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Don’t Forget – Michael Conforto Is Really Good

This time last year fans were begging the Mets to call up Michael Conforto.  He was seen as part of the solution to the Mets offensive issues.  When he was called up on July 24th, he delivered.  Conforto hit .270/.335/.506 with a 131 OPS+.  He would hit two homeruns in a Game Four of the World Series.  He jumped out of the gate this April hitting .365/.442/.676.  He looked to be well on his way to become a superstar.  Then he stopped hitting.

Since May 1st, Conforto has hit .165/.231/.339.  He’s striking out 30.6% of his at bats.  He’s gone from the leader in hard hit rate to 21st. He dropped from hitting the ball hard 31.4% of the time to just 21% of the time. It’s a big dropoff.  It begs the question what is wrong with Conforto?

In reality, there’s nothing wrong with Conforto.  He is a 23 year old player who has never played a single game in AAA.  He is allowed to struggle.

Also, some of his early season success was unsustainable. He had a .411 BABIP. The league average is .300. While some have a natural talent to hit above the .300, no one has a .411 BABIP. Also, his current .188 BABIP is also unsustainable. It should be of no surprise that Conforto’s true talent kids in the middle, which is a really good thing.

He’s also not hitting lefties . . . yet. In 45 plate appearances, he’s hitting .095/.133/.095. This includes him going 0-3 against Madison Bumgarner on May 1st. Do you know what 45 games is?  It’s a small sample size. His numbers aren’t pretty, but they’re also not indicative of his true talent level. In AA last year, Conforto hit .333/.414/.490 against lefties in 58 plate appearances. For the sake of comparison, Conforto hit .303/.388/.508 against righties in 139 plate appearances. Even if Collins won’t play him against lefties, it doesn’t mean he’s incapable or that playing him against a lefty will throw him into a tail spin.  For his part, Kevin Long, Conforto’s hitting coach, believes that Conforto can hit lefties if given a chance.

Overall, Conforto can hit righties and hit lefties.  He’s just in a prolonged slump.  Hes just a 23 year old who still needs to make adjustments in the big leagues.  He has the talent to do so.  He’s hit every step of the way.  He hit last year, and he has hit well at   times this year.  As we saw with Conforto’s sacrifice fly and homerun last night, he’s not only going to hit, he’s going to get big hits.  When Conforto does turn things around, National League pitching is going to be in a lot of trouble.

When that happens, we are all going to be reminded just how good Conforto really is.

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