New York Mets: Should Michael Conforto Stay in the Big Apple?
New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto had the best season of his career in the 2020 shortened season. He hit a career-best .327 with 9 home runs, 31 RBIs, and an OPS of .927 in the 2020 season. Overall in six seasons all with the Mets, he’s hit .259 with 118 home runs, 341 RBIs, 17 stolen bases, and an OPS of .843. He was all All-Star in 2017 when he hit 27 home runs, and in 2019 he had a career-high in home runs and RBIs with 33 and 92 respectively.
Conforto has one more year left on his contract, so he will be a free agent after the 2021 season, barring an extension. The question is, should the Mets extend him.
The Mets should definitely give Conforto a contract extension and make him a Met long term, especially with his production in the last couple of seasons.
Conforto has been one of the Mets‘ most reliable hitters over the last several years and he was the team’s best hitter last season. Conforto came into the major leagues with a lot of hype and potential back in 2015. The Mets were so eager to bring him up, that they brought him to the majors while he was still playing Double-A minor league baseball. And once he reached the majors, he made an immediate splash. In 56 games that year, he hit .270 with 9 home runs. And he also came up big under the bright lights of October when he hit two home runs in Game 4 of the World Series vs the Kansas City Royals.
Conforto had an up and down stretch in the majors since then. He was sent back to the minor leagues the following season in 2016 after struggling mightily in the majors that year. He came back in 2017 and had an All-Star year but his season ended early in August when he suffered a gruesome shoulder injury while swinging at a pitch during a game.
Conforto came back from the injury in 2018 but struggled early, perhaps coming back too early. But he finished strong that year with 28 home runs and 82 RBIs. And in 2019 and 2020, he’s had his best overall seasons at the plate with career highs once again in average (.322 in 2020), home runs (33 in 2019), and RBIs (92 in 2019).
Michael Conforto has grown into a more complete hitter. He can now hit for a high average with power. Also, he can pull the ball and he can hit it the opposite way. He strikes out a lot but he also draws many walks and has a pretty high on-base percentage as a result. Last season he posted a career-high in on-base percentage at .412. He’s always had a nice looking swing and it’s working wonders now.
Defensively he’s not a Gold Glover but he is reliable anywhere in the outfield. The corner outfields are his best position but he’s played plenty of centerfield as well. So he can play all three outfield positions.
Conforto is also only 27 years old. So he is still in his prime and figures to have at least 5 more great seasons ahead. It would be reasonable to extend him up to that time.
The biggest roadblock to extending Conforto is his famous agent Scott Boras, who demands a lot for his clients. Boras has had a spotty relationship with the Mets in the past, mainly due to the Wilpons’ cheap ways. But they are gone now and with new owner Steve Cohen being the richest owner in baseball now, the Mets should be less hesitant on giving out large deals.
Extending Conforto is important for the Mets not only now but in the future. He is one of the best hitters in the game now and he should continue to stay sharp over the next several years. His power, ability to hit the ball the other way, and his patience at the plate in drawing walks, brings a lot to the Mets lineup and takes a lot of pressure off other hitters. Conforto mainly bats in the middle of the lineup but he has also batted leadoff in the past, so he can bat in many different spots in the lineup. Conforto is also a homegrown Met and his humble approach makes him likable in the clubhouse.
Other than extending newly acquired Met Francisco Lindor, the most important thing for the Mets to do this offseason is to extend Conforto.
How would you feel if the New York Mets extended Michael Conforto? Leave a comment below.
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