Mailbag: Eddie Kunz and Josh Thole

An article by posted on May 4, 2009

Q – Can somebody please tell me whatever happened to Eddie Kunz? At one time he seemed like an untouchable, but now I never hear him mentioned anywhere.

A – Eddie Kunz was considered to be the Mets closer of the future, but that label began to wear toward the end of the 2008 season.¬† He didn’t impress the Mets after a brief cup of coffee last season, and he was completely ineffective when he made the jump from AA to AAA last season. He is currently closing for the Buffalo Bisons and has a 2.38 ERA in six appearances. He has no saves, but save opportunities have been rather scarce in Buffalo these days. He still ranks at number ten among all Mets prospects, but with K-Rod in the house, Kunz may surface as setup man or short reliever in the future, most likely 2010.

Q – Why don’t the Mets trade Brian Schneider and call up prospect Josh Thole who is tearing it up in the minors?

A – First, Brian Schneider can’t be traded while he’s on the DL, and even if the Mets could trade him they won’t get much in return for a catcher in his walk year who is batting below the Mendoza line. As for Thole, he was¬†recently converted to catcher a little over a year ago and has a way to go in refining his defensive skills before making the jump to the Majors, however he’s a quick study and has impressed. His bat has been explosive so far in AA, batting a blistering .370. In 2008, Thole had an all-star year for St. Lucie, hitting .300/.382/.427 in 347 at bats. Thole has always shown a good eye at the plate and great patience. He has 133 walks and 131 strikeouts in his minor league career. He may still be a year away, but the Mets believe in him and he looks like a keeper to me. Baseball America ranks him at 23 among Mets prospects, but I suspect he’ll soon be in the top ten if he’s not already.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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