Michael Conforto’s Next All Star Game Or Part Two Of The Case For Keeping Jay Bruce

Michael Conforto’s next All Star Game appearance will be for the Frontier League. There, I’ve said it. The crown jewel of the Alderson regime’s drafting history, the hitter of a pair of World Series homers, a part of the Legend of 2015, is looking more and more like a bust, the next John Milner, or if you prefer a somewhat more contemporary reference, the pre-steroid version of Jeromy Burnitz.

Hopefully the Mets understand this as well, because if they don’t, they are probably just days away from giving away the player they could only hope Conforto might someday become: one Jay Allen Bruce. In case you’ve forgotten I made a similar argument here.

Bruce is having a tremendous year with a slash line of 267|335|541 to go along with his 24 home runs. All this after a disastrous start to his Met career after last year’s trade deadline, a start that brought comparisons to he and the infamous Jason Bay. Bruce has proven his resilience, enduring a long winter of trade rumors, that fortunately for the Mets, bore no acceptable offers. To his credit he kept his mouth shut for the entire ordeal and has let his bat do the talking since Spring Training. He did speak up recently, countering Met manager Terry Collins’s somewhat incendiary remarks about the Mets not showing any fight, by making a somewhat understated, yet clearly understood rebuttal.

Like the rest of the Mets faithful, I held my breath last Saturday night when Yoenis Cespedes right knee created a tsunami like divot in the Citi Field outfield. The Mets’ claim that the injury is minor, and that Cespedes is due to return to the lineup tonight has about as much credibility as Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf’s press conferences back in the day. With Cespedes looking at yet another injury-riddled season, Bruce is the only reliable source of power left in the lineup. The key word here being reliable.

Which brings us to Conforto. Once again, he has failed to adjust and after a hot start to his season, he has slashed 206|383|317 since June 1. He took the Golden Sombero on Saturday against some decent left handed Colorado relief pitching and then took another collar in Sunday’s debacle. Just a reminder, he hit 220|310|414 for all of 2016. This is the guy the Mets should build their offense around?

No sir. The Mets need to extend Bruce,and get Cespedes to find another personal trainer in the hopes that he can stay on the field more often. Together, Cespedes and Bruce can form a dangerous right-left middle of the order for the Mets, who need to go with faster players who can pick the ball elsewhere. This will equate to a power outage of sorts, making the home run threat  from the outfield corners an even more needed resource.

And for Conforto? He needs to be packaged with one of the Mets disappointing “young guns” this winter (that’s you Steven Matz) for a fast centerfielder and/or a defensive-minded second baseman.

A Mets fan since 1971, Dan spent many summer nights of his childhood watching the Mets on WOR Channel Nine, which his Allentown, PA cable company carried. Dan was present at Game 7 of the 1986 World Series and the Todd Pratt Walkoff Game in 1999. He is also the proud owner of two Shea Stadium seats. Professionally, Dan is a Marketing Manager in the Bulk Materials Handling industry. He lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife and son, neither of whom fully get his obsession with the Mets.
  1. Dan42 July 17, 2017 at 10:29 am
    So give up on Conforto because of one month (4 games in July playing with a bone bruise excluded) and excusing Bruce’s dismal May? Thanks, but no thanks.
  2. Dave P July 17, 2017 at 11:37 am
    So ignore Jay Bruce’s 2014, 2015, and 2016 and pay for a career year at age 30 when the ball is juiced like its 1987? I’ll take my chances on a 24 year old with a .399 OBP, thanks.
    • Dan Capwell July 17, 2017 at 2:28 pm
      Jay Bruce’s 2016 was pretty good until he got here
      • Gregg from Hoboken July 18, 2017 at 8:18 am
        All told, Bruce produced a .6 WAR in ’16. (We should not ignore his defense.)
  3. danshan July 17, 2017 at 1:29 pm
    he’s 24 and hasn’t even had a full season in the majors. plus he’s a better defender and baserunner already – i bet he’ll be a much better hitter in the end. don’t go the typical mets route. patience.

    dave p hits the nail on the head – bruce has been a very average player in his career. sign that player to a 3 year contract at age 31, no thanks.

  4. Vilos July 18, 2017 at 6:49 pm
    Again, just like last year with Bruce or Grandy, why not bruce AND Conforto instead of OR Conforto.
    I agree with keeping bruce, by extending him now. If not, then move him for whatever prospect they receive and go after him once the season ends.
    I even endorse bringing Granderson back for the bench alongside of Lagares.
    • Iz July 21, 2017 at 7:18 am
      A guy waits until 2 months before the end of the season to sign with you and pass up free agency. Fantasy. He waited this long he will wait a little longer. As for Conforto the OP seems like a Terry Collins man. No patience with kids but all the patience in the world with aging veterans. A sure plan for mediocrity.
      • Dan42 July 21, 2017 at 8:29 am
        And that they have achieved.
  5. DaveSchneck July 18, 2017 at 9:39 pm
    Not in agreement here. Bruce is a solid player and a decent fit with the Mets contingent on what they do elsewhere. However, I would not commit any significant resources to him, so he will likely find a better deal and fit elsewhere.

    Any player in any sport can be traded, so listen up on Conforto, but he looks like a keeper to me. He has had hit moments of excellence and his moments of poor performance, but he has been bounced around the outfield and batting line up based on team needs. I expect him to settle into a very solid piece.

  6. argonbunnies July 23, 2017 at 11:48 am
    I think Conforto’s high K rate makes high batting averages unlikely, but he has enough pop and patience to be a plus hitter, and he appears to be a solid outfielder. That’s a great thing to have at pre-arbitration prices.

    Bruce has been great this year. Trade him before a slump, or a few balls hit just outside of his range, reminds everyone of the player he’s always been!

    Poor Granderson. He was terrible to start the season, then got red hot, then was benched and has now lost his groove. History indicates he would have had a monster July playing every day.

    The guy who should be sitting while we wait to see who gets traded is Cespedes. I don’t know how waving at ball 4 on a 3-0 pitch as the tying run in the 9th doesn’t get you benched. After a dominant spring training of swinging at strikes and hitting line drives, Yo has spent most of the regular season swinging at everything and trying to lift the ball 500 feet. It has not been fun to watch.

    Yo’s performance aside, the Mets should let him continue healing while Grandy and Bruce both showcase their wares for their next team. Or, well, that’s what should have happened before riding the pine killed Curtis’s groove. Dunno if it’ll take him another 6-week stretch to get it back…