NY Mets outfielder Michael Conforto had a great April, again. The 24-year-old also began last season hot, picking right up from his 2015 post season performance. But then it all fell apart as April ended. Conforto lost his job by hitting .148/.217/.303 in 44 games in May and June. Eventually he was back in the minor leagues, where he rebounded by hitting .422/.483/.727.
Michael came in leaner and in better shape this spring. Saying he was prepared to play any of the outfield positions, including centerfield. With the Mets roster crowded with outfielders, his playing time was sporadic. But when Jay Bruce was moved to first base after Lucas Duda injured his elbow in a collision, Conforto got his chance to play regularly.
April – Mikey Likes It
Even before the spot opened up in the lineup, Conforto had performed well in pinch-hitting duties and the occasional start. Like last season, he got off to a great start. Let’s look at the month of April in 2016 and this year:
Michael Conforto 2017 Version
So far this season he is doing a much better job of hitting to all fields. Last season he pulled almost 43% of the balls that he put in play. This year over 50% of his balls in play are to center and 27% to the opposite field. He still has plenty of power with this approach, as you can see in this at bat Saturday against Washington:
Improvement Still Needed
Michael Conforto makes very good contact on fastballs. But he is still struggling against offspeed and breaking pitches, swinging and missing more than half the time. It’s something that has plagued him throughout his major league career:
If he can keep up his plate discipline and not chase too many offspeed and breaking pitches then his entire 2017 season with the Mets might be just like April.
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Photo by apardavila