Michael Conforto has been on fire ever since he was sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas. In 57 plate appearances, Conforto is batting .340 with three homeruns and 13 RBI to go along with an excellent .411 OBP and .991 OPS.
But it stands to reason that when the Mets decide to bring Conforto back to the big-league team, it likely means that Brandon Nimmo will be optioned back to Las Vegas. While Collins did not give a timetable for Conforto’s return, the Mets’ manager said he would rather have Nimmo play every day in the minors instead of sitting on the bench.
“When you’ve got two young guys, they’ve got to go play someplace,” Collins said.(NY Post)
Conforto was perhaps the Mets’ hottest hitter in the month of April as he maintained a blistering hot .365/.442/.676 triple slash line with four homeruns in 86 plate appearances. But he suddenly cooled off with a .148 batting average over the next two months before he was sent down to the minors to get his focus and confidence back.
Meanwhile, Nimmo is batting .256/.319/.326 with one homerun in his first 47 plate appearances with the Mets. He provided a spark early on, but he has only three hits in his last 19 plate appearances, including four strike outs in his last five at-bats.
It’s also worth noting that Nimmo was hitting great at Triple-A as well before getting the call. He had a .328 average, a .409 OBP and five homeruns in 287 plate appearance for Las Vegas.
It’s a tough decision for the Mets as both players are very talented with great futures ahead of them. Both are former first round picks and top prospects, but there just isn’t room in the starting lineup for both of them.
Last night during MMO’s Talkin’ Mets Podcast, Rich Couthino of ESPN Radio said that Conforto will likely be the only offensive upgrade the Mets could make in the second half, given the way their team is constructed. He also added that he views Nimmo as more of a 4th outfielder than an everyday player.
I think Conforto eventually reclaims his starting role, especially since he was so good in the second half last season. He posted a .841 OPS with nine homeruns in 174 plate appearances in his rookie season, and played a major role in the Mets’ National League title.
But I’d still like to see Nimmo given more of a shot since he’s started only 11 games. This would allow the Mets to see what they have in Nimmo while also giving Conforto additional time to clear his mind and figure the issues that plagued him in May and June.