Phillies

An All-Star for the first time, one of Phillies' most important prospects trending the right way

An All-Star for the first time, one of Phillies' most important prospects trending the right way

Mickey Moniak, the first overall pick in the 2016 draft by the Phillies, has been named to his first minor-league All-Star team. Moniak is one of four players who will represent Double A Reading in the Eastern League All-Star Game on July 10 in Richmond.

Starting pitcher Adonis Medina, reliever Addison Russ and first baseman Darick Hall also got All-Star nods.

Moniak, still just 21 years old, has modest overall numbers this season. He's hit .268/.313/.442 with 18 doubles, eight triples and four home runs in 286 plate appearances. He continues to strike out about four times as much as he walks.

Lately, though, he's turned it on. Moniak has hit .309 with an .887 OPS in 22 June games. He's had multiple hits in four of his last six games.

The verdict is not in yet on Moniak. He does not look like a future superstar, but he still has enough time to develop as a hitter and add muscle. Gaining strength certainly helped Scott Kingery from Year 1 to Year 2 in the majors and Moniak should benefit from it as he continues to grow into his 6-foot-2 frame.

The Phillies badly need Moniak to pan out. Cornelius Randolph, their first-round pick the prior year, still has not hit the way he was expected to. None of Nick Williams, Roman Quinn or Dylan Cozens has turned into a difference-maker at the major-league level. Adam Haseley is on the big-league roster but sidelined another few days by a groin injury. The Phillies' outfield depth has been tested and they simply need good hitters to graduate through the farm system, even if just to use them in a trade.

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At the Yard podcast: 3-batter rule, DH dynamic, NL East predictions

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NBCSP

At the Yard podcast: 3-batter rule, DH dynamic, NL East predictions

Ricky Bottalico and Corey Seidman discuss one big rule change, another on the horizon, and make their NL East predictions in the latest At the Yard podcast.

• How does the new 3-batter rule for relievers change their mentality?

• Which Phillies relievers does it affect the most?

• If the DH does come to the National League in the next two years, how would it help the Phillies?

• Both guys are still vehemently anti-DH.

• Fan Q&A.

• NL East win total predictions.

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The DH sucks but would undoubtedly help the Phillies

The DH sucks but would undoubtedly help the Phillies

The designated hitter coming to the National League is an inevitability. To some, it's a welcome inevitability. Personally, I hate it, but I acknowledge I'm probably outnumbered.

It's not about watching pitchers hit. That is the over-simplified one-line response from DH proponents. It is about many additional elements of strategy not having a DH adds. If you're a pitcher, it affects how you approach the 6-7-8-9 hitters. There is more thinking ahead. 

That goes for managers, too, who face the difficult of question of, "Do I pull Jacob deGrom with two outs and two on in the bottom of the sixth inning in a scoreless game for the extra offense?"

That doesn't happen in the AL. The Justin Verlanders of the world pitch until they're no longer effective. There is no difficult decision for the manager. 

There is also less need for a bench. AL teams sometimes run three-man benches. And plenty of AL bench players exist only as defensive replacements and/or pinch-runners.

But whatever. It's probably coming. Could be coming as early as 2021, according to Jim Bowden.

It would actually benefit the Phillies, though. The Phils face a potential logjam in the corner infield with Rhys Hoskins, Alec Bohm, Scott Kingery and Jean Segura. Only one of them can play third base. And Hoskins or Bohm would be at first base. If the DH came to the NL in 2021, the Phils could just slot Bohm into that position.

They could also use Hoskins, who isn't exactly an above-average defensive first baseman, as the DH. And toward the end of Bryce Harper's 13-year contract, his days of effective right field defense could be over and that may be the ideal spot for him.

It will be an adjustment when the NL rules change, and there will be some hard feelings, but the baseball world will probaby get over it within a few years. MLB has already adopted the three-batter rule for relievers, altered active rosters to 26 and prevented teams from utilizing their entire 40-man roster in September. These changes, in conjunction, are pretty significant too.

Subscribe and rate At The Yard:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies