“The notion that we came close to trading him in the offseason is very untrue,” Alderson said “He’s too valuable to us in the long term. He was asked about quite a bit. Never gave it any serious thought.”
“I’m sure he’s very happy. We’re happy. He’s been the player over the last week that we thought we had when we drafted him and when he came up in 2015, and when he played early last season, and in Las Vegas. Most of his professional career has been very positive.”
He certainly has hit the ground running this spring, hitting .409 with two home runs as well as showcasing a slimmer figure, a testament to the work he put in this offseason. While he is making the best case he can to play every day on the MLB roster, he understands that both the glut of outfielders as well as the uncertainty about his production might make that decision difficult.
“Whatever ends up happening, I’ll be prepared for it,” he said. “Nothing’s going to discourage me from what I want to do this year no matter what happens. If I do have to go down to Triple-A, I’ll work my butt off until I get back up to where I want to be.”
After a scalding-hot April, Conforto cooled off dramatically in 2016, finishing the year with a .220/.310/.414 slash line with 12 home runs and 42 RBIs. The former first-round pick certainly has the potential to put up All-Star numbers, and has shown he is capable. All he needs to do now is do it consistently so the next time he faces Madison Bumgarner, he will be up to the challenge.