- Full name Edward Cory Kunz
- Born 04/08/1986 in Portland, OR
- Profile Ht.: 6'6" / Wt.: 260 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Oregon State
- Debut 08/03/2008
Drafted in the C-A round (42nd overall) by the New York Mets in 2007 (signed for $720,000).
View Draft ReportKunz will get drafted in the first three rounds and could move quickly as a college reliever with a plus fastball. He was a set-up man for the Beavers' 2006 national championship team and has replaced the departed Kevin Gunderson as the team's closer in 2007. While Gunderson thrived on command, lefthanded funk and moxie, Kunz has plus stuff and closer-quality velocity. He's a behemoth at 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, and will have to watch his body and his weight as a pro. His loose arm and low arm angle produce 94-96 mph fastballs, and some scouts think a cleaner body and more consistent mechanics would give him even more velo. Kunz throws a changeup to lefthanders that's effective, and at times his change is ahead of his flat slider.
Organization Prospect Rankings
A former Oregon State closer who was part of two College World Series championships, Kunz was the Mets' top draft pick (42nd overall) and signed for $720,000 in 2007. New York rushed him to the big leagues in August 2008, but he floundered in four appearances and has struggled in Triple-A ever since. He has been snubbed for September callups each of the past two seasons as his stock has plummeted in team officials' eyes. Kunz battles his command, leaves too many pitches over the plate appears overly concerned by radar gun readings. After working at 94-95 mph and touching 97 in the second half of 2008, he mostly settled in at 91-93 last season. His fastball also lost some sink, and he gave up eight homers in 61 innings at Buffalo after surrendering just two longballs in 69 previous frames. His slider, once a mid-80s pitch with good bite, has regressed into more of a slurve. He flies open too quickly in his low three-quarters delivery, making it difficult to stay on top of his pitches. In addition to improving his mechanics and consistency, Kunz also needs to address his conditioning. He'll return to Triple-A to try to pitch his way back into the Mets' plans.
For the second straight season, the Mets brought a reliever from the previous year's draft to the big leagues. Unlike Joe Smith, Kunz had little success and was demoted after just four appearances. Part of two College World Series championships at Oregon State, he signed for $720,000 as New York's top pick (sandwich round) in the 2007 draft. Kunz built up his arm strength through the 2008 season. He regularly threw 91-92 mph sinkers in April, then worked at 94-95 and touched 97 later in the season. His 3.6 groundout/ airout ratio ranked first among Double-A relievers. When it's on, his slider parks in the mid-80s with good bite. Kunz gets himself into trouble with an inconsistent release point and varied arm slots. He'll fly open too soon in his delivery, causing his arm to drag and elevating pitches in the strike zone. He needs to continue to improve the command of his slider, which made some progress in 2008. Though he'll compete for a bullpen spot with the Mets in spring training, he's more likely to open the season as a closer in Triple-A. He projects as a seventh- or eighth-inning reliever in the majors, especially now that Francisco Rodriguez has come to New York.
Kunz helped Oregon State win a pair of national championships, first as a setup man in 2006 and then as closer in 2007. New York's top pick (42nd overall) in June, he held out for much of the summer before signing for $720,000. With a low, almost sidearm arm slot, Kunz produces heavy sink on a 94-96 mph fastball. He allowed only one college home run, and that came in his freshman season. At times, his slider can be an overpowering pitch with short, late break and above-average 86-87 mph velocity. He features good arm speed on his changeup. Kunz will have to watch his weight to maintain his best stuff and his command. The Mets have worked to improve the consistency of his slider, which is less reliable than his changeup. Kunz may be able to keep lefthanded batters at bay, despite his arm angle, because of his uncommon velocity and his changeup. The Mets have Kunz on the Joe Smith development plan. They sent Kunz to the Arizona Fall League and will invite him to big league camp, where he could win a big league job. He eventually could replace Billy Wagner as their closer.