Mickey Moniak

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McKenzie Matthew Moniak

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Mickey Moniak was selected first overall in the 2016 amateur draft, by the Philadelphia Phillies, out of a high school in California, where he hit .478 in his senior season. There was no consensus top pick heading into the draft, and while Moniak was known to be in the running for the honor of being the top pick, he was in competition with a number of others. It was only the second time in Phillies history that they had drafted first, the other time coming in 1998, when they had picked Pat Burrell. He was the first high school outfielder to go #1 overall since Delmon Young in 2003. Moniak hit .323/.361/.355 for Team USA when they won the 2015 U-18 Baseball World Cup. Moniak signed with the Phillies on June 20th. He was given a signing bonus of $6.1 million, which was below the estimated level for the slot and slightly less than the bonus offered #2 pick Nick Senzel. The signing scout was Mike Garcia.

Mickey began his pro career with the GCL Phillies. In 46 games, he hit .284/.340/,409 with 27 runs and 28 RBIs while playing mainly centerfield, a very solid debut. However, he stalled the next few seasons, as he fell to .236/.284/.341 in 123 games for the Lakewood Blue Claws of the South Atlantic League in 2017. In 2018, he improved to .270/.304/.383 with 5 homers and 55 RBIs in 114 games for the Clearwater Threshers - better numbers, but not worthy of a #1 pick. His power finally showed up in 2019 when he hit 28 doubles, 13 triples and 11 homers in 119 games in AA for the Reading Fightin' Phils, although his slash line of .252/.303/.439 was still pedestrian. He was no longer mentioned in conversations about the game's top prospects, for example never having been selected to appear in the Futures Game. He hit just .186 in the Arizona Fall League after then 2019 season, then was set back further when the minor leagues were shut down in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. He spent the year at the Phillies' alternate training site, but they did give him a look-see late in the year, as he made his debut on September 16th as a pinch-runner in a 5-4 loss to the New York Mets. In 8 games, he went 3-for-14 (.214) with 4 walks and 3 runs.

Largely a forgotten man at this point, he did see his stock rise in spring training in 2021 as he was mentioned as a candidate to start in centerfield for the Phillies, and there were some articles written extolling his skills, something that had hardly been seen since he had been drafted and drifted into minor league anonymity. However, it was another disappointing season: he .091 in 21 games for Philadelphia and .238 in 100 games in AAA with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, although he did show a bit of power with 15 doubles, 8 triples and 15 homers. In 2022, injuries limited him to 28 games in the minors and 18 in Philadelphia during the first four months, and while he hit fairly well in the minors, with Philly he batted .130. On August 2nd, the Phillies sent him to the Los Angeles Angels along with OF Jadiel Sanchez in return for P Noah Syndergaard.

His grandfather Bill Moniak played in the Boston Red Sox chain.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Paul Hagen: "Levelheaded Moniak stays grounded: Phillies' 18-year-old prospect showing signs of maturity beyond his years", mlb.com, March 2, 2017. [1]
  • Mike Vorkunov: "Phillies hopeful Mickey Moniak represents next step toward respectability", USA Today Sports, June 10, 2016. [2]
  • Todd Zolecki: "Transformed Moniak emerging as CF option; 2016 No. 1 overall Draft pick: 'I'm just ready for the next step'", mlb.com, March 10, 2021. [3]

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