It reads weirder than it sounded in my head, but you get the gist. (Just like your mother.) And when said gisting (jisting?) has been completed and the sexual innuendo has been fully realized, we are left with the irreputable fact that Michael Conforto is not having a good baseball year. Contextually or otherwise. Look, I just wanted to use the word “contextually” okay? That being said, there may be some glimmer of hope for the almighty ROI. (Not just an outdoors store…) What that hope exactly manifests itself into is anyone’s guess, but we can try and make an educated (lol) call about, and that’s what I intend to do after this quick jump…
Already missing a month earlier in the season due to hamstring issue, Conforto’s season thus far has shown a wide array of things, and quite frankly not many of them are good. The lack of power, bad luck after contact, atrocious slugging… as of this writing, his ISO stands at 0.98 with a BABIP .261 and a SLG of .301. While good enough numbers if you’re a pitcher up-to-bat, for an outfielder who once hit 33 homeruns just three seasons ago, it’s red flags everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
While being mostly a stabilizing force in the heart of the Mets lineup the last several seasons, we are now at a stage where we were basically celebrating a free-agent-to-be’s ability to hit his third homerun to break up a 1-23 streak right before the All Star break. But despite me yelling there are red flags, there are caveats, good ones, I promise…
For instance, the BABIP which we’ve referred to above is not in a stellar place, yet I don’t think any betting man would think that it would stay at .261 when we have a career output of .302 and about 30 points lower than his .290ish average during his three peak seasons from 2017 to 2019.
Keep in mind also that for a guy who has been producing anemic power numbers, he sure has walked a lot. And while this in of itself does not guarantee a rebound for Conforto, it is encouraging that for the mess that this season is, he looks to hold the highest BB% in his career (13.2% was his previous higher number back in 2018).
So look, I understand that his power outage is what is of most concern, and while I’ve established above that he’s already been unlucky, but his plate discipline has been solid and not spectacular, what exactly is up with his 8.8% HR/FB and just 3 homeruns? Well, to tell you the truth, I’m not exactly sure why. But wait, before you leave thinking you came here for nothing, remember, it’s about the friends you made along the way. But also it could be a many number of things affecting him. Injury perhaps. Bad swing mechanics. Perhaps even an injury causing bad swing mechanics!
But I’m no doctor much to my mother’s chagrin, so I’ll leave that to someone better qualified. I however can tell you that Conforto should be hitting more than 3 homeruns, and if given enough time, might even return to his normal output. Crazy, I know, but do consider that his hard-hit rate (39.6 career, 34.7 now), launch angle (13.7 career, 10.8 now), and average exit velocity (89.1 career, 87.6 now) are pretty close to his career contemporaries. All the other nifty Statcast numbers are similar too, his barrel % included.
So yeah, Michael Conforto has had a terrible season so far, but I’m not so sure that will last. Obviously his BABIP can stay deflated and he could just continue being unlucky in that department, and yes, we have to accept the possibility that one aspect that could be hampering him greatly are continuing health issues related or even separate from his previous hamstring injury. But for a player going through such a terrible year, looking at who he is and what he’s doing under-the-hood sorta speak reveals that Conforto is the same guy he’s always been.
Now whether you can wait for him to show up is another question, but if you’re asking me, or if you’re reading me ask you to ask me something that I should just ask myself, I would think Michael Conforto has quite the second-half in him and I want to be a part of it. What can I say? I’m a man who enjoys getting into Confortotions.
I probably shouldn’t have said that.
Story of my life…
Jay is a longtime Razzball everything who consumes an egregious amount of Makers Mark as a vehicle to gain wisdom and augment his natural glow. Living in the D.C. area, he also likes spending time visiting the local parks and feeding lettuce to any turtles he encounters, including Mitch McConnell. You can follow him on Twitter @jaywrong.
Glad to hear your take on MC. I have carried him (and Blackmon) all year and have been thinking of giving up on both of them. Think Blackmon can turn it around too or is he done.
Hmm, I might write about him, but I def like MC a bit more on the rebound scale.