#8 LF Michael Conforto (LR: #NR)
Bats: L Throws: R
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 211 lb
Acquired: 2014 Rule 4 Draft, 1st Round, Oregon State University
2014: (SS-A) .333/.408/.435, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 3 SB (100%), 15 BB, 26 K
During this year's draft, The Mets opted to pass on selecting one of the many available arms in this year's strong pitching class. Instead, Alderson grabbed one of the few potentially impactful bats in Conforto with that tenth overall selection. So far Sandy's choice is looking to be a very good one.
Conforto got off to a late start to his year due to signing close to the draftee signing deadline. After participating in a very long college season, due to Oregon's deep playoff run, Conforto was tired and wanted to spent time with his folks before starting his professional career. That time seems to have served him well because ever since he stepped onto the Brooklyn field, he hasn't stopped hitting. In 38 games with the Cyclones, Conforto has only gone hitless in 10 of them. In fact, he has more multi hit games (17) than he does hitless games.
While the pure bat skills are nice, many have been left wondering, "Where's the power?" Conforto answered that in an interview with MetsMinorLeagueBlog's Toby Hyde. Cyclones’ hitting coach Benny Distefano and Conforto have been working together to create a more "professional" swing as he transistions from metal to wood bats. One of the things Distefano noticed was:
"When they started pitching him in, he comes off the ball a little bit with his front arm...Instead of driving down towards the ball, Conforto would “cheat” with his elbow and move it up to create more space for his hands to clear through to handle inside pitches."
The fact that Conforto is already making these small adjustments bodes well for his future progression. It also shows us that despite the #'s we see, Short Season A, at its core, is still an instructional level. Conforto has a very bright future with the Mets and don't be surprised if he hits St. Lucie and Binghamton in 2015, with Vegas and the MLB coming in 2016. He's that advanced
Ceiling: 25 HR, .290 AVG, low K, high BB bat in the clean-up spot (Matt Holliday)
Floor: Makes the MLB, but Power/Avg never reaches peak and he flames out (Dominic Brown)