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Conforto Is Grand

It doesn’t get said often enough. Michael Conforto is the Mets best player, and he is one of the best players in all of baseball. That is true this year, and it has been true for quite a while now. We saw evidence of that again last night when he delivered a go-ahead grand slam:

What is all the more interesting about that grand slam, the first of his career, is that it came off a left-handed pitcher. Back in 2015 and 2016, we were told by Terry Collins and the rest of the organization this was something Conforto could not do. First, it was Michael Cuddyer. Then, it was Juan Lagares. It would reach the point of absurdity where we saw Matt Reynolds playing left field just to shield Conforto against left-handed pitching.

That has proven to be a complete farce. Since the 2o17 season, Conforto has a 112 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. Sure, that pales in comparison to the 134 wRC+ he has against right-handed pitching, but he is well above league average against left-handed pitching. Really, the sheer notion he couldn’t hit left-handed pitching came from Collins and that one bad game.

The one bad game was an 0-for-5 he took against Madison Bumgarner. His season fell off after that. The narrative was facing a tough left-handed pitcher broke him. The truth was he had a wrist injury. It’s like how he struggled early last year while returning from a devastating shoulder injury. Point is, Conforto’s struggles have been injury related, not talent related.

So far this year, Conforto has a 151 wRC+. That’s 11th best in the NL, and it is the 17th best in all of baseball. This isn’t an outlier or a hot start. Back in 2017, when he was named an All Star, he had a 147 wRC+.

But he’s more than a hitter. He’s a good outfielder as well. Back in 2015, it took us a bit by surprise due to some outdated scouting reports. Due to his talent and athleticism, he proved to be a good left fielder. In fact, he was so good the Mets would try him in center. Now, after realizing all players work better with a set position, he’s a right fielder, a real good one too.

By DRS, he’s the second best defensive right fielder in all of baseball this year. By UZR, he is third best.

In total, Conforto is as complete a baseball player as there is in the game. It’s why he’s a top outfielder, and he’s a top player. Choose your metric – WAR, wRC+, DRS, etc. When you analyze them Conforto’s name is continuously near the top. He’s once again firmly established himself as the best player on the Mets, and he’s arguably the best player in the division, a division which includes Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna, and more.

Last night, we were once again reminded of Conforto’s greatness when he hit that grand slam. It is something Mets fans should continue to acknowledge and appreciate all season long. Make no mistake. This is an All-Star caliber player, and he’s on the precipice of being an MVP level player. If the Mets go anywhere this year, it will be because of him.

19 thoughts on “Conforto Is Grand”

  1. LongTimeFan1 says:

    We love Conforto who’s a good player and defensively sound with slightly above average foot speed.

    It’s quite a reach however to call him one of the best. The best players are consistently good. Conforto’s very streaky, tends to alternate between hot and cold and is strikeout prone. He’s currently hot. He’s a lifetime .253 hitter with .836 OPS.

    He’s 2.0 WAR on the season. The 10th rated WAR in MLB this season is 2.9 (Boyd and DeJong).

    Among position players this season Mookie Betts is 10th at 2.6.

    For Offensive WAR 2019, the 10th rated belongs to Meadows and Gallo at 2.3.

    10th in SLG this season is the Yanks Sanchez at .657.

    Conforto’s .526 which 38th.

    Conforto’s 7th in OBP at ..407.

    Top 10 this season in OPS is Rizzo at 1.003. Conforto is .933 which is 18th.

    The 10th best batting average is .318 (Fletcher and Rendon). Conforto’s batting .266 which is 79th.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s not a stretch to call one of the best one of the best.

      1. LongTimeFan1 says:

        He’s a good player and a good guy. We’re happy he’s a Met. He’s just not one of the best in the game.

        He’s obliterated by Yelich, Bellinger, Betts, Trout, Rizzo, Rendon among a whole bunch of others.

        Conforto might not even represent the Mets in the All Star game with McNeil and Alonso also candidates.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I’d first note he’s not competing with Trout or Betts for the MVP. I’d then note he’s less than one WAR behind Yelich, Rizzo, and Rendon. If you’re calling that MVP caliber than so is Conforto as he’s right there with them.

          Also, Conforto is well ahead of McNeil and Alonso to being named an All Star.

  2. LongTimeFan1 says:

    Conforto’s Defensive WAR this season is 0.1.

    Offensive is 1.8

  3. LongTimeFan1 says:

    Conforto is not on precipice of MVP caliber.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      In the NL, he ranks 10th in wRC+ and WAR. He’s top three defensively at his position.

      That’s absolutely on the precipice of MVP caliber.

      1. LongTimeFan1 says:

        That’s like saying Nimmo was on precipice of MVP conversation last season after two months.

        Conforto has 10 homers and is batting .265. He has great on base and a very pretty swing when compact, balanced and hits the ball where pitched.
        We’ve never had a Mets MVP so it’s easy to fall into the trap of hope. But he’s not an MVP candidate at this time and has never been. Right now he’s tied with eight others for 25th in NL homers.
        He came into tonight’s game 38th in batting average.

        In the future he might be MVP candidate should he produce the kind of seasons today’s MVP’s have. I hope he does.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          You’re purposefully ignoring his 2017 season

          1. LongTimeFan1 says:

            Not ignoring his 2017 season.
            .279/.384/.555/.939 OPS.
            27 homers, 20 2B, 113 K’s, 57 BB in 440 PA’s and 373
            3.9 WAR.
            He didn’t get a single MVP vote in a season in which twenty-one players did.

            Part of being MVP candidate is staying healthy enough to accumulate enough plate appearances. Conforto’s season ended after 109 games with devastating shoulder injury.

            Marcel Ozuna with .312/.376/.548/.924, with 37 homers and 6.1 WAR in 159 games came in 15th.

            For Conforto to have a chance in the coming years, he’s going to have to amass #’s that equal or exceed seasons such as we see with Bellinger and Yelich who are poised to dominate should they stay healthy. They’re not only power hitters but also very good all around hitters dominating hitters who steal bases and play average to above average defense. Conforto will have to hit 40 or more homers, bat .300, avoid long swing tendencies and avoid significant droughts.

            Our best chance may be in Peter Alonso in the coming years. His power rivals anyone in the game. He’ll have to cut way back on K’s and significantly raise BA and OBP. With his short stroke, baseball smarts and hunger to learn, he could definitely achieve that perhaps as soon as next season but more likely further down the line as he develops. He’ll be battling 5-tool Bellinger who has incredible bat speed, hand-eye, great arm, 29.2 ft per second speed, and is looking like the best player in the game at only 23.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            Do you not see that irony in using Yelich and Bellinger as your models?

  4. LongTimeFan1 says:

    What irony would that be?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Yelich was nowhere near an MVP caliber player entering last year, nor was he in the first half.

      He’s the exact example you use to support and not tear down Alonso.

  5. LongTimeFan1 says:

    Yelich’s hit tool was expected. Maybe not his present power but definitely hit tool with future batting title ability. Only matter of time and he delivered. He had breakout season at 24

    If you’re objective on Conforto, he’s high K, inconsistent year after year unable to retain his swing and mechanics and hasn’t demonstrated the kind of hit tool that he’ll have to demonstrate to be in the MVP conversation. He’s a lifetime .251 hitter. Yelich is .298. At his worst, he batted .284, five points higher than Conforto’s personal best.

    For Michael to be in the future conversation, he’s going to have to out-power and outhit the competition. That means he’ll need to significantly change. I hope he does, but he’s yet to show he can across full season. Right now he has 10 homers and batting .251, which exactly aligns with his career average. He tends to start off hot with high batting average and then fade.

    Alonso’s short stroke and top notch power puts him in better position to be future MVP candidate. He’ll have to cut down K’s and get his batting average and OBP up but he could be a perrenial 45, 50, 55 homer threat who hits .280, .300. with .370, .380 or higher OBP. That’s the difference between Alonso and Conforto – repeatable, compact mechanics using whole field with light tower power vs. inconsistent mechanics and capacity to fall into bad habits for long periods despite organic pretty swing, good eye and fine power.

    I’m a Mets fan rooting for both to be their very best. Things would go very well if both play like MVP’s year after year.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I can’t take your seriously if you’re using batting average as a measure of determining whether a player is MVP

  6. metsdaddy says:

    I can’t take your seriously if you’re using batting average as a measure of determining whether a player is MVP caliber or not.

    And I really can’t take you seriously if you believe Alonso is better poised to win an MVP than Conforto.

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