Is Michael Conforto A Keeper?

You love to hear the stories again and again
About how a kid came up from Binghamton and became the man.

Michael Conforto’s name has come up a lot lately.

The Mets and Marlins have been actively discussing a trade for JT Realmuto. When it was revealed that the Marlins would want any potential deal to include Michael Conforto, Amed Rosario or Brandon Nimmo, the debates among Mets fans have been endless.

Most fans want to keep the young core intact, which I think is the right move. On the other hand, some fans believe Conforto is too inconsistent to count on going forward.

Nothing too shocking there. This is pretty much par for the course. I don’t think there’s one player who is universally loved nowadays. It’s when members of the front office feel a way about certain players that makes you sit up and take notice.

Today it was revealed that certain members of the Mets’ front office are torn on Michael Conforto.

Well.

As much as I love Conforto, I’d have to admit he has been inconsistent. We watched him have a multi-homerun game in the World Series. We then watched him look completely lost for most of 2016, which ultimately resulted in his demotion. Who exactly is Michael Conforto?

In 2017, the plan was for Michael Conforto to start the year in Triple A. Only a injury to Juan Lagares spared him a trip to Las Vegas. Conforto took the opportunity and ran with it, making his first All – Star Game. Met fans held their collective breath when a freak injury cut his season short in August. He dislocated his left shoulder on a swing , and no one quite knew what the future held.

In that injury shortened season, he posted an impressive .279/.384/.555 slash line. He added 27 homeruns and 68 RBIs. Factor in the injury, Terry Collins benching him multiple times per week, and the fact it was his first full season, and it was a very impressive showing.

The image of Conforto lying in a heap from 2017, combined with his awful first half of 2018 worried fans of the blue and orange to no end. The second half of 2018? I think I can safely say that put a smile on our collective faces.

Michael Conforto at the all star break:
11 HR 30 RBI .216/.344/.366

Michael Conforto second half:
17 HR 52 RBI .273/.356/.539

Wow. Here’s the thing. Conforto did not have a spring training. In fact, he couldn’t even swing a bat all winter. He was rushed back and it showed. Yet, despite his lackluster first half, his On Base Percentage was still respectable. That shows me he can still be productive, even if he is mired in an awful slump .

My prediction for 2019? Double that second half from 2018. 34 homeruns. 102 RBIs. I believe he’ll be in that neighborhood.

Since the start of 2017, he ranks 11th in wRC+. He ranks 13th in WOBA. He ranks 13th in OPS. He ranks 14th in homeruns, and 16th in War.

(These aren’t your father’s stats, so I provided links that include detailed explanations of each statistic.)

I’m going down with the Michael Conforto ship. But I’m fully confident it won’t sink.

If his name pops up in trade talks? Hang up the phone.

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