After a slow first half to his 2018 campaign, Michael Conforto rebounded in a large way after the All-Star Break. With a healthy shoulder heading into the 2019 season, the Mets outfielder looks to be poised for a big year.
Michael Conforto suffered a debilitating shoulder injury on a routine swing in August of 2017. To the surprise of many, the New York Mets welcomed him back after missing only the first five games of the season when he was expected to miss at least the first month.
Coming back from the shoulder injury so quickly may not have been the best thing, however. While Conforto got off to a quick start in his return to the diamond in 2018 the outfielder put together a lackluster first half, putting together a slash line of .216/.344/.366.
However, it was right around this time that his season saw a large uptick in production as he went on to put together a slash line of .273/.356/.539 and blasting 17 home runs and seeing nearly a two hundred point uptick in slugging percentage.
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Mostly importantly though were the underlying stats that showed that the shoulder was starting to get healthy. Conforto saw an uptick hard hit percentage ( 38.4% vs 33.5%), line drive percentage (20.5% vs. 18.7%), and pull percentage ( 47% vs 39%). The large increase in pulling the ball certainly helped lead to his big power output in the second half, a strong indicator that he was began to find his swing and the shoulder was becoming healthier.
There are still areas of Conforto’s game that can be improved upon such as his K% where he finished 9th among all National League players with a 24.9% strikeout percentage. New Mets hitting coach Chili Davis has mentioned he will be preaching contact at the dish among Mets hitters and while it would certainly benefit Conforto to cut down on that K% doing so at the sake of taking away from potential power output should not be sacrified to greatly.
With the torn shoulder capsule fully in the rear view mirror, a return to form for the Mets young outfielder would do wonders in their hopes of returning to the playoffs in 2019.
The lineup should be much improved over the 2018 version and Conforto will be undoubtedly slotted somewhere at the top of it. It is going to be exciting to see just how high his ceiling is.
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What kind of year do you expect from Conforto in 2019?