Mickey Moniak

Exciting group of prospects set to represent Phillies in Arizona Fall League

Exciting group of prospects set to represent Phillies in Arizona Fall League

A group featuring some of the Phillies' most exciting prospects is set to represent the organization in the Arizona Fall League. 

Right-hander Spencer Howard and third baseman Alec Bohm — the Phillies' top pitching and hitting prospect — will play in Arizona. So will outfielder Mickey Moniak, left-hander JoJo Romero, right-hander Connor Seabold and shortstop Nick Maton.

Now, this list could be subject to change. If the Phillies choose to call up Howard in September to have him start a few games or pitch out of the bullpen, that could affect his innings total and availability for the AFL.

Howard pitches tonight for Reading as the Fightin Phils look to clinch a playoff spot. In five starts at Double A, Howard has a 2.52 ERA and 0.92 WHIP with 32 strikeouts in 25 innings. Overall this season, he has a 2.07 ERA in 14 starts with 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

Bohm might be the Phillies' opening day third baseman next season. He's had a dynamic season, hitting .306/.376/.521 with 30 doubles, 20 homers and 76 RBI in 120 games split between Lakewood, Clearwater and Reading. Bohm's low strikeout rate sticks out. He has whiffed just 70 times in 518 plate appearances. 

Moniak has hit for more power this season than the previous three but still hasn't grown into a consistent offensive threat. Keep in mind he's still only 21 years old, not 23 like Howard or Bohm. Obvious room for growth.

Romero, the Phillies' fourth-round pick in 2016, has not fared well in his first stint at Triple A, pitching to a 7.35 ERA over 12 starts. 

Maton is a 22-year-old middle infielder at Double A, and Seabold is a 23-year-old pitcher who's had a promising run at Double A, mostly avoiding falling victim to the hitter-friendly pitfalls at Reading's home park.

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Get to know Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak

Get to know Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak

Now 21, Mickey Moniak is showing some promising signs of development.

The former No. 1 overall pick was named an Eastern League All-Star, largely because he's hit .294 with a .392 on-base percentage since June 1. Moniak has missed a few days with a tweaked hamstring but has given the Phillies a reason for optimism early this summer.

If you'd like a glimpse of Moniak off the field, check out his fun Q&A with Marc Farzetta above.

 

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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