He had the ability to hit both for average and power, and even hit 88 home runs in a span of three seasons ranging from 2017 to 2019.
After a somewhat uneven 2021 campaign in which he hit .232/.344/.384, he hit free agency hoping to strike a top, multi-year deal.
Teams were wary of his shoulder issues, however, and he did end up having surgery.
He didn’t sign with anyone in 2022 after the shoulder surgery: even though he started hitting, he wasn’t in top baseball shape and decided to rehab and strengthen the area with the idea of returning in 2023.
His rehab is apparently going smoothly.
“Update: Free agent OF Michael Conforto, who missed all of 2022 following shoulder surgery, is engaged in hitting and throwing programs now. In fact, he started to hit several months ago,” MLB insider Jon Morosi tweeted.
Update: Free agent OF Michael Conforto, who missed all of 2022 following shoulder surgery, is engaged in hitting and throwing programs now. In fact, he started to hit several months ago. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 28, 2022
Hitters who have had shoulder surgery don’t always get their full bat speed back, so Conforto would be a gamble for any team that decides to sign him.
A High-Upside Free Agent Option
The upside, however, is considerable.
The southpaw has a career .824 OPS in parts of seven seasons in the major leagues.
That’s well above average and makes him a fit in just about every club.
The good thing is that Conforto is not even 30 years old: he is currently 29.
If he makes a full recovery and his shoulder regains his pre-surgery strength, he could be a sneaky good signing for a contender.
His agent, however, will likely push for the best deal available.
Who will win the Conforto sweepstakes, and perhaps more importantly, will there even be one?