Fans aren’t happy with the way Michael Conforto has underperformed at the plate this season. In the field, he has actually been pretty good.
Conforto is an early season candidate to win a Gold Glove in 2018. He owns one of MLB’s best defensive WARs and is at or near the top in several other categories, according to ESPN.com.
Defensive statistics are complicated. Sometimes there are other factors at play when a guy not typically viewed as a defensive savior has terrific numbers.
To play devil’s advocate, one could say Conforto is between Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce on a regular basis. While Cespedes has an amazing arm, his range isn’t wonderful. As for Bruce, he’s a DH who somehow found a glove on his hand.
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Since debuting for the Mets in 2015, there hasn’t been any reason to believe Conforto would win any hardware with his mitt. For the past two seasons he was below replacement level. This year, something is different.
The amazing thing about Conforto’s numbers is that he has done it while primarily playing center field. This is the position many players put up their worst defensive numbers. Because there is so much more ground to cover, the chances of making an error are greater.
There’s still plenty of innings ahead of Conforto and you better believe guys like Billy Hamilton, Michael Taylor, and Ender Inciarte have aother plans. Center field has stiff competition in the Gold Glove category. Conforto will need some luck on his side to come away the victor.
More Mets Defensive Notes
Where Conforto has thrived, other Mets have faltered.
The Mets aren’t a team with very many great defenders. In fact, most are below replacement level. Juan Lagares is the only other clear cut Gold Glove candidate. Just about everyone else is worse than the average player.
None of this is a huge shock when considered who makes up their roster. However, it’s still disappointing to see a young guy like Amed Rosario fall behind.
Great defense up the middle can make up for mistakes by the pitcher. I don’t expect Asdrubal Cabrera to bail them out, but I would like to see Rosario blossom into someone who can.
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One can only hope he improves at least that part of his game this season.