Conforto led the Beavers with a .349 average and finished tied for the Pac-12 lead in homeruns with 13. He set the all-time Oregon State record with 76 RBI, breaking the previous record of 67, in 2000, by Joe Gerber.
But for the 6’1″, 215-pound left-handed hitting outfielder, the start of the 2013 season had been a bit slow until Saturday.
“Like most good hitters, if they want to walk you, Michael needs to learn to take the walk,” head coach Pat Casey said. “Don’t try and get overaggressive in situations where pitchers are trying to pitch around you.”
In the game against Bryant on Friday night, Conforto was 0-3 with a walk. In his first at bat, Conforto struck out swinging in just three pitches. His second at bat resulted in a grounder to second for an out.
In the sixth inning, with the Beavers trailing 1-0, Conforto lined a ball to the first baseman. The ball was hit so hard that shortstop Tyler Smith, who was leading off first, did not even attempt to get back to the base before he was doubled off. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Bryant head coach elected to walk Conforto to load the bases in a 1-1 game.
In the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Conforto went three for four and had three RBI. He hit his first home run of the season. The second game resulted in Conforto hitting another home run over the left field fence.
On Sunday, in the series finale, Conforto hit both a grand slam and a three-run home run. The seven RBI were a career best.
“Michael’s makeup is off the charts. He has special tools and I think he is a special talent,” coach Casey said. “He has real power and a real aptitude to hit. I think the guy is a first-round draft pick. Some of those guys know that for a long time and are not as motivated to get better. Michael is always working at his game and is a good kid off the field.”
The Beavers swept Bryant and are now 12-0. Conforto was named the National Player of the Week by collegiate baseball, and later today he is expected to be named the Pac-12 Player of the Week.
You can check out Michael Conforto talking about the season and his approach below: