Michael Conforto was in a much different world one year ago than today because he was coming back from September 2017 left shoulder surgery.
Conforto is honing his skills like never before and with no Bryce Harper or Manny Machado on the Mets’ horizon, it is going to be up to Conforto to be that 26-year-old super slugger.
“I was pretty ambitious with the rehab last year and very motivated coming off a good year, really not wanting to miss any time, but I think in hindsight it was a little bit aggressive on my part,’’ Conforto told The Post from Bellevue, Wash.
“I tried to pack everything in as best I could, but now, having this offseason to just take my time with my workouts, get as many swings in as I feel that I need and do all the things I have learned that I need to do to prepare for the season, it’s pretty much night and day and I feel more prepared this year.”
Night and day. Kind of like his numbers from last season when he batted .216 with a .710 OPS and 11 home runs the first half and .273 with an .895 OPS and 17 home runs the second half. Despite his slow start, Conforto became the first Met since Carlos Beltrán and David Wright in 2008 to have at least 25 homers, 75 RBIs, 75 runs scored and 75 walks. The lefty hitter was second in the majors with 29 RBIs in September and tied for fourth with nine September home runs.
“To me, last year, it kind of felt like I was going in blind,’’ Conforto said. “Not knowing where my swing was, where my strength was. I knew it wasn’t where it was a year before so I just didn’t know where I stood as far as my mechanics. I don’t regret anything. I think it taught me some good lessons. I learned a lot from last year.
“It told me that I can still be productive even if I don’t feel right. If I stay healthy I can do some things but it kind of felt like last year was the bare minimum of what I can bring to the table.’’
Conforto knows there is much more talent to be tapped.
Just as Travis d’Arnaud said last week, Conforto is thrilled with the moves made by new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen with the additions of closer Edwin Diaz, second baseman Robinson Cano, infielder Jed Lowrie, catcher Wilson Ramos and relievers Justin Wilson and Jeurys Familia.
“Brodie’s got a lot of great ideas,’’ Conforto said. “I’m excited for 2019. I think it’s going to be a great year for New York, for us.
“We’ve improved our lineup. We’ve improved our bullpen. I’m excited to be with a guy like Robbie Cano, a guy that I have watched since I was 14 years old. I think I can learn a lot from him. Guys like Jed Lowrie. He’s a grinder. He’s a guy you want in your clubhouse. I’m excited to meet the new crew of guys.’’
The Mets hired a new batting coach in Chili Davis replacing Pat Roessler. Conforto and Roessler had a “great’’ relationship, Conforto said.
Over his 19-year major league career, Davis smashed 350 home runs and batted .274. In this Launch Angle Age, Davis said he wants the Mets to be more situational-hitting based, telling The Post’s Mike Puma, “It’s not that I hate home runs, it’s I don’t like to see guys going up to the plate trying to hit home runs.’’
“I talked to Chili a couple days ago,’’ Conforto said. “He just wanted to call and introduce himself and kind of start that relationship. He wanted to let me know he is here for me. He is here for us players, never feel bad about asking for more work. That was good to hear.’’
As for making more contact, Conforto, who will be back in left field, his normal position, admitted the Mets need to improve.
“If you look at our team the last few years that could be a problem, especially with runners in scoring position, situational hitting, things that we didn’t do very well in the past and I think that is something that the team is really looking to improve upon,’’ Conforto said. “It’s something that I, especially in the first half, felt like I was trying to take this perfect swing when really, you’re just up there, when you are at your best you are just competing, trying to do a job up there. That’s what he is getting at.
“Let’s get the job done when we are up there.’’
Sounds like the hitting mantra for 2019.
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