Mack Ade - Michael Conforto


Good morning.

I sure hope we didn’t rush this guy.

There was no doubt that this was the right bat to draft in the 2014 draft. All draft experts had him as the ‘top power bat’ in the draft, and when he fell to the Mets with the 10th overall pick, they scooped him up and danced in the halls.

First some bio info – Michael Conforto attended Redmond High School (played shortstop), in Redmond Washington, and followed that with three years at Oregon State. He did very little wrong at Oregon State (2012: .349/1038-OPS… 2013: .328/973-OPS… 2014: .345/1051-OPS), though his home run output was more limited than expected (31-HRs in 668-AB).

The Mets wasted little time after the 2014 draft and sent Conforto to Brooklyn, where he hit .312 in 163-ABs. 2015 brought a meteoric rise to Queens (St. Lucie: 184-AB, .283… Binghamton, 173-ABs, .312). He finished the season with 174 at-bats, hit .270 and hit nine home runs (added to the 12 he had in Lucy and Bing, that’s 21 seasonal home runs. It sure looked like a star was born. 

But was it? 2016 was a horrible year for Conforto. Sure, he hit .422 (128-ABs) at Las Vegas, but Josh Edgin can do that. It’s the 304 at-bats, .220-BA in Queens that made us all wonder about the future of this guy.

Thomas Brennan

                       Say what he might, Conforto has to be fighting annoyance at the outfield crowd.  He most likely feels he is at least an average full time starting outfielder right now, with several hundred major league plate appearances already, yet he could be headed back to Lost Wages, Nevada instead of Queens. Hopefully he will get a good number of at bats...and produce big...for the Mets in 2017.

Casey Wentworth

Despite showing some positive offense at times, I feel that Michael Conforto maybe has not yet shown lockdown starting capability on this team. This is not to say that he won't, or that he should not be allowed to try. It is just saying that perhaps these NY Mets have too many players on its parent club at current, that are sort of entrenched in this same plight of being clearly a good player but just not as yet good enough to win a starting job, hands down.
Spring Training is a great showcase for players and a great time to try new approaches to it is not enough time necessarily to make decisions on which outfielder is better than others. It takes a much larger window of time.
The Mets have a few players in competition for playing time in their outfield. Conforto and Nimmo are two newer kid players who have batted well this spring. Jay Bruce has as well. I think the Mets could probably deal one of their current outfielders and be fine. I sort of lean towards maybe moving Juan Lagares myself, mainly because he looks almost tired of things here and could probably use a fresh new start somewhere else. Juan has Endy Chavez defensive skills, but he has not learned to drive his hitting, nor bat consistently here for batting average.

If on (say for instance here) the Milwaukee Brewers, both Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores would probably be starting players in their lineup, and thus an outfield of LF Flores CF Lagares RF Nieuwenhuis would definitively be within reach. LOL

Richard Herr, of Mack's Mets added - 

Everybody's problem is the crowded outfield. Michael Conforto is surrounded by that problem. His immediate future revolves around 1) how well is he playing, 2) how well are Granderson and Bruce playing 3) does anyone want to take an outfielder from us whose first name isn't Yoenis or Michael 4) can Michael play centerfield and 5) what's today's injury status? He does appear to be blue chip. The biggest problem he needs to fix is recognizing whether the pitch, that looks like it's heading for the inside corner at the thighs, is a fastball or a slider. That was his problem early last year. If he's fixed that, we might see the gay from last April, If that's the case, Terry will have to install him in the #3 spot in the lineup, and the rest of the outfield is Sandy's problem. Like they say: nice problem to have.

Opinion – I’ve seen this guy come to Queens and put on a home run show during batting practice. I know in my heart that this kid has the talent to make it in this game. Let’s not forget he’s only going to be 24-years old in 2014 and maybe the best thing to do is let him hit the snot off the ball in the PCL this upcoming season.

Assuming there aren’t any injuries, my starting outfield doesn’t include Conforto. I go with the bog bats (Cespedes and Bruce) in the corners and the past Golden Glove centerfielder (Lagares) in the middle of them.

I want Conforto to play every day so Vegas seems like the best place for him to start the season. He would be added to my starting lineup the first time one of the three outfielders I mentions above hit the disabled list.


Thomas Brennan said...

Grandy and Bruce hit 3 homers yesterday? It will be hard to secure playing time for Michael if those guys are hitting with authority, because the other starting OF (a guy named Cespedes) will play almost every game.

Mack Ade said...

sorry to some of the writers that participated in this post... for some reason their comments didn't print out

Frank Anon said...

He WAS rushed but it was from necessity. I do not think he has much else to prove in the minors but if it means more at bats then so be it. Bruce and grander son will be gone next year and RF will be handed to conforto. He just needs to have patience. His day will come

Richard Herr said...

And just as this article is coming out, I hear that the Mets are probably sending Michael down to Vegas for 55 days so he's accumulated enough time to give them another year of eligibility.
And by the way, rats! I hate when I do a typo.

Thomas Brennan said...

Conforto can't be happy with the Mets playing the 'extra year of eligibility" game, but it would be bad business not to do it. Cespedes, Grandy, Bruce, Lagares, and Nimmo is still a far stronger outfield than in the days of Kirk, Mike Baxter, and Colin Cowgill.

And if someone gets injured, Conforto (far better than the 3 names I just mentioned) is available to call up.

Not good for Michael, but the outfield is a Mets strong point.

Anonymous said...

It's simple, really.....by putting him in Vegas for a couple of months, they get an extra year of arbitration with MC (smart business move). Plus, rumors have it that they may work with him in CF while in AAA (odd, but you never know).

He is clearly in their plans for the future and I suspect he will be a main cog in the OF by the end of this year (Grandy's health, a Bruce trade, etc), or in 2018 at the latest.

He will likely settle in as our everyday RF'er and hit in the middle of the order, IMO.


eraff said...

Players become Major Leaguers at the Major League Level--- and sometimes they don't. Conforto has prepped for hios shot, and there's not a thing he can accomplish in Vegas other than to WAIT.

This won't be a Baseball Oriented Decision, relative to Conforto's preparedness, but a reflection on a Roster and Payroll Construction that has created several problems---the Lack of a RH OF Bat is actually a more immediate problem than pushing Conforto back In Line.

Anonymous said...

Signing Bruce for $13 million was a huge mistake and way off the current market rate.

But it's true, Conforto did not clearly demonstrate lockdown ability as a starter.

My preference would have been to not sign Bruce, start Conforto, and sign, instead, a quality 4th outfielder-type and could play defense, bat right-handed, and play everyday for two weeks without killing you. Imaginary price: $8 million.

I don't know who exactly that guy is, but he'd be a more useful, complementary piece that Jay Bruce.

A bad use of resources, IMO.

MetsMusings Mack said...

Comforto will be back by June, Bruce will have worn out his welcome by then, and the Mets will have to eat his contract (that they should have never offered him) Conforto will go down to Vegas and play centerfield and when he comes back Grandy goes to right and Conforto to center.

Eddie Corona said...

Conforto was a SS?
Then why is there any doubt about him at 1B... A SS can play anywhere...

Mack Ade said...

there's a certain amount of truth in what Eddie said...

Christopher Soto said...

He was a SS in high school....lol.

There a bit difference in body type between high school and college let alone professional ball.

He does not have the athleticism anymore.

I do think he could at least be "serviceable" in CF though. It definitely worth a shot in Las Vegas.

Gary Seagren said...

Look the guy was rushed thru the system and was a lifesaver in 15' but every player need's to go through a rough patch as a reality check and a day against the "Bum" will do it to the best of em". Some fine tuning in Vegas certainly won't hurt and before we throw Bruce under the bus lets give him at least 2 months and the evaluate his performance.

Anonymous said...

Conforto hit .220 last year and was demoted. Granderson hit .223 for 5 months with 38 RBI's and never left the 1 or 2 hole. Who should be playing everyday ---- the 24-year old with upside, or the 36-year old with none?

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