|Moniak with Lakewood in 2017, image- Jay Floyd|
After signing out of La Costa Canyon High School, where he was ranked as the top high school player in the nation by Baseball America, the left-handed hitting Moniak had a very good professional debut.
In 46 games with the Phillies' Rookie level 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 188-pound frame.
In 2017, as a member of the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, Moniak notched a .236 batting average with five home runs, 44 RBI and 11 stolen bases.
Coaches were pleased with the his output for the 'Claws despite disappointment from fans that come with high expectations. 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 with Lakewood, Nelson Prada, suggested that perhaps Moniak was chasing pitches out of the zone at times, due to statistical struggles impacting his approach.
Last year the 20-year-old took the step up to Class A Advanced Clearwater where he showed much better plate discipline and posted a .270 average with 28 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 55 RBI in 114 games over the long haul. Moniak struggled early in the season, batting .213 in 22 April games, but he bounced back the rest of the way, batting .285 through the remainder of the campaign.
At the plate, Moniak, who was committed to playing at UCLA prior to the 2016 draft, makes strong 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 over the last two seasons, competing against older pitchers with college experience, that coaches are confident he's going to develop into a considerable offensive contributor.
With baseball in his lineage, Mickey's grandfather Bill Moniak played six seasons in the Boston organization and was also an outfielder.
Moniak is a great asset on defense in center field as well, displaying solid range and a strong arm.
He won't be the most swift player on a team, but he will be speedy enough to help out with some quickness on the base paths.
It's possible Moniak, who will turn 21 in May, will open the coming season back in Clearwater, but if he displays similar success in the Florida State League as he did last year, the challenge of Double-A ball may not be far off.
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