coach Rick Sofield over the weekend.
Cora, 51, has plenty of coaching experience since retiring as a player in 1998. In the majors, he coached for the White Sox from 2004-11 and for the Marlins in 2012.
Cora briefly served as interim manager for the Marlins in 2012 when Ozzie Guillen was suspended, but has otherwise not been given a managerial position yet. He interviewed with the Brewers after the 2010 season and was a finalist but the organization ultimately chose Ron Roenicke. It’s easy to see Cora being a manager in the very near future, however.