Now that the 2020 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of the season from A (Pete Alonso) to Z (Daniel Zamora). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at outfielder Michael Conforto.
Player Review: Michael Conforto
2020 Stats: 54 Games, 202 At Bats, .322 Batting Average, 65 Hits, 12 Doubles, 9 Home Runs, 31 RBI’s, 40 Runs Scored, 3 Stolen Bases, .927 OPS, 2.0 WAR
Story: The Mets entered 2020 hoping to get more consistency out of Michael Conforto, who had gone through some significant peaks and valleys over the past two seasons. Conforto delivered on that promise and then some, becoming the team’s most valuable player in 2020. Over the course of 54 games, Conforto led the Mets with a .322 batting average, the seventh-best in all of major league baseball, while also contributing 12 doubles, nine homers and 31 RBI’s. Conforto’s .927 OPS was the 21st best in the game and his highest mark in that statistic since 2017, when he slugged 27 homers and drove in 68 runs in just 109 games. The Mets also left Conforto in right field all year and he delivered his finest defensive season, showing off a strong arm while also making a few highlight-reel catches. The one bummer for Conforto was that he suffered a hamstring injury in late September that forced the Mets to shut him down for the final five games of the year.
This is the kind of player the Mets thought they were getting when they drafted Conforto back in 2014. Conforto displayed the hitting form that could make him a batting champion by taking the ball to all fields, hitting for plenty of power, and showcased some plus defense out in right field.
Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible (Fourth and Final Time)
Odds of Returning: 100%
2021 Role: Starting Right Fielder
There is no question that Conforto will be back in 2021 but the more interesting question will become if the Mets negotiate a long-term extension with him. Conforto can become a free agent after next season and should be in line to make a pretty penny on the open market, a prospect that would have all but guaranteed his departure under the Wilpon’s ownership. The arrival of Steve Cohen makes an extension a logical possibility since the billionaire would love to rubber-stamp his ownership as different than the Wilpon’s by locking up a rising star before he hits the market. Conforto has been amenable to an extension in the past so don’t be shocked if a long-term agreement is reached over the winter.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review series continues with a look at outfielder Ryan Cordell!