|Mickey Moniak, image- Jay Floyd|
After signing out of La Costa Canyon High School for a reported $6.1 million, the lefty batting Moniak had a very good professional debut.
In 46 games with the Phillies' Gulf Coast League team, Moniak sported a .284 batting average with 11 doubles, four triples, a home run and 28 RBI. He also showed some speed, swiping 10 bases in 14 opportunities.
Following the regular season, Moniak participated in the Florida Instructional League and spent time at the Phillies' training facility in Clearwater, where he worked to add strength and muscle to his six-foot-two 185-pound frame.
In 2017, as a member of the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, Moniak tallied a .236 batting average with five home runs, 44 RBI and 11 stolen bases. Coaches were pleased with the 19-year-old's output for the Claws, despite some fans already feeling like he is a bust based on last year's production. Progress throughout the season was there in the eyes of the Phillies even though Moniak's stats (.721 first half OPS vs. .525 second half OPS) didn't prove the point.
His hitting coach last year, Nelson Prada, suggested that perhaps Moniak was chasing pitches out of the zone at times, due to statistical struggles impacting his approach.
At the plate, Moniak, who was committed to playing at UCLA prior to the 2016 draft, makes hard contact. The California native is touted as a line drive hitter that can stroke the ball to all fields.
Described as a natural on the baseball field Moniak has the make up to be a strong performer that leads by example and showed enough last year, competing against much older pitchers with college experience, that coaches are confident he's still going to hit very well as a professional.
Moniak is a great contributor on defense as well, displaying solid range and a strong arm in center field.
He won't be the quickest player on most teams, but he will be speedy enough to help out with some steals.
It's possible Moniak will open the coming season back with Lakewood, but could move up to Class A Advanced Clearwater this year.
You can keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.