Mickey Moniak
21-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Philadelphia Phillies AA
2020 Fantasy Outlook
You might not be able to tell from Moniak's current prospect reports and rankings, but the 2016 first-overall pick has actually been trending in the right direction for over a year now. After hitting poorly for all of 2017 and the first part of 2018, he posted a .774 OPS over his last 59 games of 2018 and followed that up with a .741 OPS at Double-A Reading last season. That was good for a solid 115 wRC+, a number to which he added 11 homers and 15 steals. That's a decent performance for a center fielder, especially considering he began the season at just 20 years old. Being able to hold his own while being young for his level is just about the only thing Moniak has going for him at this point, though, as his hype is far from where it should be for a first-overall pick. He could debut this season but will need to add something to his game if he's to look like anything other than a fourth outfielder. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a contract with the Phillies in June of 2016 that includes a $6.1 million signing bonus.
Receives big-league camp invite
OFPhiladelphia Phillies  AA
January 13, 2020
Moniak was invited to the Phillies' major-league spring training Monday.
Moniak's development slowed slightly in 2019 after he missed several weeks with a strained hamstring, but he still managed to show some signs of improvement last season. The 21-year-old hit a career-high 11 home runs with 15 stolen bases over 119 games in his first year with Double-A Reading, but his batting average dropped 18 points to .252. That's not necessarily what would be expected from a first overall pick (2016), but he'll get the chance to work with the major-league coaching staff in the spring and could make his debut sometime in 2020 if he can refine his overall performance.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Moniak's .270/.304/.383 line for High-A Clearwater last season was a small improvement on his .236/.284/.341 showing at Low-A Lakewood in 2017, but it's still a performance that better suits a non-prospect than a first overall pick. Digging deeper into Moniak's season reveals at least some reason for optimism. Over his first 54 games, he recorded an ugly .592 OPS, but he posted to a .774 mark across his final 59 games, a change spurred by a drop in strikeout rate paired with an increase in walks and balls in the air. Still, even the revitalized version of Moniak is a relatively uninteresting fantasy prospect, as he managed just five homers and six steals. A respectable average without much power or speed is a profile that looks a lot like 2018 Jason Heyward but with worse defense, which doesn't make for a very exciting fantasy piece. Moniak will have to take at least one more step forward, if not several, to have much value in dynasty leagues.
"Safe" and "high floor" are dangerous words to throw around regarding high school prospects, but that was the selling point when the Phillies selected Moniak with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft. He was supposed to be a slick defender in center field with impact speed and a plus-plus hit tool -- think Lorenzo Cain or Ender Inciarte. Unfortunately, evaluators who saw Moniak in the Sally League in 2017 did not see 1-1 caliber player. They didn't even see a first-round talent. He was lost at the plate, particularly against lefties, and was not a plus runner. The early returns suggest the Phillies whiffed on that pick. The problem with his profile, even at the time of the draft, was that if he did not hit as expected, he might just be a fourth outfielder. A hit tool is the hardest thing to scout, and it is particularly hard to scout on the prep circuit. It's a hard pill to swallow, but his lack of upside makes it hard to continue to roster him in most dynasty leagues.
The first overall pick in the 2016 draft was considered one of the top high school bats available, bringing superb contact skills along with exceptional speed. His potential plus-plus hit tool, noteworthy speed and good defense in center field give him a solid floor as a fantasy prospect, but his value will be limited if he does not develop more power as he fills out. After signing, Moniak started at the Gulf Coast League, where he hit .284/.340/.409 with a home run and 10 steals in 176 at-bats. A hip injury, which was believed to be caused by fatigue, sidelined him for some of the instructional league in October, but he returned to the field before play ended. The Phillies will likely start Moniak off at Low-A Lakewood this season and keep him there the entire year.
More Fantasy News
Back from injury
OFPhiladelphia Phillies  AA
July 11, 2019
Moniak (hamstring) returned from the 7-day injured list with Double-A Reading on Thursday, Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle reports.
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Out with strained hamstring
OFPhiladelphia Phillies  AA
July 4, 2019
Moniak was placed on the minor-league injured list at Double-A Reading with a hamstring strain, Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports.
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Shows sustainable changes in second half
OFPhiladelphia Phillies  AA
September 7, 2018
Moniak's second-half improvements can be traced to a change in approach, Ben Harris of The Athletic Philadelphia reports.
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Showing considerable improvement
OFPhiladelphia Phillies  AA
August 15, 2018
Moniak has hit a strong .319/.382/.531 over his last 30 games for High-A Clearwater.
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Tallies three doubles
OFPhiladelphia Phillies  AA
August 1, 2018
Moniak went 3-for-4 with three doubles for High-A Clearwater in its 4-2 win over Tampa on Tuesday.
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