Found July 17, 2012 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Zunino Officially An M’s Prospect

Prospect Watch: A look at bats on the rise for the Seattle Mariners

Like their pitchers, the Mariner hitting prospects have seen their ups and downs.

The most exciting news this month came with the signing of 2012 first rounder Mike Zunino.

The catcher from Florida is officially a Seattle Mariners prospect and could be seeing time with the Big League club as soon as next year.

Here’s a look at the current state of affairs for Mariner prospects who know how to swing a bat.

Francisco Martinez

Martinez was injured through much of June and is currently making rehab starts for the Arizona League Mariners.

Before his injury, Martinez seemed stuck in neutral. He was hitting a mere .257 with very little power—though he did flash quite a bit of speed. In 8 rehab games, Martinez is hitting .286 with an .823 OPS and 1 stolen base.

Marinez’s .664 OPS at AA Jackson is not what one expects from a top prospect.

 Mariners prospect watch: Zunino signs, Franklin adjusts

AquaSox Mike Zunino is doing a good job behind the plate. (Photo Tri-CityHerald.com)

Hopefully once he returns from his rehab assignments he’ll flash more of the hitting ability he showed last season.

Nick Franklin

Franklin is making the best of his callup to AAA Tacoma.

At first he looks pedestrian, with a .253/.337/.460 triple slash line and a pair of home runs and stolen bases.

However, he’s been on a torrid pace over his last 10 games, hitting .325 with a .976 OPS—sporting 4 doubles, 1 triple and 1 home run.

Franklin is still missing the home run power that put him on the prospect map, but he’s showing great standing at the plate. He’s hitting for average and showing great doubles power.

If he keeps his steady hitting going Franklin could see starts at short with the Mariners in no time.

Mike Zunino

Not a whole lot to report here since last time.

The biggest news is that Zunino has now officially signed with the Seattle Mariners. The M’s dropped a $4 million bonus on their first rounder, which was actually well below the recommended figure—so the M’s certainly got a steal.

Since signing Zunino has been designated to low A Everett AquaSox.

He’s only played in two games, but he’s already amassed 2 hits—one of which was a double.

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© Jonathan Irwin for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

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Post tags: A, AA, AAA, Arizona League Mariners, Everett AquaSox, Farm System, Francisco Martinez, Jack Zduriencik, Jackson Generals, Mariners, Mariners blog, Mariners prospects, Mike Zunino, MLB, MLB Draft, MLB Prospects, Nick Franklin, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Mariners Blog, Seattle Mariners farm system, Tacoma Rainiers, Top prospects

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