MetsBlog's Michael Baron recently caught up with Conforto at a Cyclones game...
Baron: How are you able to manage distractions? What do you attribute your immediate success to?
Conforto: I think it’s just a lot of experience. I had some experience with some sort of transition from high school to college. Obviously, Corvallis, Oregon isn’t New York City, but that transition was there so I had some experience with it. I had some pretty great years at Oregon State to grow up and to become more of a man and learn the way of baseball and the way of life.
I think I have to attribute a lot of that to my family, the way I was brought up, and my coaching staff there as well as just the way that the city has welcomed me here, as well as the team. You know, the coaching staff has been great for me. They’ve told me not to put a lot of pressure on myself, I’ve already impressed the people I needed to. And just to come out here and play the game.
Baron: What are the differences compared to playing in college?
Conforto: The type of baseball is a little bit different. I think the fact that you are playing everyday. You know, in college, you have a three-game series on the weekend. The speed of college baseball is a little quicker-paced. The intensity is at an incredibly high level, just because you can do that, because you don’t have to play everyday, you don’t have to pace yourself and make sure you can show up every single day.
So here, in pro ball, it is a little bit slower-paced. I’ve already realized that I can’t expel all my energy in one spot, I've got to pick and choose where I need to really, really show up. And in those places, when I’m in the outfield and there’s a ball hit to me, that’s when I’m going to use my energy. When I’m in the box, I’m really locked in. The dugout atmosphere in college baseball was rowdy, and there’s a lot of talking, a lot of yelling. Here it’s a lot more laid back. And I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been great.
Baron: How has being here helped your development as a player?
Conforto: We’re out here everyday and we’re playing games everyday. And as a pro now, I guess you could say it is my job. So I come out here everyday and I get those reads off the bat, during batting practice when I’m not hitting. Obviously, I’m in the game every day and I’m working on the reads that I get during the game, and it’s just those things that get me going, those repetitions that allow me to learn. And that’s what it’s all about.
Taking those repetitions, using them, not letting any of them get away without learning something. That’s really the most important thing, is that I don’t take for granted any repetitions that I get. I need to learn something from all of them, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do out here.