2022 Phuture Phillies #16 Prospect: Mickey Moniak

Mickey Moniak is the Phuture Phillies’ Readers’ #16 Pick. 

McKenzie Matthew Moniak was born in Encinitas, California.  He is the son of Matt and Heather Moniak.  His grandfather Bill Moniak played baseball for six years in the Red Sox organization reaching Class A ball back when the classes were A thru D.  Mickey attended La Costa Canyon High School and played varsity all four years.

As a freshman, Moniak batted .304 in 12 varsity games.  He emerged as a force during his sophomore year hitting .461/.526/.652/1.178 with 10 doubles, 16 walks, and 7 strikeouts in 133 plate appearances.  In his junior year, Moniak hit .426/.488/.574/1.062, 8 doubles, and 4 triples (12 BB, 10 K in 121 PA).  And as a senior, he slashed .476/.540/.42/1.483 with 12 triples, 7 HRs, and 46 RBI (13 BB, 6 K, 124 PA).

In 106 career high school games, Moniak slashed .444/.505/.692/1.197 with 105 RBI, 22 doubles, 19 triples, 9 HR, 41 stolen bases in 44 attempts, and 41 walks, 29 K in 403 PA.

Moniak holds school records for –

  • career batting average (.445, 2013-2016),
  • career hits (156 (2013-2016),
  • hits in a season (53 in 2014),
  • RBI in a season (46 in 2016),
  • career RBI (102, 2013-2016), and
  • triples in a season (12 in 2016).

He is also among the school leaders in several other categories –

  • third and fourth-best season batting averages (.477 in 2016 and .461 in 2014),
  • third and seventh-best on-base percentage (.548 in 2016 and .530 in 2014),
  • second and sixth-best hits in a season (51 in 2016 and 46 in 2015),
  • second and ninth-best runs in a season (40 in 2016 and 35 in 2014),
  • seventh in career home runs (11, 2013-2016),
  • sixth in HRs in a season (7 in 2016),
  • second in career stolen bases (40, 2013-2016), and
  • fifth and thirteenth in stolen bases in a season (16 in 2014, 12 in 2015).

Moniak was the recipient of several awards during high school –

  • Maxpreps Baseball Recruiting – Top 50 Sophomores – Class of 2016
  • USA Baseball – 2015 18U National Team
  • Maxpreps Baseball Recruiting – Top 50 Juniors – Class of 2016
  • Selected/played in the 2015 Perfect Game All-American Classic
  • Gold medal 2015 U-18 Baseball World Cup in Osaka, Japan (.323/.361/.355)
  • Maxpreps Baseball Recruiting – Top 100 Seniors – Class of 2016
  • 2016 San Diego Section Player of the Year
  • 2016 Gatorade California Baseball Player of the Year
  • 2016 All-USA Today High School Baseball Player of the Year
  • 2016 Baseball America High School Player of the Year Award

Moniak was drafted first overall by the Phillies in the 2016 Amateur Draft.

2016: Moniak made his professional debut against the GCL Yankees West as a defensive replacement and went 0-2.  He got his first hit in his second game as a DH 4 days later in Tampa against the GCL Yankees East.  It was an RBI line drive to left.

Moniak went on to slash .284/.340/.409/.749 in 46 games.  He had 11 doubles, 4 triples, one HR, 27 runs, and 28 RBI.  In 194 plate appearances, he drew 11 walks (5.7%) and 35 strikeouts (18.0%).  He also stole 10 bases in 14 attempts.

The 2016 season was a great season for the GCL Phillies.  They went 43-15 and finished first in their division, beat the Braves in the semi-final game, but dropped the championship series 2 games to 1 in the final to the Cardinals.  That team was loaded.  In addition to Moniak, the team included Daniel Brito, Jhailyn Ortiz, Josh Stephen, Cole Stobbe, Jose Antequera, Ben Pelletier, Rodolfo Duran, and the strength of the team Sixto Sanchez (5-0, 0.50), Nick Fanti (7-0, 1.87), Mauricio Llovera (7-1, 1.57), Luis Carrasco (7-2, 2.18), Kyle Young (3-0, 2.67), Tyler Frohwirth (10 saves, 2.08), Jose Nin (7 saves, 1.02), Randy Alcantara (1.65), and Andrew Brown (2.75).

2017:  Nineteen-year-old Moniak was assigned to Single-A Lakewood.  He played in 123 games and slashed .236/.284/.341 with 22 doubles, 5 triples, and 5 HR.  In 509 plate appearances, he walked 28 times and struck out 109 times.  He stole 11 bases in 18 attempts.  He was one of the youngest players in the league, about 3 years younger than the average age for the pitchers in the league.

2018:  Twenty-year-old Moniak was assigned to High-A Clearwater.  He played in 114 games and slashed .270/.304/.383 with 28 doubles, 3 triples, and 5 HR.  In 465 plate appearances, he walked 22 times and struck out 100 times.  He stole 6 bases in 11 attempts.  He was one of the youngest players in the league, again, about 3 years younger than the average age of the pitchers in the league.

2019:  At 21, Moniak was invited to major league spring training.  In 20 plate appearances, he batted .200 with 2 doubles and a triple among his 4 hits.  For the regular season, Moniak was assigned to Double-A Reading.  He played in 119 games and slashed .252/.303/.439 with 28 doubles, 13 triples, and a career-high 11 HRs.  In 503 plate appearances, he walked 33 times and struck out 111 times.  He stole 15 bases in 18 attempts.  Once again, he was one of the youngest players in the league, over 3 years younger than the average age of the pitchers in the league.

Moniak was selected to play in the Arizona Fall League.  He had a dismal fall getting just 13 hits in 74 plate appearances including 6 extra-base hits and 4 walks.

2020: Moniak had a great spring training going .353/.500/.588 in 14 gamers but just 22 plate appearances.  He had 2 doubles, one triple, and 5 walks. He was a member of the expanded roster and was assigned to the Alternate Training Site in Allentown.  He was recalled and made his major league debut on September 16, 2020.  He finished .214/.389/.214 in 8 games and 18 plate appearances.

2021: Moniak had a respectable spring training.  He went .273/.385/.727 in 26 plate appearances.  He had 2 doubles, one triple, 2 HRs, and 2 walks.  He was optioned and recalled 7 times during the season between the Phillies and the Alternate Site at first and later Lehigh Valley.  In 99 Triple-A games, Moniak slashed .238/.299/.447 with 15 doubles, 8 triples, a new career-high 15 HRs.  In 409 plate appearances, he drew 31 walks and struck out 101 times.  He was successful in 5 of 7 steal attempts.  Still one of the youngest players in the league, Moniak was six years younger than the average age of the pitchers in the league.  He got 37 plate appearances with the Phillies but managed just 3 hits.

Prospects Live prepared a pre-season scouting report on Moniak.

OFP Role Hit Power Field Arm Run
40 40 40 40 50 50 55

Physical Description: Athletic, sturdy frame. Vitals appear accurate; modest physical projection remaining throughout; could stand to add muscle in arms and legs. Squared shoulders, long arms, trim waist, with long and lean legs.

Hit: Relaxed setup; feet away from the plate and slightly open; upright stance with only a slight bend at the knee; hips square, shoulders slightly closed with hands relaxed near the ear. Back elbow up, hands back, and stance closes upon load. Load and swing have some Bryce Harper attributes. Top hand struggles though; forcing lazy fly balls and roll-over grounders. An overall fringe-average hit tool; struggles with quality spin below the zone; pulls front shoulder off the ball at times; struggles to generate consistent leverage with the stroke. Punishes mistakes middle/middle. Shows a solid take-what’s-given approach, but contact struggles are apparent due to mechanical deficiencies. Grade: 40

Power: Below-average power; weak top hand coupled with spray approach limit the amount of over-the-fence power generated. Average raw the struggles to translate due to struggles with timing, especially with offspeed. Should generate enough gappers and perhaps double-digit home runs totals across a full season with the occasional opposite-field shot, but may struggle to reach average totals long-term considering his outfield position. Grade: 40

Field: Average defender; possibly a tick above-average in a corner but could stand at any spot in the grass. Bananas his routes at times on deep fly balls; glove is steady and reliable; shows instincts in the field. Robs the occasional hit but not likely to fill a highlight reel. Grade: 50

Arm: Average arm; makes all the throws necessary of an outfielder, but not a weapon from any spot. Shows solid over-the-top mechanics necessary for an outfield spot. Shows ability to hit the cut-offs with ease, but throws lack significant carry. Grade: 50

Run: 3.98-4.2 times home-to-first; above-average runner leveraging long legs to gallop around the bases; plus times currently but likely to lose a step as the body reaches physical maturity. Solid instincts on the bases; should have enough to take the extra base as necessary and turn in a handful of steals across a full season. Grade: 55

Overall: A former first overall pick, Moniak has failed to achieve the sky-high expectations that come with going so high in the draft. He is approaching his projection and will need to show he has everyday potential in 2021 in order to justify a starting spot moving forward. Unfortunately, his lagging hit tool and the lack of power will hinder his ability to find the lineup on a daily basis, but his solid secondary attributes in the field and on the bases should make for a solid lefty bench bat long-term.

OFP: 40
Role: 40 – Below-Average Player: Bench / Platoon
Risk: Moderate

Moniak has always found a way to hit doubles and triples.  At Reading and Lehigh Valley, he finally tapped into some HR power.  He’ll be repeating a level for the first time when he reports to Triple-A this year.  The age difference between him and the pitchers (no matter what it is) should be less of a disadvantage and we should get a good read (maybe the first really accurate read) of his ceiling/floor.

13 thoughts on “2022 Phuture Phillies #16 Prospect: Mickey Moniak

  1. For better or worse, the selection of Moniak, combined with the selections of Cornelius Randolph and Adam Haseley – 3 completely blown top 10 picks – combined with the failure to sign any frontline international prospects, will ultimately symbolize the utter, abject and shocking failure of the Klentak/MacPhail administration. They did everything poorly except shed payroll and sign Zack Wheeler (I am NOT giving them credit for signing Harper. They wanted Machado, who would have been a disaster here. Middleton had the instinct to hire Harper – he was right and almost all of us knew it at the time).

    And whose fault is all of this? You got it, it’s John Middleton’s fault for hiring MacPhail, who, I’m sure, fits in perfectly at a Main Line cocktail party and was right smack dab in Middleton’s comfort zone, but cannot hold a candle to people like Chaim Bloom or Farhan Zaidi, who aren’t bluebloods, but know what the heck they are doing in modern professional baseball.

    By the way, I definitely do not think Middleton is a bad person, but that hiring wreaked of implicit bias.

        1. That is correct. The common thread was Johnny Almaraz who was a disaster. GMs really have to rely on their head of scouting to make picks. So if you don’t like picks, don’t blame the GM. Blame the head of scouting.

          1. Johnny Almaraz is certainly partly responsible for the Phillies draft drought, but you are off base if you are trying to say Matt Klentak didn’t have his hands all over the team’s top couple (maybe even few) picks each year. Almost all GMs play an active role in the early rounds.
            I know (and maybe Matt Moniak can confirm) that Klentak, Pat Gillick, Charlie Manuel, and other FO members all went out to see/scout Mickey prior to the draft. Gillick also scouted Kevin Gowdy and JoJo Romero that spring.

            1. Oh. I agree. Not saying they mailed it in. But I am saying that they base their decision on the scouting report of the head scout. That is the key input for the decision

      1. Thanks for the clarification. Still, the overall point stands. MacPhail and Klentak failed on an epic level and set the organization back many, many years. They are now doing the farm building that should have happened starting in 2016.

  2. I am still optimistic on Mickey coming around.
    He works hard and knows what has to be done to correct his weaknesses.
    One aspect of his game from the offensive side, is that he is able to drive the ball to the wall to leg out quite a few triples…34 in almost 2100 MiLB PAs…which is an above average ratio.
    Once he can maintain a consistent contact rate, especially vs LHPs, he may be able to make a full-time jump into the majors.

    1. His strikeouts are too high. Consistently at every level. The argument that he was much younger at every level is good. So we shall see, if he goes back to AAA, if he can cut down on his strikeouts.

      1. I’m not sold by the ‘younger than average’ excuse. As you move up levels, a lot of older, semi-prospect guys on rosters. Also, the guys who make a big MLB impact generally are much younger (catchers an exception). This is especially true of international and HS draftees. Ortiz likely plays for the Phillies in a year or two, but contrast this to Vlad, Jr. the other $4million man in that international season. Moniak’s bad AAA and MLB numbers are extremely concerning. Not one of his seasons suggests that he can be an above-average MLB starter. That is his absolute ceiling; I think an almost-average MLB CF is a realistic stretch ceiling.

      2. The age thing matters, but less so now that he has reached the pinnacle of the minor leagues. I think circumstances forced his major league debut long before he was ready. He played Double-A in 2019, spent time at the Alternate Training Site (he was invited on August 29, 2020), and made his debut as a pinch-runner on September 16th. By the end of the 2020 season, he had 18 major league plate appearances.

        In 2021, Moniak was optioned off the active roster on March 24th but was recalled mid-April until the Triple season started and he was optioned back to Lehigh Valley. So, after 28 more PA, he had 46 PA while having none at Triple-A. He was recalled and optioned six more times last season.

        May 1, 2021 Phillies recalled CF Mickey Moniak from Training Site

        May 2, 2021 Phillies optioned CF Mickey Moniak to Training Site
        May 3, 2021 CF Mickey Moniak assigned to Lehigh Valley from Training Site
        Played one game 5 plate appearances with Lehigh Valley (season opener)

        May 5, 2021 Phillies recalled CF Mickey Moniak
        Played 2 games as a ninth-inning defensive replacement

        May 7, 2021 Phillies optioned CF Mickey Moniak
        Played 56 games, 232 PA, .250/307/.471/.779, 10 HR, 43 RBI, 16 BB, 65K

        July 20, 2021 Phillies recalled CF Mickey Moniak

        July 21, 2021 Phillies optioned CF Mickey Moniak
        Played 5 games, 21 PA, .381/..381/.857/1.238, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K

        July 25, 2021 Phillies recalled CF Mickey Moniak
        Played one game as a pinch hitter, 0-1 with a K

        July 27, 2021 Phillies optioned CF Mickey Moniak
        Played 7 games, 24 PA, .250/.296/.417/.713, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K

        August 10, 2021 Phillies recalled CF Mickey Moniak
        Played 3 games, 3 PA, 0-3 with a K (pinch hitter, double switch, double switch)

        August 14, 2021 Philadelphia Phillies optioned CF Mickey Moniak
        Played 23 games, 93 PA, .203/.290/.253/.544, 7 RBI, 0 BB, 18 K

        September 11, 2021 Phillies recalled CF Mickey Moniak
        Played 6 games, 5 PA, 2 K (DS, PH, PH, DR, PH, PR/DR

        September 20, 2021 Phillies optioned CF Mickey Moniak
        Played 7 games, 31 PA, .172/.226/.586/.812, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K

        Now, maybe this isn’t as big a deal as I think it is. But, I believe that this yoyoing back and forth of a first-time Triple-A player who is so much younger than his counterparts has to have a negative effect on his development. This is the kind of back-and-forth that an experienced veteran or former MLB player might be expected to endure.

        1. Wow…did not realize all the windshield time he spent between LHV and south Philly on the Northeast Extension and 76.
          I guess with injuries to the big club and COVID protocol absences it was not welcomed thing for Mickey to have to endure…. , but was necessary.

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