Schott: Conforto Continues To Confirm Why He Was Called Up

(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)

Michael Conforto was the Mets’ first round draft pick in 2014 and spent last season with the Brooklyn Cyclones.

This season, he started with the High-A St. Lucie Mets and then moved to Double-A Binghamton.

Conforto has been on people’s radars since the day he was drafted. Calls for him to be called up this season intensified in early July after a listless series for the Mets in which they scored one run in a three-game sweep suffered against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field.

The Mets continued to languish throughout July, and were hanging around .500 when the Los Angeles Dodgers came to Citi Field for a four-game series on July 23rd.

That night, Terry Collins put out a lineup that included John Mayberry, Jr., at cleanup, followed by Eric Campbell in the fifth spot, with both hitting around .170. The Mets put up little fight against Clayton Kershaw and lost 3-0.

The next morning, Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson made the move and put Michael Cuddyer on the disabled list and called up Conforto. This was highly unusual for Alderson to bring up a player with just one year of minor-league experience, in addition to the three years he spent in college. Conforto is the perfect example of a player that was ready to come to the big time at any moment.

Though the Mets lost that night, Conforto played and got a hit. Alderson also brought in Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe from Atlanta that night to improve what was then the weakest lineup in the sport.

The next night, July 25th, with all three of them in there, the Mets blew out the Dodgers 15-2 to improve their record to 50-48 and start their current stretch where they are 24-10 to open up a sizable 6 1/2 game lead entering Tuesday in the National League East.

The Mets’ offense since July 25th ranks among the best in the league. They lead the National League and are tied for second in the majors in runs scored with 202, and are tied for the major-league lead with 57 home runs, while leading the National League, and second in the entire league, in slugging percentage at .480.

Conforto is hitting .291 with four home runs, 14 RBI, and 21 runs scored in his 29 games as a Met.

The Mets went 20-8 in August, and a big reason for that is Conforto. Entering Tuesday, he reached base safely in his last 13 games and is hitting .381 (16-for-42) five doubles, three home runs, and six RBI, in his last 15 games overall.

In August, Confroto was sixth among National League rookies with a .317 batting average and was tied for fifth among N.L. rookies with 16 runs scored in the month.

Conforto has proven to be clutch, as three of his four home runs this season have either tied or given the Mets the lead.

David Wright said recently of Conforto, “If you were going to build a ballplayer with the right approach along with the right amount of talent, he’d be the guy.”

Mets Manager Terry Collins said on Tuesday of how Conforto blended into this team, “He’s been very fortunate because he certainly has come faster than we anticipated. He, as I’ve said many times, we read the reports on him, and our analysis of what we’ve seen, he does more things than we read about. He’s a good defender, he’s got a very good, accurate arm. We knew he was a good hitter; I didn’t realize he has the power he has, but the fact that he’s been able to get in the lineup and gotten to play has helped him develop real fast.

“I’ve never had a guy on any of the teams that I’ve had who ever got as fast to the big leagues as he has. He might be somebody who just can handle things,” said Collins.

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