Everything ‘going in the right direction’ for Mariners’ Mike Zunino

Jan 26, 2018, 6:00 AM
Mariners catcher Mike Zunino hit a career-high 25 home runs in 2017. (AP)...
Mariners catcher Mike Zunino hit a career-high 25 home runs in 2017. (AP)
LISTEN: Mike Zunino, Mariners Catcher

For the first time in Mike Zunino’s professional career, he isn’t going into a season amidst headlines wondering if he’ll finally put it all together – nor is the Mariners catcher wondering himself.

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Zunino, who hit .251 with 25 home runs and an .840 on-base plus slugging percentage in 2017, told Danny, Dave and Moore on Thursday that the ease he found last season has been a big boost for his offseason, as well.

“It definitely gave me more confidence going into the offseason,” Zunino said of his strong second half in 2017. “What I really found last year was a foundation and sort of a blueprint that I stick to now with my swing. … When I started my offseason program and everything felt comfortable again I knew it was reassuring, that it meant everything I was doing was going in the right direction.”

That’s allowing Zunino, who will turn 27 in March, the opportunity to embrace the analytical side of baseball – something that didn’t always work out for him in the past.

“If you would give me that information when I didn’t trust what I was doing at the plate or if I wasn’t fully aware of what I was doing behind the plate receiving-wise, it could be overwhelming,” he said. “But I feel like I have a decent grasp now on how to take those numbers and adjust it to my game.”

Zunino also talked how hitting coach and Mariners legend Edgar Martinez has helped him with his swing, and shared a change that helped his defense last year while on the line with Danny, Dave and Moore. You can find the full interview in this podcast.

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