As one of the few homegrown position players on the New York Mets, Michael Conforto has a chance at becoming one of the team’s most popular players since David Wright.
Noah Syndergaard is the man. Jacob deGrom is pretty cool, too. In his best days, Matt Harvey was untouchable. All three of these New York Mets pitchers have spent time at the cool kid’s table at some point in his career.
There’s something different about the love for a starting pitcher and the admiration for a position player. Starting pitchers only show up once every five days. Even if we remember their names and faces, they disappear from a part of us. This doesn’t happen with position players. We get to adore them every day.
Michael Conforto: The Coolest Kid in School
Conforto has everything going for him. The former first-round pick had a great 2017 season, earning him his first All-Star bid. Now the team’s occasional leadoff man, the sky is the limit for the young left-handed hitting slugger. Whether he stays atop the order or finds his place nearer to the middle, great things are in store.
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First, let’s get the most important part out of the way. Conforto has the look to become a popular Mets player. Tell me that smile hasn’t won you over already. His youthful grin looks like it was chiseled with the bat Wright used in the prime of his career.
On the field and away from the paparazzi, Conforto is equally as lovable. The 2017 numbers make him out to be a multi-talented player. Slashing .279/.384/.555 with 27 home runs in only 440 trips to the plate, Conforto is a possible 30 home run per year player. If he had stayed healthy in 2017, there’s no doubt he would have reached the mark.
New Yorkers love home run hitters. It’s the big swat that wins them over most. While many legendary sluggers made their name with the New York Yankees, someone like Conforto can establish himself as the Mets’ very own power hitter.
A True Met
Perhaps the most valuable reason behind Conforto’s popularity rise is the fact that he’s homegrown.
Yes, getting drafted and sticking with your team really helps. We can’t imagine Conforto wearing another team’s jersey. That’s because he belongs to the Mets and them alone.
When a player “belongs” to a city, he has a far greater chance of raising the bar for popularity. There certainly are exceptions. Superstars like Mike Piazza put up Hall of Fame numbers to earn their brownie points with fans. Others, like Wright did and Conforto will, receive the added benefit of sticking with one team.
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Does this mean he becomes captain one day? Captain Conforto does have a ring to it.