Michael Conforto is expecting a huge 2019 after shaking off the rust in 2018 while getting back to form following shoulder surgery.
After having surgery, Conforto was initially expected to return to the Mets in May of 2018 at the earliest. Instead, he returned on April 5 -- having played just two Spring Training games and a handful of simulated games.
Conforto doesn't regret returning that early, but said he might have been overly ambitious.
"I was pretty ambitious with the rehab last year and very motivated coming off a good year, really not wanting to miss any time, but I think in hindsight it was a little bit aggressive on my part," Conforto told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post on Monday.
"I tried to pack everything in as best I could, but now, having this offseason to just take my time with my workouts, get as many swings in as I feel that I need and do all the things I have learned that I need to do to prepare for the season, it's pretty much night and day and I feel more prepared this year," Conforto explained to Kernan.
After starting off strong -- hitting .286/.444/.524 in his first seven games in 2018 -- the 25-year-old Conforto struggled badly for months, and his line dropped to .215/.339/.360 on July 11. After that, he took off.
From July 12 through the end of the season, Conforto hit .272/.360/.537 with 18 homers (he hit 28 overall last season) and 15 doubles in 72 games (268 at-bats).
Conforto told Kernan that he was "going in blind" last season as far as his swing, strength, and mechanics. A year removed from that, he's expecting big things.
"It told me that I can still be productive even if I don't feel right," Conforto said about what he overcame in 2018. "If I stay healthy I can do some things but it kind of felt like last year was the bare minimum of what I can bring to the table."