Michael Conforto

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Michael Thomas Conforto

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Michael Conforto was selected by the New York Mets and scout Jim Reeves in the first round of the 2014 amateur draft with the tenth overall selection. He soon signed and made his pro debut that summer with the Brooklyn Cyclones, hitting .331 in 42 games. He began the 2015 campaign with the St. Lucie Mets. He hit .283 with 7 homers and 28 RBIs in 46 games before earning a promotion to the AA Binghamton Mets at the end of May. In the Eastern League, he was hitting .312 with 5 homers and 26 RBIs in 45 games, being named to play in the 2015 Futures Game, when he was called up to New York at the end of July. The Mets were battling for a postseason slot but were frustrating their fans with their inability to score runs.

Michael made his debut with the Mets on July 24, 2015. He started in left field and went 0 for 3 but drove in a run with a groundout in a 7-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his next game on July 25th, he went 4-for-4, including 2 doubles, and scored 4 runs in a 15-2 rout of the Dodgers. By driving in a run with a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch the next day, he became only the second player in Mets history to drive in a run in his first three major league games; the first had been Jason Tyner, in 2000. Michael was sent back to the minors on July 31st, when the Mets acquired OF Yoenis Cespedes at the trading deadline, but he came back a day later when OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis was placed on the disabled list. He ended up playing regularly in left field the rest of the way, and he and Cespedes were the team's two best hitters as the Mets took off in August and September, finishing well-ahead of the pre-season favorites the Washington Nationals to win a division title. He hit .270 with 14 doubles, 9 homers, 30 runs and 26 RBIs, putting up an OPS+ of 132. He only had one hit in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, a homer off Zack Greinke in Game 1. He was shut out in the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs, going 0 for 8, but he was one of the few Mets hitters to do well in the World Series against the Kansas City Royals, as he finished 5 for 15 (.333) with a pair of homers, both coming at home in Game 4 on October 31st, against Chris Young and Danny Duffy in a losing cause.

Conforto began the 2016 season as the Mets' regular left fielder and had a great month of April, hitting .365 with 4 homers. However, he fell back to earth in May, then struggled badly in the early part of June, as he hit only .148 from May 1 to June 25th, when he was sent down to the minors. The move seemed to help, as he hit .344 with 9 extra-base hits in 16 games the AAA Las Vegas 51s and was brought back to New York on July 17th. He finished the season at .220 with 12 homers and 42 RBIs in 109 games, not enough to convince the Mets' brass that he should be given a starting job the following season without having to earn it. He did not play in the Wild Card Game which the Mets lost to the San Francisco Giants to make an early exit from the postseason.

Conforto entered the 2017 season as part of a crowded outfield picture and not guaranteed any playing time, especially against lefties. However, as he had done the previous year, he started the season blazing hit, hitting .321 with 6 homers and 13 RBIs in April. This time though, he did not fade away immediately, as he backed this up with another very solid month in May, when he hit .314m with 7 homers and 21 RBIs. His performance stood out on a Mets team that was racked by injuries and poor performances, and by the time the All-Star Game rolled around, he was named the Mets' representative to the mid-summer classic, having hit .284 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs in 70 first-half games. He continued to hit well over the next six weeks, adding another 13 homers to his total, but on August 24th, he dislocated his left shoulder on a swing and miss in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. An MRI revealed a tear in the shoulder's posterior capsule, meaning he would not play again that season. His year ended with 108 games, a .280 average, 27 homers and 68 RBIs.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Ted Berg: "100 Names to Know: Steven Matz, Michael Conforto key for Mets", USA Today Sports, February 10, 2016. [1]
  • Lindsay Berra: "FAQ: All about shoulder injuries like Conforto's", mlb.com, August 25, 2017. [2]
  • Anthony DiComo: "Mets expect Conforto to return around May 1: No setbacks for outfielder in recovery from left shoulder surgery", mlb.com, January 18, 2018. [3]

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