New York Mets Demote Michael Conforto, Call-Up Top Prospect Brandon Nimmo

The New York Mets demoted struggling outfielder Michael Conforto to Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday and in a corresponding move, called up former first round draft pick and fellow outfielder Brandon Nimmo, as first reported by’s Anthony DiComo.

Conforto, 23, opened the season as the Mets’ starting left fielder. After getting off to a torrid start, the Mets’ first-round pick (10th overall) from the 2014 MLB Draft fell into a near two-month slump; batting.107 (8-for-75) since May 24. Following Friday’s contest against the Braves, Conforto’s slash line on the season fell to 0.222/0.296/0.431 with 10 home runs and 30 runs batted in.

After a quick rise through the Mets’ system, Conforto was called up to the majors last season straight from Double-A Binghamton, skipping the Triple-A level. Conforto rewarded the Mets by hitting 0.270/0.335/0.506 with nine HR and 26 RBIs in 56 games. The Oregon State University product also contributed in the postseason, hitting two HR in Game 4 of the World Series. While the circumstances are not ideal, Conforto expressed his desire to work on his game.

“It will be good to get away from the craziness of everything going on right now, just to try to simplify things and just work on getting back to who I am — who I know I am at the plate,” Conforto said to ESPN before departing for minors. “… It’s been tough. It’s been very tough. It’s upsetting not having the success that I know I can have.”

If Conforto can show improvement in Triple-A, the lefty-swinging outfielder will likely not be demoted for long. The Mets’ general manager, Sandy Alderson, said the decision to send Conforto down is a way to help him work on his confidence and swing.

“I think in talking with the coaching staff and the manager, we just felt that, look, this is counterproductive and what we need to do is get him to Las Vegas, get his swing back, and then hopefully get him back here within a relatively short period of time,” Alderson said.

In Conforto’s absence, the 23-year-old Nimmo — the team’s fourth-ranked prospect by — will take over the left field duties. In 63 games for the Mets’ Triple-A squad, Nimmo hit an impressive 0.328/0.409/0.508 with five HR and 37 RBIs.

As noted by ESPN, Nimmo is the earliest draft pick ever out of the state of Wyoming. Before Nimmo, Michael Beaver, a sixth-round selection by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1966 was the highest draft pick from Wyoming.

“It took a long time for it to set in,” Nimmo said to about his call-up. “I was in shock. I just didn’t really know how to feel because it’s something that I’ve been working toward for a long time, and that I’ve always prayed about and always dreamt about. It’s always seemed like something I was reaching for. To finally now be here, it’s no longer something that I’m reaching for. It’s a childhood dream that has now come to fruition. It’s hard to put into words.”

Nimmo is expected to be in the Mets’ starting lineup and play left field in the series finale against the Braves. Yoenis Cespedes will remain in center field, despite left field being his natural position and Nimmo’s adequate experience at the position.

In addition to the Nimmo’s recall, the Mets signed shortstop, Jose Reyes, who spent the first nine seasons of his career in Queens, to a minor league deal. He will report to the Mets’ Single-A affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones, on Sunday and spend approximately 7-10 days in the minors before being called up.

[Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images]

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