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Friday, June 06, 2014

Mets News: The Mets select OF Michael Conforto as their first round pick

Mets News:

In the first round, the Mets have selected two-time Pac-12 Player of the Year Michael Conforto, a power-hitting outfielder from Oregon State. He was the 10th pick overall in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft.

That halts a pattern of three straight years under Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta of taking a high school position player with the organization's top pick (Brandon Nimmo, Gavin Cecchini and Dominic Smith).

Conforto, 21, had been projected to be a top-three pick by ESPN's Keith Law.

He hit .345 with seven homers and 56 RBIs in 203 at-bats with Oregon State during his junior season and produced a .504 on-base percentage. He set a single-season school record with 55 walks.

He has played internationally for Team USA in Japan and Cuba.

Mets executives say Conforto's combination of patience and power ideally fit the Mets' philosophy. They added that the draft pool pushed them in the direction of a college player and then the outfielder Conforto when he remained available, refuting any suggestion the pick was based on need.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Conforto hails from Woodinville, Wash. His father Mike played linebacker at Penn State under Joe Paterno. His mother Tracie Ruiz-Conforto won two gold medals in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles in synchronized swimming, then a silver four years later in Seoul, South Korea.

Conforto was recruited to play college football and baseball by some Division I schools, and football only at some Ivy League schools, but went exclusively in the baseball direction in part because of the toll football took on his father, who needs double-knee replacement surgery and is having difficulty walking.

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