New York Mets and San Diego Padres Swap Former First Round Disappointments

Nicholas PuglieseContributor IIIMarch 29, 2011

Eddie Kunz making an appearance with the Mets back in 2008.
Eddie Kunz making an appearance with the Mets back in 2008.Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Darren Smith of XX1090 radio reports the New York Mets and San Diego Padres have swapped former first-round picks, with first baseman Allan Dykstra going to the Mets and pitcher Eddie Kunz going to the Padres.

There is a reason why two teams were willing to trade their first-round picks from just three and four years ago: Both players have severely underperformed and have come nowhere near reaching the expectations people had for them when they were drafted, turning themselves into non-prospects.

Back in 2008, the Padres took the 23-year-old Allan Dykstra 23rd overall, as he was supposed to be a first baseman with plus to plus-plus raw power who had an all-around solid hit tool. He fit the bill of his description with a 6'5", 215 lbs listing, but has failed to show that talent on the field.

In 2009, he led the minor leagues with 104 walks, however, he also struck out 103 times and only hit .226 with 11 homers. He followed up his disappointing 2009 with another bad season in 2010, where he manged to hit .241 with 16 home runs. He still struck out 122 times in just 113 games.

The power numbers did increase slightly and he still maintained a high OBP (.372), but this was in the CAL league, which is notorious for being a hitter's league where balls fly out of the park.

As Kevin Goldstein points out, Dykstra is a Paul DePodesta guy who was part of the Padres team that drafted him. He is a great example of a "moneyball" player who walks and gets on base a lot, but he will need to start tapping into that power scouts saw from him in college if he ever wants to get near a major league roster.

The 25-year-old Eddie Kunz was drafted by the Mets 42nd overall in 2007 to become the closer of the future, but things have not transpired that way. He now finds himself just trying to keep a job on a minor league team.

Outside of one good year Kunz had in AA back in 2008, he has been downright awful. For some odd reason, the Mets attempted to move Kunz into the rotation last year because things weren't working out in the pen and the results were just as bad.

Kunz wound up finishing last season with a 5.34 ERA over 111.1 innings in 42 games (12 starts) while walking more batters (68) than he struck out (63). The only thing Kunz has been unable to do on a consistent basis during his career, other than giving up a lot of runs, is getting ground balls, which I am sure is what intrigues the Padres, who will hope to fix the rest of the holes in his game. 

One thing Kunz has over Dykstra is that he has already made it to the show, making four appearances with the Mets in 2008.

On a side note, talk about a trade of behemoths: The 6'5", 215 lbs Dykstra is the SMALLER of the two, with Kunz being a whopping 6'6", 260 lbs.

The Mets first two picks from the 2007 draft, Eddie Kunz (42nd overall) and Nathan Vineyard (47th overall), are no longer part of the organization.

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