Mets: Is Michael Conforto the next David Wright?
By Michelle Ioannou
No, Michael Conforto won’t be playing third base anytime soon (well, as far as we know), but he may be taking after the Mets Captain more than most may realize
David Wright has missed the majority of yet another season. Curtis Granderson is now on the Dodgers. Lucas Duda is now on the Rays. Jay Bruce is now on the Indians. And Neil Walker is now on the Brewers.
Who’s the veteran leader in the clubhouse right now? Well, you could say Jose Reyes has the most experience, but according to Reyes, there’s someone else who reminds him of the leader that is David Wright.
And that player is Conforto.
According to Reyes:
"“[Conforto] shows up early, he works hard every day, that’s what a leader does. If you saw ten years ago David Wright and what he’s capable of doing — he showed up early every day, he worked hard every single day, he wanted to be in the lineup every single day. And I see Michael in the same way.”"
Wright has been a Met his entire career. We’d all love for Conforto to be a Met his entire career as well. Both absolutely love the game of baseball, know how to step up for their team and their teammates, know how to work hard, and know how to be an example to an entire fanbase.
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Naturally, Conforto stated that he is ready to be the leader and be the voice that the team needs. “You have to embrace it and I’m excited for it,” he said, as well as explaining that he wants to help the new guys that have come up. “Hopefully I can do what I can to help them get as comfortable as possible,” Conforto elaborated.
And yes, you can be a great role model Conforto, as you were not even supposed to start the season in the majors, and yet here you are, leading the team and being the only Met to make it to the All-Star Game. Not too shabby, and definitely an inspiration to the new guys, especially to someone like Dominic Smith, who was double-switched out of his MLB debut.
Yes, Conforto is still young. But every team needs a leader — someone who’s a great example both on and off the field.
Terry Collins, however, does not want this to be Conforto’s focus this season. He stated that he wants Conforto to just focus on finishing the year strong, and that leadership can be worried about at another time.
"“I think ultimately down the road, in the big picture, he will be a huge force in the clubhouse. But he’s got enough going on to finish the last two months the way he’s came into the last two months, and that is playing well, swinging the bat well and finishing with great numbers. And then we’ll worry about all the other outside, off-the-diamond kind of stuff later on.”"
Evidently Collins and Conforto have both spoken about leadership in the clubhouse, and both agreed that it needs to happen naturally.
Well, from the sounds of it (i.e. Reyes’ above commentary), it seems as though it’s already happening. Conforto has seen Wright in action, and he seems to be channeling that, and wants to be that person for the new kids on the block. He’s already showing this on the field with a team-leading 26 home runs (now that Bruce is gone), and he’s showing it in the clubhouse as well, just like the Captain has done in the past.
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Conforto is a young star in a big city right now, and Wright was that over a decade ago. But, it’s so much more than just that. Both of them want to lead their team (and have led their team), in all ways possible.