Saturday, August 31, 2019

Seven Phils prospects headed to prestigious Arizona Fall League

Mickey Moniak, image- Jay Floyd
Arizona Fall League rosters were announced this week and the Scottsdale roster is slated to feature some of the Phillies' most exciting prospects.

Set to represent the Phils in the prestigious off-season league that is operated by Major League Baseball are outfielder Mickey Moniak, right-handed pitchers Spencer Howard and Connor Seabold, corner infielder Alec Bohm, shortstop Nick Maton along with left-handed hurler JoJo Romero.

A previously unannounced representative from the Phillies organization that is set to see action with the Scorpions is lefty reliever Zach Warren.

Howard, who was ranked by this outlet as the Phils' top prospect headed into this season, has reached Double A Reading and will likely start game one of the Eastern League divisional playoffs this coming Wednesday.  He missed time earlier this season with a shoulder strain.  In 13 combined regular season starts with Class A Advanced Clearwater and Reading, the 23-year-old has tallied a 3-1 record with a 1.78 ERA and an 11.8 K/9 mark.

Howard, the Phils' 2nd round pick in 2017 is ready for the opportunity to shine even brighter and is pleased to get the chance to do so beside six teammates from his own organization.

"It kind of feels like college summer ball," said Howard after the Fightin Phils clinched the Eastern League's Eastern Division second half title on Friday.  "It does feel more like home when you know you've got a group of guys that you're going with.  I'm excited."

Moniak, who was the top overall selection in the 2016 draft, has made an impact for Reading as well.  The 21-year-old lefty batter sports a .252/.302/.440 slash line in 117 games this season.  Moniak is tops in the league in triples with 13 and is also among the league leaders in RBI, runs as well as hits.

The talented center fielder welcomes the chance to play in a league where many of the elite names in the game sharpened their skills on their paths to the top level of the sport.

"It's a huge honor and just getting selected to be a part of the guys that the Phillies send is something that's really special for me," Moniak stated.  "And having guys like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, (Ronald) Acuna, (Pete) Alonso and seeing guys go through that league and make a big impact at the big league level a very short period of time after they go through that whole experience of playing in Arizona is definitely something that's exciting and I'm just looking to go out there and continuing my development into becoming the best baseball player that I can be and just getting ready to help out the Phillies as soon as possible."

Seabold, the Phillies' 3rd round pick from 2017, opened the season on the disabled list, missing time with an apparent oblique issue.  In eight combined appearances with Clearwater and Reading, the 23-year-old sports a 3-1 record with a 1.93 ERA and an 8.8 K/9 mark.

Bohm opened the season with Class A Lakewood, was promoted to Clearwater before the end of April and joined Reading's roster in June. In 122 combined games the Phils' top draft pick from 2018 has posted a .306 average with 20 home runs and 77 RBI.

Maton, the Phils' 7th round draft choice in 2017, has split his time this year with Clearwater and Reading also.  In 112 games, the 22-year-old is batting .267 with seven homers, 50 RBI and 12 stolen bases.  

Romero has had an up and down season, figuratively and literally, opening his 2019 campaign with Triple-A Lehigh Valley and moving down to Reading after some struggles, then earning a promotion back to Lehigh Valley once he corrected some concerns.  The 22-year-old has a 7-9 record with a 5.82 ERA and a 7.4 K/9 mark in 24 total starts.

Warren, who was a 14th rounder in 2017, has spent the entire campaign with Clearwater this year.  The Vineland, NJ native has tallied a 1-3 record with seven saves, a 3.30 ERA and a .199 batting average against. 

Phillies prospects will be joined by players from the Mets, Braves, Blue Jays and Giants to make up the Scorpions roster.  The AFL opens play on September 18th.

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