Mets: Why Michael Conforto skipped winter baseball

Mets outfielder Michael Conforto decided to skip winter baseball and focus more on his own conditioning program instead.

Offseason training and workouts are always a big question mark for ball players. Do they join the Dominican Winter League to stay sharp, or do they just focus on relaxing and getting their own work in by themselves? When you add the risk of potential injury to the mix, the choice becomes even harder for some that want to play throughout the year.  In the case of Mets’ outfielder Michael Conforto, the choice was a bit easier.

ESPN’s Adam Rubin shared some details about Conforto’s choice to skip winter baseball on Twitter on Tuesday evening. According to Rubin, Mets skipper Terry Collins wanted the young lefty slugger to play in the Dominican Republic this winter, but Conforto’s representatives weren’t as enthused with the idea.

As mentioned previously, the risk of injury is a very real factor for players like Conforto that still don’t have a big deal signed, and can’t count on guaranteed money. You can contrast that directly with a player like Juan Lagares that not only has a contract guaranteed until 2019, but is also coming off an injury-shortened year. Lagares could use the at-bats and the game play to stay sharp going into 2017.

Conforto, by contrast, got plenty of at-bats and playing time this year. Obviously he struggled and had an off year with the big league club, but in Triple-A Las Vegas, Conforto got a chance to hit. And hit he did. Batting a clip of .422 with the 51s, it’s pretty obvious that Michael felt comfortable at the plate. As Rubin also points out, the Dominican Winter League is considered a lower-tier league than Triple-A, so it’s not an entirely useful for a guy like Conforto.

For now, Conforto will be continuing with his regular offseason workout regimen with hopes of earning an outfield position for the Mets during Spring Training.

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