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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

June 4, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Live-blogging the Mariners draft: Mariners take catcher Mike Zunino from Florida

draftroom.jpg

The Mariners, as most have predicted, went with University of Florida catcher Mike Zunino. He should be on a fairly fast track to the majors. He’s got plus power and is well regarded as a defensive player. He has a chance to be an above-average major league catcher, scouts believe. It would have been interesting to see what they would have done if Correa was available, but we may never know the answer to that.

“Mike is a sturdy, blue-collar, talented defensive receiver with extra-base offensive potential,” Mariner scouting director Tom McNamara said in a release. “He is a winning player, and will be a good fit with the Mariners. We look forward to having him in our organization and working his way towards being part of our Major League club in the future.”

UPDATE 4:25 P.M.: The Twins took Byron Buxton, the multi-talented HS outfielder, with the second pick. . So the Mariners are set up to take Mike Zunino, as everyone has speculated. But unexpectedly, Mark Appel, the top-rated pitcher by many, is also available. M’s are on the clock. We’ll know in moments.

UPDATE 4:10 P.M.: The Astros, with the first overall pick, did indeed take shortstop Carlos Correa of Puerto Rico, as speculated below. If the Twins take Buxton, would the Mariners take Mark Appel? Correa has tremenous upside, so this is not as much of a stretch as it might appear. If all the mock drafts didn’t have them taking Appel, it wouldn’t seem so surprising. Correa definitely has elite talent.

UPDATE 4:05 P.M.: Jon Heyman of CBS says the Astros might pass on Mark Appel of Stanford if his asking price is too high.

Here’s the draft media room at Safeco Field, teeming with excitement. Well, kind of.

One new development, via a tweet by MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, is some buzz that the Astros might take shortstop Carlos Correa with the No. 1 overall pick.

That would be quite an interesting development, considering the consensus that they are going to take Stanford pitcher Mark Appel. Mayo is skeptical, but if the Astros do take Correa, it would give the Twins a tough choice between Appel and high school outfielder Byron Buxton. And if they take Appel, it would leave the Mariners with the dream scenario of having Buxton available to them at No. 3.

If the Astros do the expected and take Appel, then the question would be whether the Twins could be dissuaded from taking Buxton. This story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has them leaning toward Buxton, with Appel also a possibility. It says they have backed of Correa and right-handed pitcher Kyle Zimmer from the University of San Francisco. That’s why it would be such an interesting choice if both are on the board.

For what it’s worth, I had the Mariners taking Correa in a mock draft on MLB Network. But most people still think it’s going to be catcher Mike Zunino.

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