Mickey Callaway is setting the bar high for Michael Conforto.
The Mets' manager believes so much in the soon-to-be 26-year-old outfielder's potential that he feels Conforto can be among the game's elite.
"I think he can be one of the best left-handed hitters in the league, myself," Callaway said Wednesday. "Just the way he approaches his at-bats, the swing, the pitches that he covers, it's special. A lot of guys can't just take a ball and go the opposite field and drive it the way he does, and that's not the only place he has power. He's able to stay on the breaking ball that misses down and drive it out to the pull side as well. So he covers a lot of pitches."
Conforto, a 2017 All-Star, struggled throughout the first half of 2018 after recovering from shoulder surgery. But in September, Conforto hit .286 with a .981 OPS, nine home runs, 29 RBI, eight doubles and 17 runs scored.
He also hit .250 with an .808 OPS against lefties last season, an improvement on his .212 average and .729 OPS in 2017.
"We saw him last year finally get to bat against some lefties, and it took a little bit but towards the end of the season he was covering pitches that lefties threw in there too, even quality pitches, and hitting the ball out of the ballpark against those guys," Callaway said. "So he can cover lefties, righties, he's great out in the outfield, and he can be as special as anyone in the game at the plate."