In the beginning of the year, every Met wanted to be like Mike.
After last season, Michael Conforto looked like the breakout star of the club with 27 homers and 68 RBI in 109 games, it looked like there was a very bright future ahead for the outfielder, much like the way David Wright carried the Mets almost a generation ago.
But something happened on the say to stardom, as Conforto dislocated his shoulder just about this time last season and had to have surgery to fix his left appendage.
Although healthy, the Mets future star seemed like as different player this season. Even though his shoulder was healthy, he was missing pitches, which he smashed last year. Conforto called it “finishing” at bats, because it seemed like he shorted up on his follow-through, which put his timing off.
“It’s that last bit of conviction,” said manager Mickey Callaway. “He’s finishing his swing, instead of getting halfway through the swing and being tentative.”
It may have been the shoulder, which caused this issue, even though it’s not injured, there’s still a mental memory, since he injured it swinging his bat. To the Mets credit, they stuck with their outfielder, even though with Yoenis Cespedes injured, he subpar play hurt the club.
However, on the long term, this confidence seemed to help and Conforto is now back to hitting like he did last season. He hit a nice opposite field homer tonight against the Yankees, which helped the Mets win this makeup Subway Series game 8-5, while also giving the club another series win, which seemed to be like water in the desert for a very long time with this club.
And part of this is that Conforto got his swing back and he’s finishing his follow-through which is helping him drive the ball, rather than play pepper with the middle infielders like he did earlier in the season.
“It’s a good sign for sure,” Conforto said. “Something I have been looking for over the past couple of weeks. Still getting hits, but using the whole field is my game. That’s where I feel the best.”
It’s an odd growth season for Conforto, since he seems to be finishing strong, which is a very good sign for the Mets in 2019. Because of his injuries and minor league work in past years, the outfielder will set his record for most major league games played in a season this week and with 16 home runs, he still has time to make the year very respectable and raise his .238 average and get his power numbers up.
Then maybe everyone on the Mets will want to be like Mike.