Michael Conforto‘s season has not gone as well as he would have hoped since returning from the disabled list (torn capsule in his left shoulder) on April 5 in Washington.
On the year, Conforto is hitting .231/.346/.396 with six homers, 15 RBI, and 41 strikeouts in 134 at-bats.
However, over the past few weeks, he has started to see his power return after hitting only one home run in April. In his last 15 games, Conforto has hit five home runs, including two in the last two games in Milwaukee.
His overall numbers in that span have shown dramatic improvement also with a .293/.349/.569 slash line.
However, Conforto also struck out three times yesterday, which often is an undesired expense of hitting for more power and looking to drive the ball.
The 25-year old’s strikeout rate is currently only 0.1% higher this season (25.8%) as compared to last year (25.7%), so it certainly remains likely that the number is not going to fluctuate that much.
It should be noted, though, that Michael Conforto’s home runs this season have not been sprayed across the entire field the way they have been in the past, as all but one home run (April 5), has been hit to right or right-center field.
Yes, obviously a home run is a home run and nobody is discrediting that by any means. That being said, Conforto needs to be careful to not get too pull-happy this season, as that is a recipe that will likely only lead to an increased strikeout rate.
He seems to also be taking fewer pitches this month, as he only has six walks in 77 plate appearances in May as compared to the 16 he had in 82 plate appearances in April.
That has allowed his OBP to dip from .390 in April to .346 for the year when factoring in his lowly .299 OBP in May.
If he continues to produce the way he has the last couple of weeks, that number will likely move up, as pitchers probably started being less cautious with the left-handed hitter after his miserable month of April, thinking that there was no reason to pitch around him anymore. With Conforto making them pay for their mistakes now, they will likely have to adjust once again.
Conforto has been doing much of his damage lately out of the fifth spot in the order, but with the majority of the lineup struggling to produce, outside of yesterday’s six-run effort, the team would certainly hope he is ready to move up in the order sooner rather than later.