Will Zunino be the Mariners franchise face

Zunino.

The name sounds like a Greek or Roman god; perhaps a mythological warrior, a slayer of evil, one who saves the village. Clearly hiZuninos home is Mt. Olympus looking down on mortals, patiently waiting until needed.

Ken Griffey, Jr.

Ken Griffey, Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Next season Mike Zunino, the Mariners first round pick in 2012, third overall, may step down from Olympus and be the next Mariner hero, someone to rival Ken Griffey Jr.  Okay maybe not Mt. Olympus, but certainly Mt. Rainier.

Zunino was recently promoted to Jackson from Everett. In 29 games with the  Aqua Sox, Zunino hit .373 with 10, doubles, 10 homers, and 35 rbis. Three times he was named Player of the week.

This comes on the heels of his stellar collegiate career, wining the 2012 Golden Spikes award as the best college player, and winning the Dick Howser and Johnny Bench awards. This guy collects honors and hardware where ever he goes.

If he keeps improving he will be the Mariners next catcher, perhaps during the 2013 season. That should be interesting. Olivo will be gone and if, as expected, Zunino claims the number one slot, Montero can spend more time as DH with John Jaso also on hand. That gives the Mariners a formidable catching trio. 

But as always it depends on how well Zunino progresses. He could be the next Johnny Bench or the next Geovany Soto, the catcher who fell from grace and chased from the Cubs lair.

Adam Moore was supposed to be the next Dan Wilson, but injuries the last two years curtailed his climb before he could get out of the starting gate. It’s a good thing he is not a horse, for he would have been put down.

The Mariners need someone exciting, like the Angels Mike Trout, or the Nationals Bryce Harper, someone to create a big buzz, someone the fans can get behind. The Ichiro love affair is over and done. Come on Mike, step down from the mountain, step up to the plate, help put fans in the seats. We need a hero next year.

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