The 2017 season was undoubtedly bittersweet for Michael Conforto. On one hand, he bounced back from a frustrating 2016 season that saw him battle a wrist injury en route to a .220/.310/.414, 96 wRC+, 1.3 fWAR season in just 348 plate appearances to a .279/.384/.555, 148 wRC+, 4.4 fWAR season in 440 plate appearances.
Not only was Conforto one of the best hitters on the Mets, he was one of the best hitters in all of baseball. His 146 wRC+ was tied for 10th in the league with Nelson Cruz and Kris Bryant — he was simply an elite hitter in 2017,and was one of the few bright spots during a devastating Mets season.
But he suffered a major injury which is going to have an impact on his 2018 season. On a swing late in the season, he suffered a scary shoulder injury, tearing the posterior capsule in his left shoulder. While he has been in camp and throwing a baseball, he has not been cleared to swing a bat yet, which complicates things moving forward.
Sandy Alderson has publicly stated that he does not expect Conforto to be back prior to May 1, but he has not given Conforto a timetable outside of that.
His 2018 season, as of now, is very much up in the air. It is hard to determine when he will be back, and if he will have to shake off any rust upon returning. As of now, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Brandon Nimmo, Yoenis Cespedes will handle the majority of the innings in the outfield until Conforto is back. While it is frustrating that Conforto will be out to start the season, it is more important that one of the best young players in the entire organization gets back to 100% before he returns.