Michael Conforto is taking his talents to South Beach.
The 24-year-old outfielder was selected as a reserve to play in his first All-Star Game, it was announced Sunday night. He will represent the Mets a week from tomorrow at Marlins Park in Miami — the same place he hit his first career home run in 2015.
The starters are selected solely on fan voting and reserves are selected in voting by Major League Baseball players, MLB officials and fans.
“It’s a dream come true,” he said. “It was a pretty cool moment this morning finding out. A lot of hard work went into it and I have to thank my teammates and the coaching staff. I couldn’t have done it without them. It’s been an awesome day today, to be honest with you. I am really excited about it.”
Conforto is hitting .285 with 14 home runs, 41 RBIs and a .953 OPS. He is on the 10-day disabled list with a bruised left hand but is expected to return during the current road trip to Washington and St. Louis before participating in the midseason showcase.
“I hope to be back for the Cardinals series. I hope to be activated on Saturday,” he said. “I think that’s definitely what we’re shooting for and I think it will line up that way.”
A bit of a phenomenon when he came up in 2015, Conforto was a major contributor as the Mets reached the World Series. He struggled the following year and ended up spending significant time in the minors. It wasn’t clear in spring training this year if he would secure a starting role or even break camp with the team.
Then he got off to an incredible start. He had a .341/.437/1.149 slash line, 13 homers and 32 RBIs on May 24, and it could have been argued that he was the best player in New York.
“Everyone has their journey,’’ Conforto said. “Last year was something that was a learning experience and something I had to go through. It’s something for players who come up in the future: not to let a bad year or a bad month get you down. . . Let it fuel the fire, which is what it did for me. It’s been a good story so far and hopefully we can keep adding to it.”
Conforto was eating breakfast in the clubhouse on Sunday morning when manager Terry Collins approached him.
“He said, ‘Hey, I need to talk to you for a second.’ I was like, ‘OK,’ ” said Conforto, who expected a conversation about his coming rehab. “He goes, ‘You made the All-Star team, by the way. Come see me after you’re done eating.’ ”
Conforto said that when he went to Collins’ office, “He congratulated me, said I earned it, earned my way on there. That feels good coming from Skip.”