Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak is beginning to turn a corner

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Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak is beginning to turn a corner

Mickey Moniak is beginning to turn a corner.

The No. 1 overall pick in 2016, Moniak is in the midst of his most productive stretch as a pro.

Driving the ball has been an issue for Moniak, who's still 20 years old and hasn't yet fully bulked up or grown into his frame. But over these last 24 games and 104 plate appearances, Moniak has hit .303/.365/.517 with 11 doubles, a triple and two homers. Ten of those 14 extra-base hits have come in his last 16 games.

On Wednesday, Moniak received an honor not for his offense but for his defense. He was named Phillies Minor League Defender of the Month (Dylan Cozens was named Hitter of the Month).

Moniak has made 90 starts in the outfield (79 in center) this season without committing an error. He also has five outfield assists, four from center and one from left field.

Overall this season, Moniak has hit .256/.289/.365 in 94 games with High-A Clearwater. He has just 10 home runs in nearly 1,100 plate appearances as a pro.

The needle is starting to move, though.

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Krukcast: Why Philadelphia sports fans are great

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Krukcast: Why Philadelphia sports fans are great

On this edition of Krukcast, John Kruk and Gregg Murphy discuss Philadelphia sports fans. Despite the national narrative, why the fans of this city are great. Also, the expectations of the fans are not unreasonable at all.

Plus, Kruk shares his favorite fan stories from his playing days. One involves having beers with opposing fans after a game.

1:00 -  The national myth that Philadelphia fans are the worst.
5:00 -  Are fans here that different from other fans?
10:00 - Most creative fans around baseball.
14:00 - Murph's worst fan story (shocker).
18:00 -  If the fans here are so bad, why do players choose to play in Philly?

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Keep an eye on the record – will they finish over .500? – and Scott Kingery in final week of Phillies season

Keep an eye on the record – will they finish over .500? – and Scott Kingery in final week of Phillies season

ATLANTA — The final week of the Phillies season is upon us.

The team has been eliminated from all postseason possibility after a collapse that has seen it post a record of 15-29 since it was in first place in the NL East on Aug. 5.

Here are a few things worth keeping an eye on over the final week:

• Will the team finish with a winning record?

On Aug. 5, the Phils were 15 games over .500 and the thought of a sixth straight losing season seemed incomprehensible. Now they are just a game over .500 and need to win four of their final seven — no easy task with four against contending Colorado on deck — to finish with a winning record.

“It’s very important,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “Everybody understands that there's a lot of value in having a winning season.”

The Phils have not had a winning season since 2011, the last time they made the playoffs. They finished .500 in 2012.

• Will Aaron Nola get one more start (see story)

• How much more will Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro and J.P. Crawford play?

Williams is nursing a sore and swollen right middle finger and it hurts when he swings. Alfaro came out of Sunday’s game with a sore right quad muscle. Crawford still has a sore right shoulder. He fell on it making a play in the field Wednesday night and was not ready to play Sunday.

• Will Scott Kingery get some time at second base?

It’s his natural position and he could be the guy there next season if Cesar Hernandez is dealt.

“I don't think there's a need, but I think it would be cool to see him out at second base before the season's over,” Kapler said. “We're not going to force anything. If it makes sense for our club and it gives us a chance to win and is the right thing for Scott Kingery, we'll do it.”

Kingery has played just 23 innings at second this season and not started there since April 16.

“At this point, I think it might feel a little bit weird to go over there,” Kingery said. “But I think to get back to the natural position, maybe just find some rhythm over there and get at least a couple games over there. So if something ends up happening and I play there a little more next season, I’ll be ready for it.”

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