Harper or Conforto? Conforto or Judge? You Decide.

Bryce Harper is a former National League MVP, and is looking at a contract that has been speculated could exceed $400 million when he reaches free agency after the 2018 season. Bryce Harper is a four-time All Star and has played all three outfield positions. However, in Flushing the Mets currently have a young outfielder who has played all three outfield positions, and may be Harper’s equivalent. At least, he has been so far this season. Consider the following chart, which includes stats through last night’s game:

G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SF IBB WAR
40 153 129 34 43 8 1 13 31 1 0 20 37 0.333 0.425 0.713 1.138 196 92 0 2 2 4 2.2
41 183 153 43 53 10 0 14 38 0 2 30 34 0.346 0.454 0.686 1.140 195 105 3 0 0 6 2.4

The first player is Mets’ fans own Michael Conforto, and the second stat line is of Bryce Harper. Both 24 years old, Harper is hitting for a higher batting average and has a higher on base percentage, but Conforto offsets this with more power, as measured by his higher slugging percentage. The OPS and OPS+ are virtually deadlocked for the Met’s division rivals.

This makes one appreciate the season Conforto is having just a bit more. Not impressed yet? Let’s judge (pardon the pun) Michael Conforto against the Met’s cross-town rival outfielder, Aaron Judge who is actually a year older and has manned only the corner outfield spots:

G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SF IBB WAR
40 153 129 34 43 8 1 13 31 1 0 20 37 0.333 0.425 0.713 1.138 196 92 0 2 2 4 2.2
41 172 146 36 46 5 2 15 30 4 1 24 50 0.315 0.419 0.685 1.104 190 100 10 2 0 2 2.8

Conforto has a higher batting average, higher on base percentage, the same number of extra base hits despite more than 20 fewer plate appearances, and Conforto actually has 1 more RBI despite many games in the leadoff spot. Conforto has more game power, as measured by slugging percentage, and his OPS and OPS+ is also higher than his cross-town counterpart.

This jury member votes for Michael Conforto as the better hitter. Case closed!

LGM

About Carl Aridas 18 Articles
Mets fan since the Wayne Garrett/Craig Swan/Joe Torre days, Carl works as a bank consultant during the day, but at night enjoys writing baseball articles for Fangraphs, Hardball Times, and Metsmerized Online. He joined as a MMO Rookie of the Year hopeful in 2016 and has been a Mets fan for more than 40+ years.