The Phillies picked outfielder Mickey Moniak with the first pick in the baseball draft on Thursday night.
Moniak, 18, stands 6-2 and weighs 180 pounds. He swings from the left side and throws right-handed. Offensively, he has been compared to former major leaguer Steve Finley and current Miami Marlin Christian Yelich.
"Collectively, we believe Mickey was the best player available in the draft," said Johnny Almaraz, the Phillies head of amateur scouting. "He's a true centerfielder with incredible offensive ability and the potential to be a perennial All-Star."
Moniak hit .476 with seven homers, 12 triples and four doubles at La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, California this season.
"I am honored by this and I'm excited to prove the Phillies right," Moniak said in an interview with the MLB Network shortly after the pick was announced.
A talent evaluator from a rival team who has seen Moniak play five times in the last year offered a promising take on the player.
“The bat is good,” the evaluator said. “He’s going to hit and hit for average. He’s a good centerfielder. He can run. The question is how many home runs will he hit? If he ends up getting stronger, he could be a corner bat that’s unbelievable. There’s no negative here. It’s a good pick.”
Baseball America ranked Moniak as the fifth-best prospect in this draft, and described him as having a “magic-wand bat.”
This is the second year in a row the Phillies have taken a high school outfielder with their first-round pick. They selected Cornelius Randolph with the 10th overall pick last year.
The Phillies made one more pick Thursday night, selecting right-hander Kevin Gowdy in the second round with the 42nd overall pick (see story).