Q&A with Mets' 1st Rd Pick Eddie Kunz

The Mets' first overall selection in the 2007 MLB Draft hails from the defending College World Series Champion Oregon State Beavers. Eddie Kunz sat down for a Q&A to talk about his repertoire, playing for the National Champions, his transition to professional ball, and more.

Inside Pitch Magazine.com: I like to congratulate you for being the Mets' first overall pick. Tell me your feelings about being the team's first overall pick, thoughts on being drafted, and what went through your mind when it happened.

Eddie Kunz: I wasn't really sitting there and watching it. It didn't really matter to me where I went. I got excited when I saw my name came up in the first supplemental round. My family was really excited for me. Being drafted gives me the opportunity to get into professional ball, improve myself, hopefully get to the big leagues and show everyone what I can do.

Inside Pitch: Were you surprised that it was the Mets that selected you? Did you talk to them at all before the draft?

Kunz: Yea I had talk to them a fair amount before the draft. I talked a little with many teams. It wasn't one team more often than another. Again, it didn't matter to me what team drafted me. I just wanted to get there.

Inside Pitch: Did you have any expectations of when you may get drafted?

Kunz: No, I didn't really. Whenever it happened, it happened. I've heard many different things about the draft. I've been told many things about the draft. I've seen my friends get told one thing and then go to a different level. I didn't really have any expectations because I didn't want to hear one thing and find myself somewhere else. I just wanted to let it happen and now I can go out there and have fun.

Inside Pitch: Do you have any ideas about what the Mets' farm system is like? Or how you may fit in there?

Kunz: No, really the only thing I know about them is the Major League team. I looked up online where their farm systems are and how they look. Besides that, I don't really know too much.

Inside Pitch: Is there a little added flavor about being drafted by a team that was only a few innings from the World Series last year?

Kunz: Yea, it's definitely a nice ring to it. It's great to be drafted by a team that had a great year previously. I don't know everything about how they are doing this year. But being drafted by a great organization is definitely a positive.

Inside Pitch: Talk about your repertoire a little. What kind of pitches do you throw? What speeds? What works best for you? What do you think needs some more development?

Kunz: The pitches I throw are fastball, slider, changeup. My fastball sits around 95, 96 miles per hour. My slider sits around low-to-mid eighties. My changeup is probably around mid-to-upper seventies. Right now, my changeup is real good. My fastball is my better pitch. It has a lot of sink. I throw really just a sinking two-seam fastball. I'm still developing my slider right now.

Inside Pitch: To give our readers a little better idea about you, is there a current Major Leaguer who you could say you mirror? Is there a Major Leaguer that you may have a similar style?

Kunz: I kind of see myself an Eric Gagne type. We have a similar body type, and the same about of sink on our ball. Our pitches are a little different, but I see myself as him due to my body type, the strength we put behind our pitches, the way we throw.

Inside Pitch: Where do you see yourself fitting in the farm system? Where do you see yourself pitching on the roster?

Kunz: Either way, it doesn't matter where I throw. Right now, I love the bullpen because I can come back on consecutive days and throw. But I wouldn't mind starting either. It's really a question of what they want to do with me. I'll pitch any place the coaches want.

Inside Pitch: Do you think playing on the defending College World Series champions has geared you up for the transition to professional ball?

Kunz: Most definitely I think it's helped out a lot, especially going two years in a row. Last year, it was more of a wow factor as it was the first year. This year, I was more adapted to the environment, the energy and such. It's definitely prepared me for the next level where people are coming to specifically watch you and there is a lot more intensity and people watching more closely. That's what gets me really excited.

Inside Pitch: Will you be happy to get away from those aluminum bats?

Kunz: Oh yea. If there is one thing that will benefit from getting away from those bats will be my sinking two-seamer. Those little jam-job pitches that would break any wood bat end up being a hit off the aluminum bats. Getting away from those kind of things will definitely help me.

Inside Pitch: Growing up, did you have a favorite team or a favorite player?

Kunz: My favorite player growing up was Randy Johnson and my team was the Seattle Mariners. I grew up near Portland, Oregon my whole life so I watched those guys. With Randy, and A-Rod and the rest. But, I can't really say they were my favorite team. I just always watched any baseball on TV, I usually picked sides either way on which team I liked.

Inside Pitch: I imagine winning the College World Series last season was your favorite moment in your career so far. Detail for us, what that was like.

Kunz: It was the greatest experience of my life. We fought all season to get there, and then we got there. Seeing it get closer and closer was tremendous. The feeling was like no other. I couldn't even explain it. People would ask what it felt like and I couldn't even put it into words. I guess someone would just have to really go through it themselves to understand.

Inside Pitch: As far as looking attention professionally, are you looking to sign quickly? What do you think your game plan will be? Obviously, for the time being, you are still focusing on winning the College World Series this year. But after that, what is in store?

Kunz: Right now, I'm more concentrated on winning the Super Regionals and winning a title. Once that's settled down, I'll figure out what I'm going to do, I'll talk to a few people and see what my timeline will be.

Inside Pitch: What do you think about pitching in New York down the line?

Kunz: I think that's going to be amazing. From what I've heard about the fans out there, they are amazing too. Wins or lose they are they're to support the team. From people I've been around and people that I know who've gone to Shea Stadium tell me that the fans will always know your name. Even if a guy is the 25th guy on the bench and plays twice a week, the fans will know and follow you and that's great.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nInside Pitch Magazine.com: I like to congratulate you for being the Mets' first overall pick. Tell me your feelings about being the team's first overall pick, thoughts on being drafted, and what went through your mind when it happened.
\r\n
\r\nEddie Kunz: I wasn't really sitting there and watching it. It didn't really matter to me where I went. I got excited when I saw my name came up in the first supplemental round. My family was really excited for me. Being drafted gives me the opportunity to get into professional ball, improve myself, hopefully get to the big leagues and show everyone what I can do.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Were you surprised that it was the Mets that selected you? Did you talk to them at all before the draft?
\r\n
\r\nKunz: Yea I had talk to them a fair amount before the draft. I talked a little with many teams. It wasn't one team more often than another. Again, it didn't matter to me what team drafted me. I just wanted to get there.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Did you have any expectations of when you may get drafted?
\r\n
\r\nKunz: No, I didn't really. Whenever it happened, it happened. I've heard many different things about the draft. I've been told many things about the draft. I've seen my friends get told one thing and then go to a different level. I didn't really have any expectations because I didn't want to hear one thing and find myself somewhere else. I just wanted to let it happen and now I can go out there and have fun.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Do you have any ideas about what the Mets' farm system is like? Or how you may fit in there?
\r\n
\r\nKunz: No, really the only thing I know about them is the Major League team. I looked up online where their farm systems are and how they look. Besides that, I don't really know too much.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Is there a little added flavor about being drafted by a team that was only a few innings from the World Series last year?
\r\n
\r\nKunz: Yea, it's definitely a nice ring to it. It's great to be drafted by a team that had a great year previously. I don't know everything about how they are doing this year. But being drafted by a great organization is definitely a positive.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Talk about your repertoire a little. What kind of pitches do you throw? What speeds? What works best for you? What do you think needs some more development?
\r\n
\r\nKunz: The pitches I throw are fastball, slider, changeup. My fastball sits around 95, 96 miles per hour. My slider sits around low-to-mid eighties. My changeup is probably around mid-to-upper seventies. Right now, my changeup is real good. My fastball is my better pitch. It has a lot of sink. I throw really just a sinking two-seam fastball. I'm still developing my slider right now.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: To give our readers a little better idea about you, is there a current Major Leaguer who you could say you mirror? Is there a Major Leaguer that you may have a similar style?
\r\n
\r\nKunz: I kind of see myself an Eric Gagne type. We have a similar body type, and the same about of sink on our ball. Our pitches are a little different, but I see myself as him due to my body type, the strength we put behind our pitches, the way we throw.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Where do you see yourself fitting in the farm system? Where do you see yourself pitching on the roster?
\r\n
\r\nKunz: Either way, it doesn't matter where I throw. Right now, I love the bullpen because I can come back on consecutive days and throw. But I wouldn't mind starting either. It's really a question of what they want to do with me. I'll pitch any place the coaches want.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Do you think playing on the defending College World Series champions has geared you up for the transition to professional ball?
\r\n
\r\nKunz: Most definitely I think it's helped out a lot, especially going two years in a row. Last year, it was more of a wow factor as it was the first year. This year, I was more adapted to the environment, the energy and such. It's definitely prepared me for the next level where people are coming to specifically watch you and there is a lot more intensity and people watching more closely. That's what gets me really excited.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Will you be happy to get away from those aluminum bats?
\r\n
\r\nKunz: Oh yea. If there is one thing that will benefit from getting away from those bats will be my sinking two-seamer. Those little jam-job pitches that would break any wood bat end up being a hit off the aluminum bats. Getting away from those kind of things will definitely help me.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Growing up, did you have a favorite team or a favorite player?
\r\n
\r\nKunz: My favorite player growing up was Randy Johnson and my team was the Seattle Mariners. I grew up near Portland, Oregon my whole life so I watched those guys. With Randy, and A-Rod and the rest. But, I can't really say they were my favorite team. I just always watched any baseball on TV, I usually picked sides either way on which team I liked.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: I imagine winning the College World Series last season was your favorite moment in your career so far. Detail for us, what that was like.
\r\n
\r\nKunz: It was the greatest experience of my life. We fought all season to get there, and then we got there. Seeing it get closer and closer was tremendous. The feeling was like no other. I couldn't even explain it. People would ask what it felt like and I couldn't even put it into words. I guess someone would just have to really go through it themselves to understand.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: As far as looking attention professionally, are you looking to sign quickly? What do you think your game plan will be? Obviously, for the time being, you are still focusing on winning the College World Series this year. But after that, what is in store?
\r\n
\r\nKunz: Right now, I'm more concentrated on winning the Super Regionals and winning a title. Once that's settled down, I'll figure out what I'm going to do, I'll talk to a few people and see what my timeline will be.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: What do you think about pitching in New York down the line?
\r\n
\r\nKunz: I think that's going to be amazing. From what I've heard about the fans out there, they are amazing too. Wins or lose they are they're to support the team. From people I've been around and people that I know who've gone to Shea Stadium tell me that the fans will always know your name. Even if a guy is the 25th guy on the bench and plays twice a week, the fans will know and follow you and that's great.
\r\n
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