Michael Conforto began the 2015 season in Single-A St. Lucie and by the end of the season was hitting two home runs in a World Series game. Conforto, 23, was drafted by the Mets tenth overall in the 2014 Amateur Draft. He debuted in his first major league game just 13 months later on July 24th, 2015. Conforto skyrocketed through the minor league system after his senior season at Oregon State and the Mets truly believed that they had found a gem. He began playing in Brooklyn for the Cyclones right after being drafted and hit .331 in 42 games.
Conforto famously was invited to Major League Spring Training in 2015 and wowed Keith Hernandez with his swing. Hernandez said, “I think I spotted another hitter” after Conforto ripped a double in Spring Training 2015.
Conforto started that season in Single-A but promptly was promoted to Binghamton after just 46 games. He hit even better in Binghamton posting a .312 batting average in 45 games. At this point in the season, the Mets were just treading water trying to keep their playoff hopes alive so they called him up straight from Binghamton in July. He helped provide a jolt to a lineup that so badly needed help, batting .270 with 9 home runs and 26 RBIs in 56 games. Of course, just one week after Conforto was called up the Mets traded Michael Fulmer for Yoenis Cespedes and the rest is history.
After playing in a World Series and smacking three home runs in the postseason, Conforto was primed to have an even better year in 2016. April was a fantastic month for Conforto in which he hit .365 with four homers and 18 RBIs and Mets fans knew they had a future superstar on their hands. Unfortunately, Conforto hit a wall. It wasn’t just a slump for a couple of weeks either, he struggled mightily.Conforto hit .169 in May and .119 in June which forced Sandy Alderson to send him to Las Vegas. He played well in Vegas and was called up but continued to struggle once he got back to New York and finished the MLB season with a .220 average, 12 home
Conforto hit .169 in May and .119 in June which forced Sandy Alderson to send him to Las Vegas. He played well in Vegas and was called up but continued to struggle once he got back to New York and finished the MLB season with a .220 average, 12 home runs and 48 RBI.
With the recent news that the Mets plan to have Jay Bruce be their everyday right fielder in 2017, it leaves an odd man out in the outfield. Presumably, that person will be Conforto. His role will diminish at the beginning of the season but should still be an important part of this team in 2017. We all know that injuries happen and slumps happen, so there certainly will be playing time for Conforto as the season wears on.
The Mets obviously want Conforto to play, but his inconsistencies against left-handed pitching has plagued him so far throughout his career. This bears the question; what role will a possible superstar play in 2017 in a crowded outfield? I believe that Conforto will eventually end up playing every day, as I expect Bruce or Granderson to be traded at some point next season so that the Mets can truly see what they have in Michael Conforto.