PHILADELPHIA -- With 47 games left in the season, Michael Conforto is sitting on a career-high 26 homers, the latest of them a two-run shot Sunday in the Mets' 6-2 win over the Phillies. He has hit a home run every 15.5 plate appearances, putting him on pace to eclipse 30 -- that nice round number to which every slugger strives -- before September.
That from a player who, if not for injuries, would have started the season in Triple-A. That from a player who spent much of April confined to the bench.
"I have to tell you two years ago, we thought he could hit 30 home runs," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We saw the power. What you're seeing this year is he's so consistent, the swing is so consistent that it's starting to show. You're going to look at a guy who's got a chance to hit 30 homers who wasn't even in the lineup in April. So that speaks volumes."
Though Conforto pulled his home run Sunday over the right-field fence at Citizens Bank Park, only 14 of his 26 homers have gone to the right of straightaway center. The rest he's sprayed to the opposite field, the result of his desire to "keep myself in the zone a little bit" longer.
Conforto finished with three home runs in four games in Philadelphia, as well as 12 in 29 contests since he made his first All-Star team last month.
In so doing, Conforto has re-established himself as an anchor as the Mets look toward 2018, with Conforto their likely No. 3 or 4 hitter next season. Coming into camp with a 30-homer season under his belt, Conforto said, would simply bolster his confidence heading into Spring Training.
"I've still got to get there, so I'll just try to keep my approach where it is, stay in the zone and take quality at-bats," Conforto said. "But it's exciting. I think that would be kind of the cherry on top of putting runs on the board and helping the team win here at the end of the season. I guess we'll talk about it when I get there."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.