Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 Poll for #4

Mickey Moniak was your selection as the #3 prospect in the Phillies’ organization.  Moniak garnered 235 of 328 votes (72%).  He was the Phillies #1 pick in the 2016 Rule 4 Draft. Roman Quinn finished second with 29 votes (9%).

Mickey Moniak was the Phillies’ surprise first overall selection in the 2016 Amateur Draft.  I don’t think any of us predicted his selection.

Moniak lived up to the lofty selection with a solid .284/.340/.409/.749 slash.  I was very fortunate to watch Moniak’s inaugural season in the GCL.  I saw all his home at bats and some of his road ABs.  I saw his first professional hit, a single in his second game against the Yankees in Tampa.  His first home run at the Complex against the Tigers.  The feature picture with this article is a triple Moniak hit in Dunedin against the Blue Jays (his first), left-center I think.

I remember my first conversation with Moniak.  I asked him the correct pronunciation of his last name (Moan -e- ak) because I had heard three.  He had heard “money-ak”, but mon-e-ak (as in a Jamaican “hey, mon”) was one he hadn’t heard.

Anyway, the kid has a nice swing.  He starts his “load” from a position I hadn’t seen before. His hands start chest high but not as far back as a lot of stances I’ve seen.  I’m not saying it was bad or wrong, just different enough that even I noticed.  It didn’t hurt his swing, his stride into the pitch brings his hands into a correct slot.  This probably led to a lot of his contact going to the left side.  As he grew more accustomed to GCL level pitching, Moniak began showing gap-to-gap power.

After a couple caught stealings early in the season (one of which might have been called incorrectly), Moniak showed good base stealing ability.  He has enough speed and smarts take the extra base and to go from first-to-third/second-to-home.  No station-to-station base running here.

Moniak is rated with above average speed (60).  I can’t say I saw it in the field due to the few amount of chances he had during the games I watched.  Too small of a sample size for me to have an opinion one way or another.  He made all the plays he was supposed to, it’s just that none stood out.  His only error came on a ground single by Bo Bichette, a throwing error.  I think he missed the cutoff and Bichette reached second.

Moniak looks to have that “it” factor that scouts look for, too.  He shows little emotion when calls go against him, which is quite a feat with the uneven umpiring you see in rookie ball.  I watch most of his ABs from facing him or behind the plate.  The worst calls might get an eye roll or sideways glance.  I only saw him look back at an umpire once (on a called strike on an inside pitch) and even then it was camouflaged with some other movements so that he didn’t show up the ump.

Moniak took part in a strength and conditioning program the Phillies held in Clearwater this fall and is reported to have gained 20 pounds.  He signed at 6’2, 185 lbs.  So, 205 lbs on his frame portends additional power.

Moniak looks like a great pick by the MacPhail/Klentak regime.  He is already rated the 24th best prospect by MLB.  He is two spots behind highly touted Yankees prospect Aaron Judge.  He is the highest rated prospect out of the 2016 draft.

Sorry for rambling on.  I warned you at the start of the polling process that I’m partial to the young guys I see in Clearwater.

Next up is your selection for the #4 prospect in the organization.


Poll to date –

  1. J.P. Crawford
  2. Jorge Alfaro
  3. Mickey Moniak

FYI, I’m not going to be able to get every deserving prospect into the poll.  Below is a sketchy schedule of who could show up in the remaining polls, and when you can expect to see them.  This isn’t etched in stone.  Just a rough estimation.  I want to get all the requests listed (the ones in bold), but I might have second thoughts on some of them.

Right now, I’m considering a poll to select all remaining poll additions.  If I can bring the concept into fruition quickly without too much work, I’ll try and do one this week.  Expect it to be lengthy, blind, and with multiple choices.  In the meantime, here’s a possible schedule:

After Poll #3 – Daniel Brito, Edgar Garcia, Alberto Tirado,

After Poll #8 – JoJo Romero, Victor Arano, Jose Pujols, Deivy Grullon, Ben Lively,

After Poll #12 – Carlos Tocci, Malquin Canelo, Andrew Anderson, Jesse Valentin.

After Poll #16 – Cameron Perkins, Andrew Pullin, Harold Arauz, Tyler Viza,

After Poll #21 – Logan MooreAustin Bossart, Seranthony Dominguez, Cole Irvin, Bailey Falter,

After Poll #26 – Felix Paulino, Kyle Young, Nick Fanti, Rafael Marchan, Jordan Kurokawa

On the fence – Mauricio Llovera, Jose Taveras, Blake Quinn, Carlos Indriago, Randy Alcantara, Justin Miller, Luis Carrasco, Joe DeNato, Ismael Cabrera, Grant Dyer, Tyler Gilbert, Ranger Suarez, Josh Stephen,

On the berm – Aaron Brown, Tom Windle, Kyle Martin, Brock Stassi, Chace Numata, Mitch Walding, Alexis Rivero, Jesen Therrien, Miguel Nunez, Matt Hockenberry, Ulises Joaquin, Mark Laird, Zack Coppola, Joshua Tobias, Grenny Cumana, Jiandido Tromp, Damek Tomscha, Will Hibbs, Scott Harris, Jesus Alastre, Brett Barbier, Darick Hall, Lenin Rodriguez, Rodolfo Duran, Daniel Garner, Jose Antequera, Andrew Brown, Jose Nin, Mark Leiter, Jeff  Singer, Matt Imhof, Brandon Leibrandt, Cord Sandberg, Greg Pickett, Lucas Williams, Sutter McLoughlin, Luke Leftwich,

35 thoughts on “Phuture Phillies 2017 Reader Top 30 Poll for #4

  1. First, just want to take a moment and thank you for organizing the poll. I recognize its a lot of work, and, judging from the responses and comments, I’m not the only one who appreciates your hard work. Not many teams have such a site like this for their prospects, especially one that’s generally insightful and drama-free. And regarding the additional prospects poll, this is an ambitious undertaking, and, again, a tremendous Thank You.

    I know for myself that I appreciate the additional prospect poll because of how opinions diverge on our prospects after the Top 10 or so. I’m not sure its a matter of groupthink or the prospects’ actual talents–or a combination therein–but there seems to be a general consensus on the top third. And therefore its considerably more interesting debating 11-30 and beyond.

    I’m personally not a fan of Tocci, but I like reading why people have him in their Top 15. Conversely, I like Viza as 15-18, but enjoy hearing reasons why someone would have him off their Top 30. And then there’s players that I’m curious, and haven’t seen, that I rely on this board to help flesh-out, someone like Bailey Falter (BTW glad to see Falter on the additional poll as he is someone I am very curious).

    Unrelated, for the ten years I’ve been contributing to this site, I’ve probably been the site’s biggest “proximity” guy. Not that I discounted upside, of course, but I certainly have had a preference for players in at least High A.

    And I say “have had” because this year I’ve switched tack. Not sure if its because the majority of contributors on this board have turned me, or I just love the upside of some of our lower level guys, but I laughed when I saw so many people picking Alfaro over Moniak because of proximity–I had Moniak. I also have Randolph above Williams (granted, I’m not the biggest Williams fan). And I have Kilome fourth.

    Don’t worry, I’m still the site’s number one supporter of back-end starters (Not all 4-5 SPs are fungible!), and I’m glad the baseball community generally is starting to embrace relief pitchers, especially recognizing them as prospects. In previous years on this site, the gates of hell would open if you made an argument for a RP, no matter how talented.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post…and Happy Holidays!

  2. Great stuff, Jim! Thanks for the labor of love but labor nonetheless.

    Going with Nicky boy here. Not bailing out on him just yet. As much as I favor high OBP guys, he’s got that Junior Griffey thing about him. A lot of people compare him to Dom Brown but he looks more like a ballplayer whereas Brown looked like a good athlete trying to play baseball. Williams will likely come no where close to being a Griffey (neither Sr NOR Jr) but until at least I see how he responds to a new leaf in 2017, he gets my benefit of the doubt.

    1. If someone offered me even money today on Williams surpassing Brown’s career–5 years, 1500 ABs, 50 HRs, .700 OPS–I’d take Brown. Not to be a Negative Nelly, but I do have concerns about the holes in Williams’ game. And Lord knows I hope I’m wrong…

      1. Ftitz, you make a point but bear in mind that much of Brown’s production was crammed into 6 weeks in the early part of ’13.

        1. Agree with you Rocco. Have seen him several times and each time it seems he’s played down to the negative expectations I had going in for him. Hope that 2017 is a change for him.

      2. Fritz – you and I are in the same place on Williams. He is in “show me” mode as far as I’m concerned and I’m not bullish on him for reasons I’ve explained several times and I would probably have him somewhere between about 9-13.

        I voted for Kilome, but have been a big Quinn fan for years, so I have no problem with Quinn winning the 4th spot.

      3. Agree. If Williams is our #4 prospect, then the system is not as stacked as we thought. Horrible approach that is getting worse not better. Hope he turns it around this year, but until then his stock is down.

    2. 8mark….the one aspect of Williams’ game that is better than Brown’s would appear to be the defensive area.
      However, Browns’ minor league metrics vs Williams in the BB/K rate is really worlds apart. Brown (3K PAs) had a delta of 7 (17%K-10%BB) and Williams (2200PAs) is approx 20 (25%K-5%BB).
      Brown;s ultimate failure is still a little mystery to most …even Fansgraph’s Eric Long. had said it was his worst miss judgement.

      1. I think Brown’s downfall was his swing mechanics. He got away with that long swing in the minors but once he got to the bigs and the video was out it was all over and he quickly lost confidence. Big league pitching simply threw him backwards often getting ahead of him with off speed then tying him up hard inside. How often did you see him roll over on soft and away with weak contact to the 2b?

        I thought Brown picked up spin very well in the minors and often he just saw it and took it and spent a lot of his AB’s in FB counts. A long swing when you pretty much know you are getting fast ball can look like a beautiful thing.

        Williams has a much shorter stroke which lends itself better to the MLB game. My bigger concern as is with most lefties is his splits against LHP. They started off really good his first few seasons but as the quality got better in AA and AAA they really took a dive.

        When it comes to Williams I wouldn’t be surprised either way.

      2. I have a few theories about Brown, but one that NOBODY seems to have mentioned kind of shocks me. My theory is that, when they retooled his swing, he may have closed a hole in his swing (which made it difficult for him to hit high and inside pitches), but he lost his “easy” power and became very stiff in his approach. Now, I understand why they overhauled his swing and, at the time, it seemed like a good idea – but it clearly didn’t work. Look at his stats before and after the swing change, including in AAA and after. Aside from the one 6 week period, he was a superior player with the old swing.

        So here’s the question, at some point, why didn’t anybody say – Hey, Dom, we’ve tried and tried and this new swing isn’t working – want to try going back to the old one and see if that still works? It’s a mystery to me why this never happened. It makes no sense especially since he’s all but done now with this “new and improved swing.”

        Look, Brown has a lot of issues and hitting is just one of them, but hitting is his most important attribute. If he fixed that, he would be a major league player again.

        That’s what drives me crazy about baseball and sports. There’s so much coaching orthodoxy that it creates, in my view, a real resistance to effective change. Let me give another example. Remember in 2008 how, all of sudden, Ryan Madson, who was already an experienced pitcher, suddenly started throwing 5 or 6 miles per hour faster? Well, why was that? The answer is that Madson had visited a specialist who designed a program for strengthening shoulders. Okay, great. So, once the team saw his improvement, why didn’t other guys try the program? At some level, it makes no sense, at another level, what probably happened is that the instructors in the system and maybe Rich Dubee thought that such a program was unnecessary and perhaps harmful. In other words, I believe that baseball coaching is so “old school” that new ideas or methods like this often are not taken seriously and are even viewed as threatening.

        1. Completely agree catch. However I think our current leadership group is definitely comprised of more outside-the-box thinkers.

  3. Hoskins I think he has the complete hit tool. Love how he uses the whole park line to line. He might be the next Goldy…

    1. DMAR,

      Hoskins for me, too. I love Quinn but have no reason to believe he’ll stay healthy. Williams has his much-discussed negatives. He’s 9 on my Top 30. Kilome is very tempting and I have him at 5. Sanchez just a little too far away for a 4 ranking. Maybe in a mid-season revision.

      So, for me, that leaves Reliable Rhys.

  4. For me this is where it starts getting more mushy. Would like to go with Quinn but his repeated injury issues are a concern and I’m not a big Williams guy due to the K%.

    Went with Kilome because I think he has potential as a front of the rotation starter or at the very minimum, as a high-leverage situation reliever..

  5. Update on secondary poll (8:40AM EST): So far, it looks like 30 people have responded (based solely on the fact that the 2 top vote recipients have 30 apiece). If this is correct, we’re averaging just slightly over 22 prospects per ballot. About 18 guys have double-digit counts. This looks like it will provide a better (more popular?) group of prospects from which to choose. A couple of the guys I would have included because they’ve always been included (but I personally didn’t want to include) aren’t doing well. So, at the very least, this will weed out some of the players who were historically included in these polls who might not belong. Thank you for your input.

  6. Sixto. He might get in by #6, so make it happen, people! Sixto at Six!

    I understand Quinn, since I like him a lot, but I don’t understand Williams at all. Why him over Cozens? Both are risks, both will contribute at the ML level at some capacity, but Williams doesn’t nearly have the ceiling of Cozens.

    In spite of his flaws, I have Cozens after Sixto and Kilome. Williams is 10th.

    1. I’m down with Sixto at 6!

      I assume Quinn wins #4, then I have Kilome and Sanchez. I think, ultimately and perhaps even very soon, Sanchez will be the superior prospect, but Kilome has great tools, size and proximity/experience on his side for now.

      1. I don’t pay attention to proximity for pitchers like I do for hitters. Hitters can always get exposed by better pitching at higher levels, but good stuff and control are for any level.

        If a pitcher’s stuff is borderline, then yeah, it matters how opponents fare against them.

        1. I agree that it’s somewhat less important, but Sixto was just in rookie ball so he is really far away and that has some relevance. Furthermore, there’s more injury concern with pitchers and the concern of injury is heightened for me when the pitcher is on the smaller side, which Sixto is. Again, I’m all about Sixto – being rated 6th after your first extended exposure to rookie ball is a major compliment.

        2. Ha, I’m the opposite. Granted, I follow pitchers more than batters, but a pitcher who throws low 90s, with good enough control and command, can breeze through the low minors…then get devoured once he reaches A+/AA. You see it often with college pitchers drafted in the later rounds–good stats in the lower levels, but the game passes them bye.

          1. Yes, but that would be what I consider “average” stuff, and someone that we would need to see at higher levels. For Sixto and Kilome, it doesn’t matter as much, as the only things holding them back is their own refinement.

            And yes, catch, that’s a good point. I think those two are very close for most.

  7. Went Williams here. If I’m not mistaken he took a step forward in plate discipline in 2015 and was getting used to a new team and level in 2016. Just 23 in 2017, I believe he will take another step forward. He may never be a high on base guy, but maybe he makes enough contact that it doesn’t really matter too much. And maybe a bit of power. Like a .280 hitter?

  8. I went with Quinn over Williams and Kilome because I have not yet given up hope that he can be a game changing player. I have not given up on Williams but I need to see him for the year, or a big part of it at LHV while I believe Quinn can make the starting lineup by his performance in ST. After the 2 of them, I have a conflict over Kilome vs. Sixto for the next spot.

    1. I think Quinn is on the 25 man out of camp provided he is healthy…

      Altherr is the one on the bubble and will have to have a really strong Spring.

  9. I went with Kilome, because he has front-end potential and he combines really good scouting reports with really good results (besides a few early starts last year). I have him and Sixto next, with Quinn and Williams to follow after that.

  10. here it begins to get interesting. it’s a toss up for me between williams, quinn, hoskins but i went with williams despite everyone’s criticisms. i understand he needs better plate discipline but i think he can hit big league pitching right now. once he learns to lay off those away and low pitches i think he becomes a great hitter. love quinn, actually love all three but i think nick williams has a better upside. can’t go wrong with quinn, hoskins here either and i support kilome going high too

    1. I haven’t given up on Williams, but can’t vote him this high. Saw 6 of his bad games at the end of the season and he looked awful. It looked like a mental problem which we can hope winter fixed, but I have to see him doing well in 2016, before I can put him in our top 5.

      I voted Kilome, based on his results being full season and a lot bigger stature than Sixto. If Kilome makes it, which he won’t, I’ll go Quinn next, then Sixto, Cozens, Hoskins, Williams, Ortiz.

  11. This article is–to me–right on. The view of Moniac is just how I view him. A long way away from the bigs and only in a limited number of pro games…..nevertheless he is my choice as the likeliest of our prospects to become a MLB All-Star. As noted J here, he has all the essentials and then some. Glad to join in on him !!

  12. Without his continuing injury issues, Quinn would easily fit here. Lots to like….though he may start the season at AAA LV. How to assess a player who spends more than half of his supposed games have been spent on the DL. Even his intro to MLB at the tail of ’16 was marred by another injury problem that kept him out for the rest of the games he could have played.
    In evaluating his prospective play for the big club, it would be unwise to expect those constant injury bugs to disappear. Along with most others here, I hope that the miracle would happen…..BUT let’s see if he can play consistently without the bug. If so, he’d deserve this high rating.

  13. Kilome here –

    1. JP Crawford
    2. Jorge Alfaro
    3. Mickey Moniak
    4. Franklyn Kilome
    5. Nick Williams
    6. Roman Quinn

  14. Somehow the info on Moniac’s weight is mixed and confusing. The original opening info here indicated that he signed and started at 185 lbs….whereas the article I read originally about his weight training at the Clwtr complex had him starting at 170….leading to 190 now. I stand to be contradicted if the figures were 185 to 205. So…..?

    1. Found the article you mentioned. It’s a Salisbury article. He refers to Moniak as a “rail thin and 170 pounds” when he signed his contract. Salisbury’s usually pretty good.

      I dunno. BA had Moniak at 185, too.

  15. The day of the draft, I recorded Moniak’s published height and weight into my spreadsheets at the listed 6’2, 185. If he gained 20 lbs, I would assume that he is 205.

    However, If an article says he added 20 pounds to a 170 pound frame, then somebody is being deceptive since his net gain since signing is only 5 pounds. At least we can hope that the new weight is all muscle.

    Also, 6’2, 185 are his listed ht/wt on the Phillies site under draft results.

    Maybe deceptive is too strong a word. How about misleading?

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