CINCINNATI - To Michael Conforto, the leap from Double-A to the majors is not unreasonable. He's seen it happen this season with the Cubs' Kyle Schwarber, the Rangers' Joey Gallo and a pair of Twins, Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano.
So why not him?
"Everyone's going to compare themselves to those guys," the outfielder said before Sunday's Futures Game at Great American Ball Park. "Yeah, I've pictured myself as that person. And I do think I'm ready. But it's not my call."
Conforto, 22, wasn't shy about saying he could help the Mets right now. But not in a boastful way. And judging by the numbers, maybe he eventually will change the front office's mind.
It's been a seamless transition from Class A St. Lucie to Double-A Binghamton, where Conforto -- the 10th overall pick in the 2014 draft -- has a slash line of .312/.394/.475 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 37 games. And he doesn't sound too worried about stumbling on the New York stage and getting a return ticket to Binghamton or Las Vegas.
"I've had success at every level," Conforto said. "But I've also experienced some failure. And I've had to pick myself back up at every level, to kind of find my way back after a rough patch. Those are always good learning experiences.
"I think you have to fail to move forward. And that's something my dad always told me: Without struggle, there's no strength. That's something I've carried with me through high school, college and my pro career."
Conforto had two singles in Sunday's game and threw out a runner at the plate from leftfield, which probably felt the best for a player known primarily for his bat.
But Conforto's athletic pedigree is pretty balanced. His father, Mike, was a linebacker at Penn State and his mother, Tracie Ruiz-Conforto, won two Olympic gold medals and a silver for synchronized swimming.
That's been a huge help to his own development and probably explains his ability to keep an even keel through what could be a distracting time.
With the Mets' lack of offensive consistency, Conforto frequently comes up as a potential savior -- or at least a capable run-producer. And all of that hysteria has reached him in Binghamton.
"I can't make the decision to bring myself up," Conforto said. "Obviously, there's people who think that I need more at-bats, and they could be right. They may not be.
"There's opportunities out there. But maybe they're not the best for me as a player and maybe they're not the best for the Mets as a team at this point. All I can do is just try to be ready. And I feel like I am. But you can always be more ready."
One person who doesn't need convincing is Brandon Nimmo, who described Conforto's hitting prowess with tales of his "light-tower power" and dazzling BP sessions. He talked about 500-foot shots (with a slight wind) out of NYSEG Stadium and scooping impossible fastballs off the ground for two-run singles.
"He's pretty impressive," said Nimmo, who had a single Sunday. "He just has that uncanny natural ability. It's fun to play with him and feed off that."
As for Nimmo, he said he still feels "light years away" from the majors despite being the 13th overall pick in the 2011 draft.
He has a slash line of .289/.351/.382 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 56 games for Binghamton. He hopes to play with Conforto at Citi Field someday.
"He's very, very confident in what he does," Nimmo said. "But he doesn't need to showboat or anything. What he does by example definitely shows."
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