“A hitter”. That is what the Mets needed in a big way when they went shopping in the 2014 MLB draft, and boy did they get one. With the team lacking impact bats in the organization the Mets drafted Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto with the No. 10 overall pick.
A two-time Pac 12 player of the yea,r Conforto was known as arguably the best hitter in the draft that season and fit Mets G.M. Sandy Alderson’s desired offensive approach like a glove which is power and patience.
In his last season at Oregon State, Conforto hit .345 with seven home runs and set the school record for walks in a season with 55. By drafting Conforto it gave the Mets a chance at a potential home grown impact hitter which the team really did not have in the organization at the time. While the team was blessed with a surplus of super talented young home grown stating pitching, the organization had not been able to develop any impact hitters to the same degree. Conforto has a chance to be a very special player and a true middle of the order hitter that would hit 3rd or 4th in the Mets lineup for the next decade or so.
To date, in 783 professional at bats, Conforto is a .298 hitter with 24 home runs and 99 RBI’s and 106 runs scored. Entering the 2016 season, the possibilities are endless for young outfielder. Health permitting, he will be protected in the Mets starting lineup with strong hitters Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, David Wright, Neil Walker and Lucas Duda surrounding him.
The Mets should also have a strong bench so that he can sit against a strong left-handed starting pitcher. When the Mets resigned Cespedes it not only made the team stronger, but it also took a tremendous amount of pressure that might have fallen on Conforto’s shoulders if Cespedes had not returned to hit in the clean-up spot.
Look for Conforto to build on his successful 2015 rookie season, and expect manager Terry Collins will put him in spots to succeed. Conforto will likely get between 400-500 at-bats and hit .285 with 20 home runs, 70 RBIs and a .360 OBP, and evolve into one of the Mets best hitters in 2016.