In what turned out to be an exciting and optimistic season at the end of the year for the Phillies, it was a bit of a disappointing season at the minor league level for top prospect Mickey Moniak. Drafted 1st overall in 2015, Moniak is still very young in his professional baseball career and has a lot to learn. The tools are all there, he just needs some time to put it all together. And that’s exactly what he has: time.
Mickey Moniak spent his first full season in the Philadelphia minor league system with the Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws where he was easily 2 years younger, on average, than everyone else on the team. Building a fast foundation of maturity was really what I can see the Phillies front office was going for. All the athletic tools are there, but it will take him time to get accustomed to the feel of professional baseball. Naturally, his stats will reflect a fluctuation as he learns the ropes.
His stats were very underwhelming for his first full year in the system. He produced a poor .284 OBP and showed very high strikeout numbers with striking out 109 times in 123 games. All of this was a regression for last years numbers, granted, they were presented as a smaller sample size which usually is fool’s gold in the world of baseball statistics. He did, however, hit 6 triples and 22 doubles which show just a blip of power that can still be unlocked with a lot of learning at the minor league level.
There really is no reason for anyone to be surprised or anything, it is for sure a growing year for Moniak as he sheds the pressure of being a number one draft pick. The pressure was obviously a factor with Moniak ranking high on the national lists of top prospects. Going from a high school baseball player to a top 20 prospect can take a while to get accustomed to. He was a bit of a surprise when the Phillies picked him #1 overall in 2016, so the kid is still adjusting to the pressure.
The first year of a baseball prospect can always be a rocky one, especially one as young as Moniak. While it might take a little longer for Moniak to reach the majors on this path, there is a fair amount of polishing to do that will reflect positively when he eventually makes it to the MLB. A lot of good can come from a rocky start in the minors. No one doubts all the talent he has, as it’s still early and he has growing to do.
With all the talent already developing for the Phillies at the major league level, Moniak is still primed to arrive and contribute at a great time frame. All the prospects that hit the majors this year as Phillies will be ripe and hopefully, if everything pans out, the Phillies will be in the midst of contention. A perfect platform to introduce a #1 pick to.