MICHAEL CONFORTO OR DOMINIC SMITH: WHO'S BETTER? - Tom Brennan
Dominic Smith is often referred to as a guy who needs to hit with more power, while Michael Conforto is spoken of in glowing terms (as Conforto deserves to be, as I believe he has a great future with the Mets, perhaps along the lines of the offensive career of David Wright).
I'll bet most folks focus more on Conforto and lean towards the guy who's made it to the bigs already.
I just wonder if Dominic Smith might not be the better of the two, long term. Why?
First, Conforto is two years older than Smith, which means a lot when you remember Smith just turned 20 eight weeks ago. One has to wonder how good Smith will be in 2 years. My guess is if he is not blocked, he'll be a successful major leaguer by then.
Second, Smith had a slow start this year, and was hurt, but when he awakened, he awakened in a big way. In his last 81 games in St Lucie (half the length of a big league season), he has had 29 doubles, 5 HRs, 66 RBIs and batted .331. Double those numbers to project a full 162 game season and...wow!
At a year older while 2 leagues lower in Brooklyn in 2014, Conforto hit at virtually the same pace over 42 games as Smith has in his last 81 games - .331, 10 doubles, 3 homers - but again, he was a year older and 2 leagues lower while doing it. What will Smith do next year at the same age?
Third, Conforto is clearly a solid defensive LF. But Smith is touted as an elite defensive 1B. Seems the edge defensively goes to Smith.
So...Conforto or Smith...Maris or Mantle...Mays or McCovey. Tough to pick, between the last 2 groups of guys in their pinnacle years. Closer to home, deGrom or Harvey. Tough. Conforto or Smith is a tough choice.
I think Smith may have him by a nose in a few years. Both ought to be All Star caliber.
Who do you pick, between the two? Let me know.
But...pick either one, you win.