Mickey Moniak Seeks Rebound After Growth Year
Some might call outfielder Mickey Moniak’s 2017 season a disappointment. Farm director Joe Jordan has a different take.
"The best thing that happened to Mickey in 2017 was 2017,” Jordan said. "He survived. He learned. He grew.”
Jordan saw that growth in spring training. Even after hitting .236/.284/.341 with five home runs in 123 games at low Class A Lakewood last year, Moniak earned a promotion to high Class A Clearwater this season.
"He had a good camp,” Jordan said. "The things he worked on in instructional league, he took home and stayed with them in the offseason. We saw a confident player, (with) no residual effects of 2017. He wasn’t pressing. I strongly believe he will have a good year.”
The Phillies selected the lefthanded-hitting Moniak No. 1 overall in 2016. He graduated from La Costa Canyon High in Carlsbad, Calif., that spring, but his education didn’t stop there.
Moniak's first full pro season was a major learning experience in everything from dealing with the grind of a five-month season to how to add smart muscle to his 6-foot-2 frame. He 170 pounds when he was drafted. He added 20 pounds before the 2017 season but believes he ended up losing quickness.
This offseason, Moniak's workouts were supervised by professionals at EXOS. He now weighs 200 pounds, but it’s baseball muscle and, "I’m just as quick now as I was in high school,” he said.
During instructional league, Moniak worked with hitting coordinator Andy Tracy on widening his base and using his legs more. Down the road, it could lead to more power, but Jordan doesn’t want Moniak, who turns 20 early this season, to worry about that right now.
"Grow as a hitter and Mother Nature will take care of the power,” Jordan said.
At Clearwater, Moniak plays in the same outfield as Adam Haseley, the Phillies' first-rounder in 2017. Haseley came into pro ball after three college seasons at Virginia. The two have become close and Moniak values Haseley’s counsel.
Though he will always cherish being the No. 1 pick, Moniak will be happy to if the spotlight on him dulls a little in 2018.
"I think it wore on me a little last year,” he said. "I put pressure on myself. The No. 1 thing is always going to be there, but I’m just ready to go out and play baseball.”
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>> Righthander Jose Taveras, who was added to the 40-man roster last fall, opened the season on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis.
>> Top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez was was scheduled to be assigned to Clearwater in mid-April after being slowed in camp by the flu.