With the New York Mets ending the first half of the 2015 MLB season on a high-note, the time is now to load up and strike quickly.
Shocking, considering the tough west coast trip they had to endure. After getting swept by the young Chicago Cubs at home to start the month of July, next up was a swing that would bring on the Los Angeles Dodgers (second-best record in NL) and the San Francisco Giants (defending champs and always a tough out).
What they proceeded to do was take four of six, and then – to everyone’s amazement – they swept the Arizona Diamondbacks at home.
The feeling surrounding this club has suddenly changed from hopeless desperation to cautious optimism. Cautious, because Mets fans now think Sandy Alderson won’t work the phones as hard for a hitter due to this recent success.
That would sadly define the Mets lack of aggressiveness the last five-seasons and absolutely derail their 2015 hopes.
The time to strike is now.
Take advantage of this offensive momentum. For one, other teams would now be put into a position in realizing that Alderson isn’t as desperate for hitters. His position in negotiations now comes at a greater strength, rather than desperation.
More importantly than a trade though is what New York already possesses.
Michael Conforto is a guy that can contribute now. Alderson and company have the opportunity to show aggressiveness by calling the 22-year old youngster to The Show this season.
Conforto is currently a member of the Binghamton Mets, their Double-A affiliate. Batting .312 with 3 HR and 21 RBI in just 160 plate appearances has to have Mets brass thinking big things – especially considering he popped 7 HR at high Single-A Port St. Lucie prior to his call-up Double-A.
The first thing a fresh onlooker might question is whether a kid can legitimately make the jump from Double-A to Major League Baseball. The answer to that is of course. We’ve already seen it happen this season in the form of Chicago Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber, Texas Rangers third-baseman Joey Gallo and Minnesota Twins youngsters Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton.
Speaking of those Twins, their shocking second-place 49-40 record in the AL Central has prompted general manager Terry Ryan to make those bold call-ups. Alderson must take notice and act soon.
Not only has Conforto put together a pretty solid stat-line in the minors, he excited most of baseball at the MLB Futures Game this past weekend.
He hit eighth in the lineup for Team USA and started in left-field, going 2-2 with a run scored, via MLB. Oh yeah, he also showed off a canon of an arm by gunning out a base-runner at home:
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 12, 2015
Sometimes an organization just needs to take a chance. Sure, the patient, phenom-building plan has worked brilliantly thus far, but certain times call for an “all-in” approach.
This is that time.
Who knows when David Wright is going to come back and whether Travis d’Arnaud will ever stay healthy. How could anybody think the Mets don’t need outfield help with 36-year old Michael Cuddyer hitting .244 without a clue at the plate.
Conforto himself, even thinks he’s ready for The Show, via Newsday:
“Everyone’s going to compare themselves to those guys,” the outfielder said before Sunday’s Futures Game at Great American Ball Park. “Yeah, I’ve pictured myself as that person. And I do think I’m ready. But it’s not my call.”
His promotion from Single-A to Double-A has been so seamless that the big leagues have to be a realistic possibility.
Well laid out plans are fantastic. They create the all-important cores of a winning franchise. Oftentimes though, these set in stone plans need to be thrown out the window for the possibility of something special.
If the Mets can pick up production at the plate, they’ll certainly be a team playing in October. Even an average lineup would garner that status with this phenomenal rotation.
For Alderson, now’s not the time to get cold feet. If Conforto struggles in New York upon the call-up you can always send him down again.
Should that shake the kid’s confidence, then he simply wasn’t made for New York to begin with.
Make it happen, the Washington Nationals are in sight. Do not wait until you become desperate again.
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