Friday, February 28, 2020

2020 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #5 OF Mickey Moniak

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Mickey Moniak, image- Jay Floyd
Taken with the first overall selection in the 2016 MLB amateur draft, outfielder Mickey Moniak has garnered loads of attention with many eyes watching closely, in hopes he can live up to the high expectations that come along with being such a high pick.

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.

In 2018, as a 20-year-old, Moniak 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.  


Last season Moniak got some welcomed experience in the Double-A Eastern League with Reading.  In 119 games there, he posted a .252/.303/.439 slash line.  For the season, Moniak led the league in triples with 13, was second in the league in extra-base hits with 52 and was second in the league in total bases with 204.  He also swiped 15 bases.  His efforts at the plate earned Moniak recognition as an All-Star.
 

After Reading's postseason run, Moniak spent a month in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.  Fatigue could have very well been a factor for him, as the offense simply wasn't the same in the AFL as it had been throughout the regular season.  In 17 games with Scottsdale, Moniak notched a .186 average with four doubles, two triples and five RBI. 


Heading into the AFL last year, Moniak told me he felt that perhaps the experience there would launch him to much bigger heights in the sport, as it has for many of baseball's biggest names.

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 in his career, 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.  The athletic youngster also played a bit in right field last year as well. 

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.



Moniak, who is 21 years old until mid-May, is in spring training with the big league club, as the exhibition season opened this week.  This will be valuable experience for him, but it's safe to expect his 2020 season to begin at the Triple-A level. 

You can keep tabs on this year's top 25 Phillies prospects countdown by clicking this link.

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