With his selection as the Golden Spikes Award recipient on Friday, Zunino joined Buster Posey as the only two players to sweep the Dick Howser, Johnny Bench and Golden Spikes Awards in the same season.
The Golden Spikes Award is in its 35th year of recognizing the nation’s top amateur baseball player and was presented live to Zunino on MLB Network. He earned the honor over Stanford right-hander Mark Appel and North Carolina State left-hander Carlos Rodon.
“USA Baseball could not be more proud of the three Golden Spikes Award finalists, Mike Zunino, Mark Appel and Carlos Rodon,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “Each athlete authored an incredible season on the diamond this year, and they carried themselves with class off the field as well. Mike’s performance in 2012 stood above the rest, however, and we are honored to present such a deserving player with the award.”
Along with the other honors already listed, Zunino was also named Baseball America’s Player of the Year last week. CollegeBaseballInsider.com also named Zunino its National Player of the Year earlier.
He is the first Florida player to win the Golden Spikes Award and became the highest draft pick in Florida history when the Seattle Mariners took him third overall in June’s MLB Draft. He signed for $4 million earlier in the week and will start his professional career in the minor leagues soon.
Zunino joins a group of four catchers—Posey, Bryce Harper (Southern Nevada) and Jason Varitek (Georgia Tech) to win the Golden Spikes Award.