The Philadelphia Phillies held the first pick in the MLB Draft for the first time since 1998 when the team selected Pat Burrell from the University of Miami. This year, the Phillies decided to pick another hitter with the first pick, but this time they selected a high school outfielder from California, Mickey Moniak. Moniak is from the La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, California and is committed to UCLA.
Moniak batted .476 this season with seven homers, twelve triples, and four doubles for his high school team in California. Moniak’s bat is one of the main reasons scouts like him, but many scouts like his defense and could see him as a potential gold glover in centerfield. Moniak’s performance at the plate during the summer showcases last summer caught the attention of many teams and immediately shot up draft boards.
Moniak’s skinny frame (6’2″, 180 lbs.) doesn’t allow him to hit the ball out of the ballpark with great consistency, but many scouts feel he can add more muscle and potentially hit 20 home runs a year at the next level. Moniak’s speed will allow him to stay in centerfield long term.
Phillies fans have a lot to be excited about with this pick. Moniak has the potential to consistently hit over .300 and drive the ball into all fields. He is your typical doubles hitter and has shown the ability to drive the ball into both the left and right-center gaps.
This is the second year in a row that the Phillies selected a high school hitter with their first selection. Last year, the Phillies selected Cornelius Randolph with the 10th overall pick. The Phillies will need to take their time with Moniak, as he needs time to add to his frame, but if he hits for a high average consistently, he may advance through the Phillies system quicker than expected. Overall, Phillies fans shouldn’t expect to see Moniak in a Phillies uniform until about 2020. There is still a lot to get excited about with this pick, as Moniak will be another excellent addition to the Phillies already thriving farm system. The Phillies next pick is the first pick in the second round, which is no. 42 overall.