Michael Conforto quietly had the best season of his career in 2019 with the Mets. But even if the sixth-year outfielder flew under the radar to some, he is perfectly fine with that perception.
A former All-Star selection in 2017, Conforto's latest campaign saw him slash .257/.363/.494 with a single-season career-high 33 home runs and 92 RBI through 151 games.
At spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Conforto opened up on the personal-best season but placed a premium on team success with the hope that the Mets can continue their second-half run into 2020 and pick up where they left off.
"I'm OK with that -- I don't need the attention," Conforto told MLB Network's Greg Amsinger, when he was asked if his 2019 success should have merited more attention. "In some ways, I feel like I'm camera shy. I'm OK with being under the radar. I just want our team to win. I think, really, in the second half, we kind of showed our true colors and that's all I'm worried about."
"You know, I don't need to be on MLB Network all the time. I'll let Pete (Alonso) get out there and hit them 53 home runs. I just want to do what I can to help the team, make the team win. And if I happen to put up great numbers, then I'll be on there. But it's all good with me, as long as we're winning."
Once a wide-eyed top prospect that debuted with the Mets in 2015, when they went on their National League pennant run to a World Series appearance, Conforto returns for the upcoming season as a veteran leader.
The Mets needed a strong clubhouse presence when they saw the offseason get out of their control in January, with MLB's investigative report uncovering recently hired manager Carlos Beltran's involvement in the Astros' electronic sign-stealing scandal and leading to an abrupt firing.
With the swift move by general manager Brodie Van Wagenen and the front office to subsequently keep quality control coach Luis Rojas as the in-house manager hire, Conforto believes that the Mets are still on the right track.
"It was crazy, it was absolutely crazy, but I will say I think ... within the situation, we wound up with the best possible guy, with Rojas being involved in so many of our homegrown guys' careers," Conforto said. "I mean, the other day, we had guys raise their hands who played under him and it was almost everybody in the room. So he's got a relationship with us. He's very even-keeled, he's very matter-of-fact and I think that's going to work well in this crazy market and crazy situation. He's going to be the same guy every single day for us."