With voting opening, Michael Conforto‘s name does not appear on the All-Star Game ballot. His name doesn’t appear because a team only has three outfielders listed, and the Mets Opening Day outfield of Yoenis Cespedes–Curtis Granderson–Jay Bruce is on there. Still, that doesn’t mean you still can’t vote for Conforto. In fact, you can and should write his name in.
To date, Conforto has had an outstanding year. Through his first 24 games this season, the newly minted leadoff hitter has hit .357/.427/.700 with seven homers and 18 RBI. He’s gone from a player the Mets needed to try to find playing time for to a player they cannot afford to take out of the lineup. He’s been one of the best outfielders in all of baseball.
Among National League outfielders with at least 70 at-bats, he is one of the top ranked players. His batting average, on base percentage. and slugging are second only to Bryce Harper. Again, his 187 wRC+ is second only to Harper. Same goes for his 189 OPS+. It should then come as no surprise that his 1.3 fWAR is also second to Harper.
No matter what stat you cite, the only rationale conclusion you can reach is Conforto is the second best outfielder in the National League.
Last year, he had suffered from the proverbial ‘Sophomore Slump” due to a wrist injury, inconsistent playing, and the struggles that typically ensue from both of these circumstances.
Despite proving himself in Triple-A, the Mets still wouldn’t trust him over injured and struggling players. Rather than give him the opportunity to be the player he was, the Mets traded for Bruce. The failure to move Bruce in the offseason led to Conforto starting the year on the bench. Despite this, Conforto was ready to to step in when the Mets needed him most.
He’s played all three outfield positions, and he has played them well. With Granderson’s and Jose Reyes‘ struggles, he has provided the team with a lead-off hitter. With the injuries to Cespedes and Lucas Duda, he has provided his team with a great bat – a bat that is the second best in the National League among outfielders. Conforto has been everything the Mets have needed and more.
In reality, the question shouldn’t be whether Conforto should be in the All-Star Game, the question should be whether he’s starting the game or not. With his name not being on the ballot, Mets fans need to step up and write-in his name.