Michael Conforto has been one of baseball’s best players so far in 2017, as the New York Mets have found themselves a premier leadoff hitter.
It’s probably safe to say that nobody saw the southpaw smacking eight homers across just 88 at-bats to open the season. Even yesterday, in the eighth inning, Conforto singled in a pinch hit at-bat.
Yoenis Cespedes, who had been showcasing his power throughout April, has been on the disabled list since April 28, and if not for Conforto, the Mets probably wouldn’t be anywhere near .500.
However, this pleasant surprise has made some of the Mets’ other offensive issues more manageable.
Jose Reyes, who many believed was destined for a bounce back year, went 0-for-4 today after entering the contest with a .190 average. Neil Walker, who has shown flashes of his former self at many stages of the season so far, is hitting just over .220, but New York won’t find themselves around .500 if this continues.
Even Curtis Granderson, who is coming off a 30-home run season, is hitting under .150, and will probably lose his job when Cespedes makes his way back into the everyday lineup.
While New York has been plagued by tons of injuries on both the offensive and defensive ends of the game, Conforto’s outstanding play has resulted in eight wins over the Mets’ last 12 games.
The other leadoff combination of Granderson, Reyes and Juan Lagares have combined for an atrocious 4-for-71 this season, so thankfully, Conforto has given many reasons for Mets fans to put those other offensive struggles behind them, especially at the leadoff position.
If the Mets are going to stay relevant, they’ll either need their veterans to wake up, or for Conforto to continue hitting the baseball at a tremendously high level.