Gator Locker Room
Gator Ticket Office

Baseball Headline

0

Thursday June 28, 2012Mike Zunino Becomes The University Of Florida's First Johnny Bench Award Recipient

Gainesville, Fla.

Florida junior Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) continued to add to his impressive list of postseason recognition when he was named the recipient of the 2012 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com on Thursday. A finalist for the second year in a row, the Gator standout joined junior Mitchell Garver of New Mexico and junior Kevin Plawecki of Purdue at the 15th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet competing for the prize presented to the nation’s top catcher. Zunino becomes UF’s first recipient of the prestigious accolade and is the fourth winner from the Southeastern Conference.


Zunino, a consensus first-team All-American, the Dick Howser Trophy recipient and Baseball America’s 2012 College Player of the Year, is one of three finalists for the Golden Spikes Award that will be presented next Friday, July 6. He finished as the Gators’ “Triple Crown” winner, leading the team in batting average (.322), RBI (67) and homers (19), and paced the Orange and Blue in total bases (164), doubles (28), sacrifice flies (11) and slugging percentage (.669). He was also 9-for-10 on the basepaths. A two-time, first-team All-SEC recipient and two-time member of the league’s All-Defensive Team, Zunino registered a .994 fielding percentage, with three errors in 510 chances, and threw out 20 runners who attempted to steal on him.

 

Zunino was voted to the NCAA Gainesville Regional All-Tournament Team for the third-consecutive season after belting homers in consecutive games against No. 24 Georgia Tech and he led the Gators with a .500 (4-for-8) clip in the pair of victories over NC State that punched Florida’s return ticket to Omaha for its third-straight appearance at the NCAA College World Series. The first-round pick of the Seattle Mariners at No. 3 overall was 8-for-25 (.320) during the NCAA Tourney with team highs in slugging percentage (.720), RBI (12) and homers (3).

 

Johnny Bench’s career honors include: National League Rookie of the Year (1968); National League Most Valuable Player (1970, 1972); World Series Most Valuable Player (1976); 14-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner. In 1980, he set an endurance record by catching 100+ games for 13-consecutive seasons. Bench was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 1989 with the fourth-highest percentage of total votes cast.

Johnny Bench Award Winners

2000

Brad Creese, LSU

2001

Kelly Shoppach, Baylor

2002

Jeremy Brown, Alabama

2003

Ryan Garko, Stanford

2004

Kurt Suzuki, Cal State Fullerton

2005

Jeff Clement, Southern California

2006

Jake Smith, East Carolina

2007

Edward Easley, Mississippi State

2008

Buster Posey, Florida State

2009

J.T. Wise, Oklahoma

2010

Bryan Holaday, TCU

2011

Jake Lowery, James Madison

2012

Mike Zunino, FLORIDA

 

For all of the latest information on Florida baseball, log on to http://www.gatorzone.com/baseball/ or follow the team’s Twitter account @GatorZoneBB at ww.twitter.com/GatorZoneBB

 

Florida Athletics - A Championship Experience with Integrity - Vision Statement
  • University of Florida
  • NCAA
  • Sun Sports / Fox Sports Florida
  • IMG
  • SEC on ESPN

© 1998 - 2014 University Athletic Assoc., Inc., Sun Sports & IMG College. All Rights Reserved.