Michael Conforto 1

Conforto getting used to slower pace of pro ball

Mets’ 2014 first-round draft pick and current Brooklyn Cyclone Michael Conforto talked about the difference between college baseball and the minor leagues, as he’s currently riding a 10-game hitting streak, which dates back to his professional baseball debut.

“Here in pro ball, it is a little bit slower-paced,” he said. “And I’ve already realized that I can’t expel all my energy in one spot, I gotta pick and choose where I need to really, really show up. And in those places, when I’m in the outfield and there’s a ball hit to me, that’s when I’m going to use my energy. When I’m in the box, I’m really locked in.”

Conforto is hitting .395 with a .452 OBP and .526 slugging percentage over 42 plate appearances. He has 5 doubles, 4 RBI, 4 walks and 6 strikeouts.

“The dugout atmosphere in college baseball was rowdy, and there’s a lot of talking, a lot of yelling,” he said. “Here it’s a lot more laid back. And I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been great.”


For the entire interview, including Conforto’s take on handling the pressure of pro ball and his development as a player, check out SNY’s Mets Minors…




61 comments
semperfi
semperfi

At his age and given the college experience there is no logical reason not to fast track him as long as he produces, there are no doubts that we could use a productive bat in the outfield

hankypanky
hankypanky

Sounds good. Glad to hear he tracked down a long fly ball, since the scouts don't like his D.

ken1010
ken1010

Ike Davis, another college first-rounder, started in Brooklyn in 2008, and was in the majors after the service-time deadline in 2010.  I hope Conforto moves that quickly, and ends up better when he gets here.  That would mean May 2016 for his debut.

Tom Gallagher
Tom Gallagher

It's early yet, and as such it's a small sample size. That being said, given his age, experience level, and that stat line, I'm hoping he moves onto the next level pretty soon.  

eric88
eric88

During the draft many experts predicted as the most advanced hitter in the Draft he could come up to a ML team during 2015.

Why do the Mets then have him in Low A with much younger players?

frankpdeeg
frankpdeeg

The comparison I hear about Conforto is a left-handed-hitting-only Nick Swisher with a lesser glove bit more avg potential.  This would be great.  Take into account his quiet swing, patience, and strong build, it's not out of the question to expect 25 HRs, 85 RBIs, and a .285 avg.  


I think we'd all enjoy this.  

thecyclone
thecyclone

I watched him hit last friday night. You can just see how good he is. There was a tremendous difference between him and everyone else on that field when it came to hitting. Also in that game he ran a long way into foul territory and caught a ball up against the side fence. I thought he was going to get hurt but came away uninjured, so to me he seems to be able to play the field with no problem. As I have said before, he's probably there for 50 or so at bats to make sure of the transition to wood then get bumped up to St. Lucie to finish the year. Next year he'll probably start at Binghamton and then move up to AAA if not make the jump to the majors if its warranted. That is fast tracking.

yankeehater
yankeehater

I know its only short-season rookie ball, but those are some impressive numbers for the first 10 games of your pro career. He should be a mainstay at AA before next season is over. I dont think he'll play in Savannah either. This guy was a productive COLLEGE hitter. He needs to be fast-tracked as long as he can handle it.

Christopher Masiello
Christopher Masiello

That's the first time that I've ever heard of a pro sport labled as "slower" than amateurs. Basketball and Football guys always comment on the "speed" of play shocking them.

I can imagine that the majors is even worse. All of the TV timeouts and guys stepping out of the box on every pitch.

Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Miller

St Lucie is the next step and hopefully, he may continue on a tear and get a taste of it there this year? Hopefully, he goes to the ASL, starts next year at High A and begins AA by summer...He's got a sweet swing...and generating that power and having a good eye will be key as he faces "pitchers not throwers" at the next levels, glad to see the change to a wooden bat hasn't slowed him down!

MetsFan1962
MetsFan1962

It should be exciting to find how Conforto ranks moving up in the farm system.
He seems to be ready to step up on the next rung of the ladder AA ball.

Karl Leopold
Karl Leopold

I think he starts next year at AA ball and then hopefully moves up late in the year.  


Ok what do we make of Dilson Herrera and how fast do we move him?  Yes he finishes this year at AA but he's hitting .345.  Does he move up again?  I mean you do have to promote production isn't that idea?

legs3
legs3

Only the Mets would take this college star and put him in with High Schoolers.   Thats there system that is turning out so many stars at the majors. HA!

hankincolo
hankincolo

If he's getting used to a slower pace now, wait until he has to deal with major league baseball. What's the average time between who is batting and who is in the field? 

2:25 minutes I believe. Last time I checked, in minor league ball, it was 90 seconds. 

dave42
dave42

I never understood the reasoning behind sending him to Brooklyn in the first place.  Some were suggesting AA for him to start.  If he's good, and the consensus scouting report is that he is, we should be pushing him. 

Kyle Tompkins
Kyle Tompkins

Jose Bautista in LF, and Conforto can be he his replacement in 2016

Andrew Vazzano
Andrew Vazzano moderator

Do you think the Mets should promote Conforto to a higher level of pro ball?

Bryan McEntee
Bryan McEntee

@ken1010 I think they actually brought up Davis about two weeks into the season, before the Super 2 deadline.

metzfan22
metzfan22

@eric88 You'd be the guy screaming that "HE WAS RUSHED!!!" if they started him in Double-A and he was struggling. 

Zach Goeringer
Zach Goeringer

@eric88 Because Savannah is in the middle of a big playoff run and has a notoriously hard ballpark to hit in. I agree under most circumstances he should have started in Mid-A, but this is his first time seeing professional pitching so they are probably just trying to keep his confidence levels high.

jamets
jamets

  He's not going to AA this season.  I bet he finishes the season in St. Lucie.

moeb
moeb

actually its savannah then st lucie

zoddie
zoddie

@MetsFan1962  The next rung of the ladder is A ball (Savannah).  Then it is St. Lucie (A+).  THEN it is AA.


My hunch is he gets promoted to Savannah in a couple of weeks and starts next year in St. Lucie.  Then he gets a promotion mid-season to AA in 2015.


Assuming he keeps hitting.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

Easy on the batting average. A month is still dealing with small samples although he's showing signs he's absolutely legit.

stemog
stemog

@legs3 He's playing short season because remember he already played 59 games in college this year.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

It really is crazy. It's just to get additional attendance and a "championship" in Brooklyn.

Mexpert
Mexpert

@dave42 control super 2 its not about winning its about filling spots why else would a GM sign CY and Abreu they are equally schitty.

hankincolo
hankincolo

@dave42 It's all about marketing. They've done this previously, .... show off the new number one pick in Brooklyn, give the guy a whiff of being in a big league town, fall in love with the excitement of NY and then begin a young man's education on how to become a big leaguer. He'll rise through the system soon enough.  

Howie Avery
Howie Avery

@Andrew Vazzano This kid should be in AA already, he played three years in college and excelled, and is 21 years old.  He has no business playing in Brooklyn especially when you read the reports about him having the most advanced bat in the draft and should be fast tracked!  Dilson Hererra is 19 years old and playing in AA.

Christopher Soto
Christopher Soto

@Andrew Vazzano The Mets organization has taken great pride in the success of the Savannah ball club. With the NYP Hudson Valley team being so good this year.....I think Conforto will be promoted to Savannah in about 2 weeks to help the Sand Gnats in their quest to win a 2nd straight championship.

Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Miller

@moeb no its not, long season long A is typically for non-college draftees, and young FA signings that complete rookiew level ball then go longer in year 2-3...(high) college draftees typically play short season then go to advanced A "if" they show enough to be legit prospects...

ac0814
ac0814

They may skip him over Savannah

Karl Leopold
Karl Leopold

@BringBackDaveTelghe ok discount the batting average after 34 games, but his OBP, SLG and OPS also have increased from St. Lucie.


i was just wondering how much do we fast track this kid

dave42
dave42

@Mexpert @dave42  Super 2 control only comes into play when the player gets to the majors.  It is not about filling spots, but finding good players to fill spots.  If Conforto is ready to play next year, he'll be called up mid-June to avoid Super 2 status and keep control of him another year.  Similarly, it may be that Syndergaard won't get called up for 2014 because why start his clock for just 8-9 weeks of play?  If that is true, we may not see him until next June, regardless of how well he does in Spring Training.

dave42
dave42

@hankincolo @dave42  understand they want to put top guys in Brooklyn, but Dom Smith you could make a case for playing there this year.  He was drafted out of high school.  Conforto played three years at one of the top D-1 schools in the country.  Many teams start such #1 picks at A+ or AA. The Mets went two slots below the lesser of those options. 

Jeffrey Miller
Jeffrey Miller

@Howie Avery @Andrew Vazzano realize this is his first pro shot w/ wooden bats! High college draftees usually get heir feet wet in a short summer league (low A) then start in High A (advanced) in their second year. Performance warrants promo after that. Often fall ball to sharpen certain skills is in the works if the parent club wants to see certain advancement...I imagine he'll get a chance to get his feet wet w/ Pitching at FSL if he continues to hit w/ power and a solid ISO...confidence building is a big part of this and shipping him to AA to hit .200~ isn't gonna do that. Full time in Binghamton a year from now would be excellent progress!

Karl Leopold
Karl Leopold

@ac0814 the last position college player the Mets took in the Draft was Ike Davis in 2008, he spent the entire year at Brooklyn in 2008, 2009 he started at A+ St. Lucie and finished at AA Binghamton.  2010 he started at AAA Buffalo and after 10 games he was brought up

zoddie
zoddie

@Karl Leopold @BringBackDaveTelghe  I believe he is still the youngest player in his league.  He'll likely finish the year at AA.


The question is with both him and Flores able to play 2b...what do we do with Murphy?

Mexpert
Mexpert

@dave42  then why was Harvey and Wheeler kept down you are naive

hankincolo
hankincolo

@dave42 @hankincolo I suspect they sometimes have slots to fill through-out the system and that plays a role in who goes where. Eventually though, some Crash Davis somewhere here's the line. "it's the toughest thing a manager has to do...'''  :(

Christopher Soto
Christopher Soto

@zoddie @Christopher Soto @Andrew Vazzano You are correct. As per past historical Mets promotional trends....Conforto should start 2015 in St. Lucie before moving to Binghamton. Then in 2016, he would start in AAA (wherever it is...hopefully Rochester) and make his debut with the big league ball club in late 2016.

dave42
dave42

@Mexpert @dave42  Harvey and Wheeler were kept down because the Mets like their pitching prospects to get a certain number of minor league innings rather than rush them to the majors.  They were each brought up to the majors after it a) became apparent they had nothing left to prove in the minors and b) the Super 2 cutoff for that year had passed.


With Syndergaard, you can argue he has plenty to prove in the minors, though I think the problem is Vegas, not him.  But the Mets are not going to admit their AAA city is hell for pitchers so they're going to keep him there.  My fear is that, with the Super 2 cutoff nearly 2 months gone for this year, they may wait until next June to bring him up, even if his Spring Training numbers are spectacular, just to get another year of control.

metsjetsdu
metsjetsdu

@Christopher Soto @zoddie @Andrew Vazzano There is no reason for him to take 2 full years to get to the bigs. That is absolutely ridiculous if you ask me. I am also not a scout or GM but after everything I heard, 2 full years sounds like it would be overkill keeping him down there. 

Howie Avery
Howie Avery

@Christopher Soto @zoddie @Andrew Vazzano My memory is not that good, but when is the last time we drafted a college bat with a top 15 pick?  Our last three top picks have been HS bats.  Conforto has already competed in A and A+ etc... with the competition he has faced in college.  I am not saying to rush the kid, but let him face some competition that is at his level.  Also, this isn't some ho-hum college kid, but one of the top hitters if not the top.


Karl Leopold
Karl Leopold

 @Karl Leopold pretty sure i did not state that.  I was comparing how the Mets handled a recent college bat

Karl Leopold
Karl Leopold

@Howie Avery @Christopher Soto @zoddie @Andrew Vazzano In 1978 Hubie Brooks

Howie Avery
Howie Avery

@Karl Leopold Wow, so my point was pretty correct, there is no historical history for top college bats!

Karl Leopold
Karl Leopold

@Howie Avery @Karl Leopold You have a small sample.  In 2008 with the 18th pick we took Ike Davis and they played him in Brooklyn for the full year.  He finished the following year at AA and started the next year at AAA.  He only played 10 games in AAA before the Mets called him up


Rudibager
Rudibager

@Karl Leopold Yep...  That was the year that we had Mike Jacobs hold the fort (terribly) so that Ike could get past the arbitration cutoff (just like Wheeler did last year).