Nothing about the potential 2020 season of Major League Baseball feels normal, but it really doesn’t feel normal to try to predict what will happen in a 60-game season happening in the middle of a pandemic. If the season does happen, there are sure to be wild things happening statistically across the league, and players who occasionally get hit with “streaky” labels like Michael Conforto could be really great or really bad in such a short span of time.
Believe it or not, veyr shortly after the 2020 season gets underway on July 23, Conforto will be celebrating the five-year anniversary of his major league debut. That came on July 24, 2015, just a few days before the Mets traded for Yoenis Cespedes and went on a tear to take the league in the National League East and win the division comfortably by the end of the regular season.
Since then, Conforto has established that he is a very good major league hitter when healthy. A wrist injury in 2016 seemed to have played a part in sapping his production at the plate and limited him to 109 games, and in 2017, he unfortunately played in just 109 games again as his season came to an end because of a freakish shoulder injury suffered while taking a swing. At the time of the latter, he was having a fantastic year, hitting .279/.384/.555 with 27 home runs and a 147 wRC+.
Over the past two seasons, Conforto has been healthy, averaging 152 games played per year. He put up a 120 wRC+ in 2018 and a 126 wRC+ in 2019, both of which clearly don’t match his level of production from 2017 but are also obviously good. Since he’s rarely been the best hitter on the Mets, he probably doesn’t get quite as much recognition as he deserves, despite having consistently been among the team’s top hitters in his time as a major league player.
Looking ahead to this year’s shortened season, Conforto figures to play nearly every day and figures to hit similarly to how he’s hit over the past couple of seasons. Still just 27 years old, though, he has the talent and has shown over some stretches of his career that he can be one of the better hitters in the game.