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Conforto a finalist for NL player of the month

Michael Conforto #30 of the New York

Michael Conforto #30 of the New York Mets follows through on a first-inning single against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on Monday, May 2, 2016. Credit: Jim McIsaac

One year ago at this time, Mets leftfielder Michael Conforto was playing for Class A St. Lucie. On Monday, he was one of three finalists in the balloting for National League player of the month behind reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper.

Conforto hit .365 with four home runs, 18 RBIs, a .442 on-base percentage and a .676 slugging percentage in April. Harper hit only .286 but led the majors with a .714 slugging percentage and had nine home runs and 24 RBIs.

Asked how it suddenly feels to be competing on a level with the Nationals’ Harper, Conforto smiled and said, “Yeah, it’s crazy, but that’s the kind of player that I want to be. I look at him and I want to be that guy. To be able to hit the way he does when pitchers fear him so much, it’s incredible.

“I look at him and all the guys that are winning MVPs and are superstars in this game, and that’s who I want to be like. But obviously, I’m me. I don’t want to say I want to be those players. I want to be the best there is of myself.”

Big changes for Braves

With a 6-18 record entering Monday night’s game against the Mets and a 1-12 ledger at home, the Braves reacted decisively by making seven roster moves. Starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett and the Braves selected three contracts from Gwinnett, including that of starting second baseman Reid Brignac, outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo and infielder/outfielder Chase d’Arnaud, brother of Mets catcher Travis. Righthander John Gant and infielder/outfielder Jace Peterson were optioned to Triple-A and outfielder Drew Stubbs was designated for assignment.

Extra bases

Mets owner Jeff Wilpon and general manager Sandy Alderson visited the Braves’ clubhouse before it opened to the media to present NL championship rings to former Mets Kelly Johnson and Eric O’Flaherty . . . Addressing the rehab progress of relief pitcher Josh Edgin from Tommy John surgery, manager Terry Collins said, “His velocity is starting to edge up a little bit. Is he going to get back fully to where he was when we first saw him? I’m not sure. But he’s been pitching OK.”

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