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Mets don't plan to rush Conforto to Majors

Outfield prospect was one of several options discussed

LOS ANGELES -- Desperate for offense, the Mets have discussed calling up last year's top Draft pick, outfielder Michael Conforto, who has been thriving at Double-A Binghamton since an early-season promotion. But the team has no plans to debut Conforto anytime soon, general manager Sandy Alderson said.

"We've discussed it," Alderson said. "At this point, he's still in Binghamton and I would expect him to be over the near-term."

Conforto, 22, entered Friday's play batting .327 with three home runs and a .933 OPS over his first 30 games with Binghamton. He is the Mets' No. 3-ranked prospect and No. 67 in baseball. But Conforto's 129 plate appearances at Binghamton are his only career experience above Class A ball, keeping the Mets wary of his ability to translate them into big league success right now.

In contrast, top pitching prospects Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz all boasted significant experience at both Double-A and Triple-A before making their successful big league debuts.

"The nice thing about our pitching, and starting pitching in particular, is we've been able to dictate when those pitchers have come up," Alderson said. "[We've been able] to create not an ideal circumstance for their debuts, but we've pretty much been able to control that.

"With respect to position players, particularly this year, although we haven't had sort of a high-profile position player equivalent to the starting pitching, it's really been on an as-needed basis. In any situation we look at going forward, it's going to be a function of trying to create the best set of circumstances for that player, but at the same time dealing with an as-needed basis."

There is no question that the Mets are in need of offensive punch, averaging 1.8 runs per night in the 13 games leading up to their West Coast trip. But the team simply does not see Conforto as a short-term answer -- he was just one of many possibilities, including trade options, that Alderson and his staff discussed in a recent meeting.

"I don't think anybody knows exactly when any player is going to be able to thrive at the Major League level," Alderson said. "I don't want everybody to go out and write that Michael Conforto's going to be up in the next week."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.
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