Mets picked the best hitter in the draft on Thursday

The Mets selected 21-year-old Oregon State OF Michael Conforto with the No. 10 pick in the First Year Player Draft on Thursday.

“He’s got some credibility,” an American League scout said (Oregonian, June 5). “I certainly anticipate him being a middle-of-the-order-type hitter at the Major League level.”

Conforto told reporters after the draft that his approach to hitting can best be described as a “relaxed aggression,” and, “a smart intensity.”

“It’s a real fit for what we like in a hitter,” Mets director of amateur scouting Tommy Tanous said late Thursday. “This is a guy who has the ability to lay off pitches and the ability to really hurt pitches.”


Screen shot 2014-06-05 at 8.17.50 PM


“Conforto might be the best pure hitter in the class; a left-handed hitting outfielder with plus power and an outstanding approach at the plate,” says ESPN’s Chris Crawford >> Read More Scouting Reports at SNY’s Mets Minors.


Conforto, Tanous and VP of Player Development Paul DePodesta talked with reporters Thursday after the draft >> Listen to the Audio.


MLB.com ranked Conforto the best hitter available in this year’s draft >> Watch MLB.com’s Video Profile with Highlights


Read more about Conforto in the Star-Ledger, Bergen Record, Newsday and MLB.com.




79 comments
jenkins
jenkins

I wanted either Zimmer or Conforto, so I can't complain much. Conforto will be starting in LF for the Mets next year. If he hits .250 with 10 HRs he's a huge upgrade. Such is the state of the hitting on this team.

mrmet4mvp
mrmet4mvp

I hadn't realized until just now how bad the Mets have historically been in drafting players.  Take a look at this list of 1st-round picks:


http://espn.go.com/mlb/history/draft/_/team/nym


That's a pretty sad list of top picks.


Granted, Harvey was a hit, and the guys after Harvey it's still too early to tell, but 2009 and earlier does not instill a lot of confidence that the Mets know what they are doing.

jenkins
jenkins

good lefty alleys hitter. Either LF or 1B. Bad defensively so Lagares will be busy.  Another DH in the lineup.

kefhrny17
kefhrny17

So was this a good pick? I have no clue about these college guys.

jonn
jonn

Second most runs scored on the road and last in runs scored at home.  We may be the worst offense at home, but when people say we have the worst offense in baseball, you should check the facts.  The numbers don't lie.

Steven Glansberg
Steven Glansberg

I bet he can come up tomorrow and hit better than 80 percent of this lineup

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

I have seen that some analysts think that  Kyle Schwarber, the Indiana Catcher drafted by the Cubs, was the best left handed college bat in the draft.  How does that make Conforto "the best hitter"?  Was that an unbiased opinion, or just the opinion of the Mets' front office?

Eddie_Dean
Eddie_Dean

People are making way too big a deal out of his defense. All the reports say he's improved this season in that department, and with work he should grade out to be an "average" left fielder. Yet many people on here are making comparisons to Lucas Duda in LF. Lucas Duda is not and "average" corner outfielder, in Citi Field or anywhere else. Lucas Duda is about <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< average.


To use an example of someone on the team now, Andrew Brown is what I'd consider to be an average defensive corner outfielder. Not bad, but not going to steal runs from the other team. If this kid hits as well as he's projected, and plays the OF as well as Brown, no one will care about his defense.

mrmet4mvp
mrmet4mvp

UGH.  Conforto might have been the "best" power hitter in this (weak for hitters) draft, but the Mets' FO continues to ignore the fact that they play 81 games a year at Citi Field.   Taking a guy whose "only tool" is a good power bat, with limited defense and a propensity to strikeout, is ridiculously stupid for this team, given that defense is so important in Citi's spacious outfield and that the ballpark in Flushing is where home run hitters go to die. We have that same player, but with better defense, right now in Curtis Granderson--how is that working out?

dave42
dave42

For what it's worth, in three years at USC, Duda hit .275 with 11 total home runs and 67 walks vs 88 strikeouts.  Conforto has hit .341/.463/.560 with 31 home runs in 179 games at OSU, 116 walks and 119 strikeouts.  I don't know much, but I'd say Conforto had a better college career. 

Michael Zvirblis
Michael Zvirblis

He could be batting .1000. But as a Met, we'll get .200! Guarantee it.

dave42
dave42

Here is what John Sickels (www.minorleagueball.com) had to say:

10) Mets:  Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State University: Regarded as the top hitter in college baseball this year by many experts, Conforto features impressive left-side power and a good feel for the strike zone, hitting .351/.506/.557 with 51 walks this year in 56 games. His other tools are nothing special but scouts don’t mind; his bat is that good, and he’s ranked as one of the safest, most advanced hitters in the draft.

dave42
dave42

I like the pick.  I saw projections ranking him as high as fourth.  I was hoping for him or Turner and they got one of my two hopes.  I'm interested to see where they start him.  I'd guess St. Lucie with perhaps a notion that he could get to Bingo by August if things go well.  Him in left, Lagares in center and Nimmo in right.  Count me in.  Of course we'll still have Granderson...

Manny Montes
Manny Montes

Recker is a 30 yr old journey man for a reason. They both suck dude.

hashburry
hashburry

I guess he can DH.  Oh , wait...

zoddie
zoddie

There is almost no way Conforto makes it to the majors in A year.

nncyel
nncyel

@mrmet4mvp As an example. The Washington Nationals. Here are their top picks from 1999 to 2005


6 Josh Girdley

5 Justin Wayne

6 Josh Karp

5 Clint Everts

20 Chad Cordero

13 Bill Bray

4 Ryan Zimmerman.


Finally with the 4th pick in the 2005 draft they nabbed a major leaguer. 6 years of complete misses (other than Cordero); and high picks as well. Four years of picks 5 or 6 in the draft and none of those picks made it.

nncyel
nncyel

@mrmet4mvp To be fair you'd have to look at the list for a couple of other teams as well to see how those teams faired. It may just be that it's hard to evaluate young baseball talent.


In fact I just did that for the Texas Rangers. Just a quick glance suggests the Mets have faired better than the Rangers and the Rangers have been pretty successful over the last few years. 


It's easy to pick on the Mets. They've been bad the last 5+ years. But it's easy to criticize when you do it in a vacuum. It's only fair when you take a comparative approach. 

dooley
dooley

Best college bat in the draft, many analysts thought he was was worthy of a top ten pick (for what it's worth)

kefhrny17
kefhrny17

But they're still a terrible team... Can't deny that.

dooley
dooley

Different analysts?

TheJMan
TheJMan

@flmetsfan


just people protecting SA 

viewing doubters as overly negative 

but also refusing to acknowledge what a crapshow this team has been and how bad decisions have overwhelmingly outweighed good ones

there's nothing more than a crapshoot than the baseball draft -- explain Pujols or Piazza or 1000000 others of hits and misses
and people who ignore all of this .. opinions.. are just being difficult for the sake of it 

ken1010
ken1010

@Eddie_Dean I saw a scout comparing him to Mark Trumbo.  That would be just fine.

TheJMan
TheJMan

@Eddie_Dean


if he hits.. you are right. 100% right ... 

let's check back in 2-3 years and see if he's up yet -- right in time for our 8th or 9th consecutive losing season

foophilly
foophilly

His defense won't be a big deal with Lagares in center. If he's average in lf and he can hit for power and a decent average he'll be fine. BTW power isn't his only tool. He has hit for a high average and has a OBP.

dave42
dave42

@mrmet4mvp  So you're saying you don't want a 3-time all-star and a guy who has twice been in the top 10 in MVP balloting? 

TheJMan
TheJMan

@dave42


do not love the BB/K ratio one bit 

big power decline too

hey.. your plan of Conforto, Lagares and Nimmo sounds great ... let's see it -- would love to know your odds/percentage of that actually happening 

Nicholas Vargas
Nicholas Vargas

Lol we have DenDekker, Curtis and Lagares. They cover up some ground that Conforto can't. I'd like to know is arm is

Sean Matrai
Sean Matrai

@hashburry There are a lot of bad defensive outfielders that have performed well in the NL

TheJMan
TheJMan

@Victor Triguero


this says it all..  but hey .. like someone pointed out.. I'm not a GM .. so I can't have a valid opinion -- 


My approach at the plate is relaxed aggression,” he said. “It's a smart intensity.”


too much complexity when the all-time leader in hits said.. see the ball, hit the ball

mrmet4mvp
mrmet4mvp

@nncyel @mrmet4mvp You're right; it's unfair to single out the Mets, as the MLB draft in particular is really more of a crap shoot than anything.


Still, my primary point is that, given the historical track record of the Mets' (and other teams') first-round picks, it's probably useless to get too excited or critical of any particular pick anyway.  But if Conforto flames out and Trea Turner becomes an all-star, we'll all be wondering what might have been...

kefhrny17
kefhrny17

So should we be excited about his pick?

zoddie
zoddie

Sure you can. Terrible teams have worse winning percentages than the Mets. The Mets are mediocre. They'll probably win 75 or so games, same as most people thought in March.

jenkins
jenkins

@ken1010 @Eddie_Dean Trumbo is much more a power hitter unless Conforto really turns it on. Conforto had about 7 HRs in 56 games at the college level.

mrmet4mvp
mrmet4mvp

@dave42 @mrmet4mvp I'm saying I'd like to see some awareness by the Front Office of the home ballpark they need to deal with.  I would LOVE to see the version of Granderson who made it to 3 all star games, but I don't think a .217 batting average or a .679 OPS or (on pace for) 16 HRs gets you there.  Granderson, like David Wright, has all of his HR power sapped by the dimensions of Citi Field--he's a bad fit for this team because his best power is to an area that is far away in Citi Field.  He's nowhere near the player he was on the Tigers or Yankees, because Citi Field is not a good place to play for guys who are all-power, high-strikeout hitters.  But at least Granderson can play defense, which is hugely important in a big ballpark on a team built around its pitching.  


If Conforto is the same type of hitter, but without the defense, how can this have been a good pick for the Mets?  Are they secretly building a new stadium that I don't know about?

mrmet4mvp
mrmet4mvp

@TheJMan @Victor Triguero Does "relaxed aggression" mean the same thing as "strike-out looking"?  Because if it does, then they are right that this kid will fit right in with the Mets' "hitting philosophy"!

ken1010
ken1010

@TheJMan @Victor Triguero 

He might just be saying that relaxed aggression stuff to please the bosses, knowing he was drafted by the Mets, and wanting to impress them.

Could be a smart kid.

dooley
dooley

I have read comparisons to Nick Swisher (it may have been on this blog, but I am not sure)

TheJMan
TheJMan

@mrmet4mvp @dave42


Granderson is a just a bad fit period.. low OBP and High K and this overcomplicated philosophy 

Conforto's power went down too, no? doesn't matter-- if he could hit .310+ and drive the gaps, drive in runs while playing underwhelming defense.. would love to see it -- not expecting a whole lot of HRs -- but also not expecting that guy on this team anytime soon--goes for all the bats they've drafted recently--what.. 2017? 2018?

the team's pitching is peaking NOW .. we need hitting NOW

they've gone the HS hitters route the past few drafts-- draft a big arm this year, load up on more depth and make a trade 

how many Mets signed/drafted position players are we still waiting on? Lastings.. THRILLEDGE..  bum

TheJMan
TheJMan

@ken1010


i hope he is smart and comes up and knocks the cover off the ball

experts say he's the best hitter in the draft and he's the most ready -- he's 21 .. let's see it -- plenty of guys come up at 22-23 and do work -- i don't think this team has made a ton of great decisions... so i am skeptical of it working out and when i read that nonsense.. it scares me because this is the Mets we're talking about .. there is ALWAYS some issue, some excuse... something ...

6 years of losing -- big market team .. lots of poor decisions.. enough already