In 2016, the Philadelphia Phillies had the number one overall pick in the MLB Draft. This pick needed to be a good turnout for the Phillies as they finished with the worst record in baseball the season prior. With that first overall pick, the Phillies selected Mickey Moniak, centerfielder out of La Costa Canyon high school. Moniak, at the time, was known as one of the best high school hitting prospects in the nation. In 29 games, Moniak hit for a .476 batting average, four doubles, 12 home runs, 46 RBIs, and an on-base percentage of .540.
Moniak, like any young prospect, spent a good portion of time in the minor leagues. Through the five seasons that he played there, he averaged a .252 batting average, .301 on-base percentage, 37 total home runs, and a slugging percentage of .401. Strikeouts were a big issue for Moniak in the minor leagues, as he racked up a total of 456 during his time with the Phillies minor league affiliates. In 2020, he was called up to the Major Leagues and played eight games for the Phillies. In those games, he hit for a .214 batting average, .389 on-base percentage, a .214 slugging percentage, four walks, and six strikeouts. Moniak didn’t really produce anything for that inaugural 2020 season.
Why 2022 Matters More
In 2021, Moniak would only play 21 games for the Phillies, compared to the 99 games where he played with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs during that same season. When he was in the Majors, he just played flat-out awful. During that season, he hit for a .091 batting average, an on-base percentage of .167, a slugging percentage of .182, with a total of one home run and three RBIs. Moniak couldn’t even come close to the Mendoza line. He struggled mightily in the 2021 season with the Phillies.
This upcoming season is very important for Moniak and the Phillies organization. If the Phillies decide to give Moniak more opportunities in centerfield then it is crucial that Moniak makes every moment count. The fact of the matter is, Moniak isn’t playing remotely close to what a first overall pick should be. He isn’t playing as well as someone would be drafted in the late first round. Moniak has to play better, which is why this is his make-or-break season. We’ve seen the Phillies and their history of jumping ship when it comes to prospects. An example of this is when they traded, J.P Crawford to the Mariners. Crawford at the time was a highly recruited prospect in the Phillies organization, however, once they saw it wasn’t going to pan out they jumped ship and traded him away.
However, this example is why I believe the Phillies should really keep a close eye on Moniak. When Crawford was traded to Seattle he really started to come into his own and become a pretty good ballplayer. Am I saying that Mickey Moniak is going to be a J.P Crawford? No. However, Moniak is 23 years old, he is young and could be good for the Phillies if his production goes up. If Moniak, does start the season in the centerfield position then he has to make most of what his opportunities are gonna be, or else his tenure in Philadelphia will not last very long.
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