I know that, after I write this, he'll probably go 4-for-4 tonight, leading the Mets to a crushing victory over the Dodgers.
Mets fans breathed a sigh of relief this morning. Michael Conforto, top prospect outfielder, is coming up to save their season and provide offense to a team that has seemed lifeless throughout this season.
Stop right there.
Conforto is not a superhuman. He's not the best prospect who ever lived. (Or so we think.) Conforto is a good-hitting outfielder with a chance--I repeat, chance--to do good things for a Mets team that could use about anyone who can swing a bat in their lineup.
I don't disagree with the promotion of Conforto. I agree with the Mets' thinking. Something, anything, should be done to try to fix this team. But can Conforto be expected to immediately hit big league pitching and be the middle-of-the-order threat that everyone thinks he will be? Absolutely not.
It is known that big league pitchers are much different than minor league hurlers. They make less mistakes, are far more experienced, and much harder to hit. We're expecting a guy who has less than 200 career plate appearances at the Double-A level to hit some of the big leagues' best.
I'd have rather seen the Mets make a trade for a bat. There's still some speculation that they do. Then, if he isn't doing well, maybe they could send Conforto back to the minor leagues and let him develop there.
But which hitter currently on the market could really make that much of a difference in the middle of the Mets lineup?
Sure, there's Justin Upton. Possibly Josh Reddick. Maybe Yoenis Cespedes. But, at least reportedly, the Mets are not willing to either take on the contract or give up the prospects in order to get those guys, even though they are right in the mix and really could contend for a playoff spot down the road.
Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs wrote an extremely thought-provoking piece on Conforto's awaited promotion two days ago, noting: How much of a difference could Conforto really make?
It’s worth wondering, then: what could the Mets expect of Conforto?
Sullivan goes on to say that Conforto, based on history, will likely be a slightly below-average hitter right out of the gate.
Is this the type of guy the Mets really want to come in and be the superhero? I think not.
The Mets need to go out and trade for a bat. It's time for their ownership to finally realize that opportunities for the playoffs don't come around too often (the Mets' last was in 2006) and that when a team is teetering on the playoff/not playoff line, they need to do what they can to get them in.
Conforto could be the answer, but don't expect him to be the guy immediately. Success seems like it will come, but soon? Hard to say.