Another guy who had an outstanding 2020 season and has taken a massive step back in 2021 is Michael Conforto. If Dom Smith wasn’t the team’s MVP in 2020, it was Conforto. He slashed .322/.412/.515 with nine home runs and 31 RBI. He was using the opposite field a lot and looked like the star he was projected to be. I believe a big reason why 2021 has been such a down year for Conforto is his pull rate. It shot up from 27.6% in 2020 to 43% this season. With teams shifting now more than ever, Conforto is finding gloves more than open space by not using the opposite field.
His hard-hit percentage has actually gotten higher this year according to baseball savant so he really is just hitting balls at people.
While he has looked better lately and did miss a lot of time due to injury, a slash line of .225/.339/.367 is not what we are used to from Conforto.
Another part of Conforto’s game that has taken a turn for the worst is his production against left-handed pitching. This was something Conforto struggled with prior to his outstanding 2020 but then was turned around that season, slashing .284/.384/.486 in 74 at-bats against southpaws. This season, however, he has reverted back to his old form slashing .190/.324/.207 with just two doubles and zero home runs against southpaws.
In the second half of the season Conforto has put up an OPS+ of 106 so I do believe he’s getting back to the player we expect him to be. While he’s gotten better, there’s an obvious cause for concern heading into his free agency. I do expect him to get back to the Conforto we all know but have no idea if that will be in a Mets uniform or not.