By: Monte Perez
The New York Mets exploded on to the scene last year with their young and talented pitching staff…. Along with their success… came Nicknames.
Matt Harvey is called The Dark Knight, Noah Syndergaard is called Thor and David Wright is called Captain America. I have dubbed 2nd baseman Neil Walker and Outfielder Michael Conforto… Thunder and Lightening. I have also went ahead and given Conforto a worthy nickname. “The Natural”
Last season, “The Natural” played in 56 games. He batted .270, hit 9 home runs, had 26 RBI’s and finished 2nd on the Mets in slugging percentage (.506). The Mets management and manger Terry Collins have basically treated Conforto with “Kid Gloves”. Finally they stopped doing that this year and have let him grow and learn on the job. Conforto is batting 3rd in the lineup and the results have been amazing.
He is batting .338, 1st on the Mets, 10th in the MLB
His slugging percentage is .615 3rd on the Mets, 15th in the MLB.
On Base percentage of .429, 1st on the Mets, 11th in the MLB.
Mets announcer Keith Hernandez said that Conforto has a swing reminiscent of former Yankees great Don Mattingly. That is very high praise. Conforto never seems to be too high or too low. For a young player (23 years old) he is handling the bright lights and big city of New York like a seasoned veteran.
When Daniel Murphy signed with the Washington Nationals Mets fans were in mourning. I kept telling Mets fans on Twitter to just wait and see how good Neil Walker will be. Walker is a steady professional who is very consistent. But, even I didn’t expect Walker to be this good. Walker and Short Stop Asdrubal Cabrera are the only two Mets players to play every game so far and Walker leads the Mets and the MLB with 9 Home Runs.
He has exceeded all expectations and I would be shocked if he is not named NL player of the Month.
Walker and Conforto “Thunder and Lightening” have been a great boost to the Mets lineup. We all expect Yoenis Cespedes to hit 25 plus home runs and drive in over 90 RBI’s. That will happen but we don’t know what to expect from David Wright. With his back injury we can expect him to fade as the season progresses. Terry Collins should have this as his everyday lineup.
1- Curtis Granderson
3- Michael Conforto
4- Yoenis Cespedes
5- Lucas Duda
7- David Wright
The Mets have the pitching to compete with any team in the National League. Now with the emergence of “Thunder and Lightening” they have the offense too. Mets fans enjoy this tidal wave of victories, we all know…. winning has been few and far between for this franchise. Let’s Go Mets!
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