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Michael Conforto is off to a great start, and the Mets should extend him

The 27-year-old has been fantastic, and the Mets should keep him around for years to come.

MLB: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Michael Conforto is hitting very well thus far in the 2020 season. Over the course of four-plus seasons in the big leagues coming into this year, the 27-year-old had already established that he is a well-above-average hitter, consistently getting on base and hitting for power.

This year, though, he’s looking better than ever, albeit in a tiny sample of games. In 80 plate appearances, Conforto has hit .324/.425/.515 with three home runs, a couple of stolen bases, and a 166 wRC+. And looking at his underlying numbers, it’s not like Conforto has suddenly changed. His strikeout and walk rates are in line with his norms, and his average exit velocity, too, has been normal by his standards.

That’s sort of the point, though. Michael Conforto doing what Michael Conforto normally does leads to very good—and sometimes great—results. At the moment, Conforto ranks 29th among qualified major league hitters with that 166 wRC+. Since the beginning of the 2017 season, he also ranks 29th among qualified major league hitters with a 130 wRC+.

The Mets have very little in the way of long-term salary commitments, and it would make sense for them to start working out contract extensions with their best young players sooner rather than later. Conforto is under team control through the 2021 season, and perhaps he’s too close to free agency to forego the opportunity to see what he could get on the open market. But the Mets should make every effort to persuade him to sign a long-term deal.

Whether or not the Mets would make any such moves under the current, soon-to-be outgoing ownership group is a fair question. But whether it’s the Wilpons at the helm or the next owner, they’d be wise to make an extension for Conforto a top priority.