Workhorse Tag Suits Koons

It is a crowded group in the Brooklyn bullpen as each pitcher tries to stand out and earn more appearances. Koons is among that group which features draftees and farm veterans alike. Inside Pitch spoke with the right-hander to see how he fits in.

After pitching in 22 games, notching four saves and a 2.78 ERA for the Savannah Sand Gnats before joining the Cyclones this season, many felt that reliever David Koons would be all out of gas. It was thought he would not be able to help the Mets Single-A affiliate's bullpen maintain the same level of dominance they had last season. However, after eight appearances, Koons has been a fixture in the Brooklyn pen with a team leading four wins, tied with Dylan Owen.

Appearing in 30 games and pitching over 50 innings already this season, with six weeks remaining, the right-handed reliever has shown no signs of slowing down and loves the way his season has turned out thus far.

"I love being called out of the bullpen as much as I have been this year," said Koons. "I've gotten tired at times, but the coaching staff gives me plenty of time off in between appearances and if I need more, all I have to do is ask. I love my role on this team right now."

Making Koons' performance on the field even more bittersweet this season is that he is no longer stuck in the back of the bullpen like he was last season. Grady Hinchman, Joe Smith and Jose De La Torre ate up most of the innings for the Cyclones last season. But this year, he has been a go to guy in late innings for the club, proving just how valuable a commodity he really is.

"It feels great to just come out here and be able to do a good job," said Koons. "Last year I tore my ACL and I wasn't able to stay back as much as I wanted and my pitches were up. This year I've been able to stay down and I've gotten results. This offseason I was focused on getting my strength back and I worked hard. A lot of running and leg work, anything I could do to get myself back to where I thought I should be."

Depending on a sinker to induce ground balls and a slider to finish hitters off, Koons has been extremely dominant, with opponents hitting .236 off of him all season in Savannah and Brooklyn combined.

However, despite Koons' mastery of the slider and sinker, the Saint-Leo University graduate also throws a mid-eighties fastball, a sweeping curveball that gets its fair share of groundballs, and a changeup that he mixes in occasionally to keep hitters off-balance. Knowing that, Koons easily has enough weapons in his arsenal to be an effective starter. Nevertheless, the reliever is happy with his role in the bullpen and does not see himself joining the rotation anytime soon.

"I'm not worried about strikeouts or swings and misses," said Koons, who has shown excellent control with Brooklyn this season, walking only two hitters in 18 innings. "I'm a control pitcher that focuses on location. I want my defense to make plays for me and I give them a chance to become superstars when I'm on the mound.

"For the time being, I see myself as a guy that comes out of the bullpen and sees the lineup once. I haven't started a game since my junior year in college and I've grown pretty accustomed to what my role is now."

Knowing that Koons is all about getting the job done on the field, and cares less about how flashy he looks on the field, the 23-year-old is a coach's dream, and an even better teammate. Rather than focus on how well his season is going for him right now, the calm and collected reliever believes his teammates are just as responsible for his success as he is.

"I just want to continue doing well and do my job when I'm called upon," said Koons. "Aside from that, I'm just going to sit back and cheer for my teammates; they're all playing great right now. It's a lot of fun to be here. I have so much confidence in the defense behind me, all I have to do out there is throw and they take care of the rest for me. Not many pitchers can say that."


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nAfter pitching in 22 games, notching four saves and a 2.78 ERA for the Savannah Sand Gnats before joining the Cyclones this season, many felt that reliever David Koons would be all out of gas. It was thought he would not be able to help the Mets Single-A affiliate's bullpen maintain the same level of dominance they had last season. However, after eight appearances, Koons has been a fixture in the Brooklyn pen with a team leading four wins, tied with Dylan Owen.
\r\n
\r\nAppearing in 30 games and pitching over 50 innings already this season, with six weeks remaining, the right-handed reliever has shown no signs of slowing down and loves the way his season has turned out thus far.
\r\n
\r\n\"I love being called out of the bullpen as much as I have been this year,\" said Koons. \"I've gotten tired at times, but the coaching staff gives me plenty of time off in between appearances and if I need more, all I have to do is ask. I love my role on this team right now.\"
\r\n
\r\nMaking Koons' performance on the field even more bittersweet this season is that he is no longer stuck in the back of the bullpen like he was last season. Grady Hinchman, Joe Smith and Jose De La Torre ate up most of the innings for the Cyclones last season. But this year, he has been a go to guy in late innings for the club, proving just how valuable a commodity he really is.
\r\n
\r\n\"It feels great to just come out here and be able to do a good job,\" said Koons. \"Last year I tore my ACL and I wasn't able to stay back as much as I wanted and my pitches were up. This year I've been able to stay down and I've gotten results. This offseason I was focused on getting my strength back and I worked hard. A lot of running and leg work, anything I could do to get myself back to where I thought I should be.\"
\r\n
\r\nDepending on a sinker to induce ground balls and a slider to finish hitters off, Koons has been extremely dominant, with opponents hitting .236 off of him all season in Savannah and Brooklyn combined.
\r\n
\r\nHowever, despite Koons' mastery of the slider and sinker, the Saint-Leo University graduate also throws a mid-eighties fastball, a sweeping curveball that gets its fair share of groundballs, and a changeup that he mixes in occasionally to keep hitters off-balance. Knowing that, Koons easily has enough weapons in his arsenal to be an effective starter. Nevertheless, the reliever is happy with his role in the bullpen and does not see himself joining the rotation anytime soon.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm not worried about strikeouts or swings and misses,\" said Koons, who has shown excellent control with Brooklyn this season, walking only two hitters in 18 innings. \"I'm a control pitcher that focuses on location. I want my defense to make plays for me and I give them a chance to become superstars when I'm on the mound.
\r\n
\r\n\"For the time being, I see myself as a guy that comes out of the bullpen and sees the lineup once. I haven't started a game since my junior year in college and I've grown pretty accustomed to what my role is now.\"
\r\n
\r\nKnowing that Koons is all about getting the job done on the field, and cares less about how flashy he looks on the field, the 23-year-old is a coach's dream, and an even better teammate. Rather than focus on how well his season is going for him right now, the calm and collected reliever believes his teammates are just as responsible for his success as he is.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just want to continue doing well and do my job when I'm called upon,\" said Koons. \"Aside from that, I'm just going to sit back and cheer for my teammates; they're all playing great right now. It's a lot of fun to be here. I have so much confidence in the defense behind me, all I have to do out there is throw and they take care of the rest for me. Not many pitchers can say that.\"
\r\n
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