Tag Archives: MLB Draft

Mickey Moniak beginning to look like a worthy top draft pick

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’sBLzZuuITItXNrqPVkxXCg’,sig:’kN0IIKSnV__Oib8iBYE6Gs1VXXjYMVUHAQgA-ycOIeo=’,w:’594px’,h:’396px’,items:’1126506613′,caption: true ,tld:’com’,is360: false })});

Moniak was the top overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft

During their recent half-decade plummet to the bottom of the National League standings, the Philadelphia Phillies found themselves picking at a high position in the annual MLB Amateur Draft on a regular basis.

The Phillies had such a horrendous season in 2015 that their 63-99 record proved to be the worst in all of Major League Baseball. That set the club up with the #1 overall pick of the 2016 MLB Draft.
This was going to be far from a slam-dunk selection. Sure, the draft has yielded some true impact players with that first overall pick. Since the turn of the century, that top pick has produced stars in Joe MauerDavid PriceStephen StrasburgBryce HarperGerrit Cole, and  Carlos Correa.
However, there have been as many misses as hits. Players selected #1 overall since the year 2000 also include Bryan Bullington (2002), Delmon Young (2003), Matt Bush (2004), Mark Appel (2013), and Brady Aiken (2014). Some were injury casualties. Some simply never developed as hoped.
Others made an impact, but it would be hard to say that they justified a first overall draft selection: Luke Hochevar (2006) and Tim Beckham (2008) fall into this category.
Even Justin Upton, taken first overall in 2005, has to be considered an overall disappointment when considering he was the top draft pick. Dansby Swanson, the top selection in the 2015 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, is just emerging this year as an impact player after being traded to the Atlanta Braves.
In June of 2016, Matt Klentak was overseeing his first draft as the general manager of the Phillies. Johnny Almaraz was the club’s head of amateur scouting at the time. When MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stepped to the podium to announce the selection, he called the name of Mickey Moniak, an outfielder from La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, California.
Collectively, we believe Mickey was the best player available in the draft,” said Almaraz at that time, per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “He’s a true centerfielder with incredible offensive ability and the potential to be a perennial All-Star.”
Per Salisbury, a rival talent evaluator also delivered a glowing appraisal of Moniak: “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.
Moniak knew that the pressure would be on him, and seemed ready to accept the responsibility. “I am honored by this and I’m excited to prove the Phillies right,” Moniak said in an interview with the MLB Network after the pick was announced.
After passing a physical exam with the team, Moniak inked a contract that paid him a $6.1 million signing bonus. Financially set, it was time to play baseball.
Almaraz doubled down on his assessment of Moniak’s abilities, per Todd Zolecki of MLB.com: “I think you’ll have a Gold Glove center fielder who will hit in the middle of the lineup and be a leader on the team,” Almaraz said.
As an 18-year-old, Moniak was assigned to the Phillies rookie-level team in the Gulf Coast League. He slashed .284/.340/.409 with 16 extra-base hits, 27 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 194 plate appearances across 46 games. It was a solid beginning to his professional career.
Moving up to Low-A Lakewood the following season, however, Moniak struggled mightily. He slashed just .236/.284/.341 in the summer of 2017 and frequently appeared to be over-matched, striking out in more than 20% of his plate appearances.
Still, the organization liked his maturity and believed he was up to another promotion for last season. It didn’t look that way early on, as things started out even more poorly with High-A Clearwater. Over his first 172 plate appearances across 43 games, Moniak slashed just .217/.233/.253, striking out in more than 25% of the time.
Then, something seemed to suddenly click. In his next four straight games, and five of his next six, Moniak produced a multiple-hit effort. He would slash .303/.346/.464 over his final 71 games and 293 plate appearances, with 30 extra-base hits and 41 RBIs. Moniak also cut down his strikeout rate to below the 20% mark over those final two and a half months.
With that performance his confidence grew, and Moniak moved up to Double-A Reading for this 2019 season. He turned just 21-years-old on May 13, and was playing so well that he was named to the Double-A All-Star team.
Unfortunately, a strained hamstring suffered while making a sliding catch in center field on June 30 has put Moniak on the minor league injured list. He will be in Richmond, Virginia for that Double-A All-Star Game on Wednesday night, but his ability to actually participate is questionable.
Moniak was slashing .266/.324/.437 with 32 extra-base hits, 42 runs scored, and nine stolen bases over 314 plate appearances in 75 games. In his last 13 games prior to the injury, he was hitting .318 with a .436 on-base percentage.
While Moniak had become a strikeout victim in 22% of his appearances this year, the now 6’2″, 185-pounder has quite obviously shown the ability to compete at the second-highest level of the minor leagues at more than three years younger than the average player age.
No, Mickey Moniak is still not demonstrating that he will be a difference-making impact player to the levels envisioned by the organization when he was drafted. But neither is he the bust that many were beginning to call him just one year ago.
I think it’s a lot of hard work in the offseason, but it has to do a lot with the past few years,” he said per Jackson Satz of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “The seasons I’ve had, the good, the bad, learning from everything that’s happened to me throughout my professional career so far. Ultimately, that’s going to work for me to become the best player that I can be.
Now, mission one is to recover from the hamstring and get back into action. The Phillies have advanced him in a patient, yet consistent manner. One minor league level at a time. Moniak has continued to develop, gotten bigger and stronger, and it is now finally possible to envision him wearing a Phillies uniform at Citizens Bank Park.
Fans should expect to see him finish the year with Reading, and then move on to Triple-A Lehigh Valley when next season opens. He is likely to spend most of the 2020 season continuing his development. At that point it will be all about performance and production.
It may not yet be time for Phillies fans to get excited about Mickey Moniak. But it is beginning to become possible to see him as a contributor at the big-league level within the next two years. And it remains possible that he could still become the impact player that Almanzar and others believed him to be.
NOTE: Special thanks to Cheryl Purcell for her picture of Moniak at Reading accompanying this piece, and RIP to a truly good boy, Jax: https://jack-jax.com/

Phillies select Bryson Stott in first round, 40 players total, in 2019 MLB Draft

Bryson Stott was Phillies 2019 first round pick
After three days, the 2019 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft is now finally complete. 
The Philadelphia Phillies selected 40 players in total, and will now begin the process of negotiating contracts and then assigning players to their minor league system.
The Phillies, who had no second round pick this year due to the signing of free agent Bryce Harper back in late February, had an interesting first seven rounds. During that early phase of the selection process the Phillies chose three shortstops and four pitchers.
Overall, the Phillies draft prospects shake out as follows positionally: 12 left-handed pitchers, 11 right-handed pitchers, 3 catchers, 1 first baseman, 1 second baseman, 5 shortstops, 1 third baseman, 1 corner outfielder, 5 center fielders.
The Phillies selected 21-year-old shortstop Bryson Stott out of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) with their first round pick at 14th overall. Stott had been projected by most pre-draft evaluation services as a likely top ten pick, so the Phillies appear to have gotten strong value.
The second pick came in the third round, and appears on the surface to have been a bit of a reach. The Phillies made shortstop Jamari Baylor that selection at 91st overall. An 18-year-old out of a Virginia high school, Baylor had been projected by MLB as the 161st-ranked prospect, and he did not show up at all in Baseball America’s Top 200 pre-draft rankings.

In the fourth round, the Phillies found southpaw Erik Miller from Stanford had slid to them with the 120th overall pick. Miller was projected by MLB to go about 60 places higher, and Baseball America ranked him at 106.
Another potential high-value pick was 35th rounder Michael Prosecky, a lefty high school arm who the club will now try to keep from a commitment to the University of Louisville.
Eight of the Phillies first nine picks were college ballplayers who could reach the big leagues sooner rather than later. Aaron Nola was selected in the first round out of Louisiana State University in 2014 and reached the Phillies just over a year later. Adam Haseley was the club’s top pick in 2017 from the University of Virginia and made his debut earlier this week.
The club’s top pick in last year’s draft, Alec Bohm, was also a highly-rated college player. We ranked the third baseman from Wichita State as the Phillies top prospect back in April. He is slashing .333/.396/.525 with six home runs, 30 RBIs, and 25 extra-base hits over his first 53 games across two levels in the 2019 season.
Currently at High-A Clearwater, Bohm should be at Double-A Reading before the summer is out, and could push his way to the Phillies as soon as next season.

Braden Halladay, eldest son of Roy, chosen by Blue Jays in 2019 MLB Draft

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’uESfjcrKTuVcR_xM6mwxpg’,sig:’-aiMBO_OPOpoMhPgueh5QfIGZK30QJTXKL8MvdV-IbQ=’,w:’594px’,h:’396px’,items:’482774431′,caption: true ,tld:’co.uk’,is360: false })});//embed-cdn.gettyimages.com/widgets.js

Halladay surrounded by sons Braden (L) and Ryan (R) in 2014

The late Roy Halladay is justifiably beloved by the Philadelphia Phillies fan base. The big right-hander, who died tragically at the young age of just 40 while piloting his private plane in November 2017, was chosen as one of the 2018 Phillies Wall of Fame honorees after going 55-29 over parts of four seasons with the club.

‘Doc’ registered a 3.25 ERA and 1.119 WHIP mark across 103 starts with the Phillies, allowing 649 hits over 702.2 innings with a 633/137 K:BB. He also tossed a Perfect Game in a Phillies uniform, as well as one of only two postseason no-hitters in Major League Baseball history. Halladay was the 2010 NL Cy Young Award winner, finished as the runner-up for the honors the following year, and was an NL All-Star in each of those two seasons.
But as beloved as Halladay is in Philadelphia, he is at least as popular north of the border in the city of Toronto. There, Halladay pitched for parts of a dozen seasons in the uniform of the Toronto Blue Jays. He went 148-76 in Toronto and was a six-time American League All-Star. He captured the 2003 AL Cy Young Award while with Toronto, and finished among the top five in voting four more times.
Now, Halladay and his family will enjoy another tie to the Blue Jays organization, at least temporarily. Braden Halladay, the 18-year-old eldest son of Roy and his wife, Brandy, was selected today by Toronto with their 32nd round pick as the 957th overall player chosen in the MLB Amateur Draft.

If that draft round seems familiar, it should. That was the uniform number worn by Braden’s dad while a member of the Blue Jays. Doc was unable to keep the number when he was dealt to the Phillies, as it had been retired in honor of Phillies Hall of Famer Steve Carlton. Halladay instead wore uniform number 34 in Philadelphia.

Braden, a right-handed pitcher like his father, was born and raised to age 9 in Canada but moved with the family down to Tarpon Springs after the trade to the Phillies.
I find myself at the first day of school, when they ask your name and your grade and a fun fact about you, my fun fact is always I was born in Canada,” Braden said per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm last March. “I feel like I couldn’t have had a better place to grow up. I feel I would not be anywhere near where I was. I still go back once or twice a year, and even though I’m not living there, I still feel it’s a part of who I am.
He was chosen out of Calvary Christian High School in Clearwater, Florida. All during his career, Braden wore a patch with the Canadian flag on his glove, and proudly considers himself as having dual citizenship.
Braden was invited to Baseball Canada’s U18 spring training camp on March 6, 2018, and pitched a scoreless inning in the Canadian Junior team’s exhibition game against the Blue Jays on March 17, 2018.
On hand that day to watch? None other than Doc’s old Phillies manager, Charlie Manuel, who had promised during his speech at Doc’s memorial service the previous November at Spectrum Field in Clearwater to see Braden play. “I’m so glad I came over,” Manuel said per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia after the outing. “He did good. I’m glad he got ‘em out.
Thank you @BlueJays for drafting me in the 32nd round today! It’s a great honor! It’s with mutual understanding that I’ll still be honoring my commitment to Penn State! I look forward to college and bettering myself as a player and person, thank you to all who have supported me! pic.twitter.com/tUcKWZESPl
View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

The Blue Jays know that they will not be able to sign Braden, who is committed to attend Penn State University. If Halladay produces at the collegiate level with the Nittany Lions he could find himself taken again when he is eligible for the 2022 MLB Draft.

Phillies sign top draft pick Alec Bohm

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’MHYGJ8RCQ01BiTD5W170Ng’,sig:’y6SS728ScGxCTdJH_2UrGX-Fu-EekenuHZIRKb1hiZI=’,w:’594px’,h:’396px’,items:’978854836′,caption: true ,tld:’co.uk’,is360: false })});//embed-cdn.gettyimages.com/widgets.js

Bohm becomes the Phillies third baseman of the future

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Phillies announced the signing of 2018 first round draft pick Alec Bohm to a $5.85 million contract. The 21-year old third baseman out of Omaha, Nebraska and Wichita State now heads down to Clearwater, Florida to begin his minor league development.

Bohm (pronounced “Bome”) is an advanced college hitter whom the Phils selected with the third overall pick in last week’s 2018 MLB Draft.

If you are thinking already about when he might get to Citizens Bank Park to make his big league debut in red pinstripes, it is wholly reasonable to think that could happen early in the 2020 season, if not sooner.

It is anticipated by scouts that Bohm will hit. He has a great eye at the plate, good patience, and big time power. The question has never been with his right-handed bat. What has concerned some with the 6’5″, 225-pounder is where he will end up defensively.

Phillies director of amateur scouting Johnny Almanzar, addressed this question specifically in the aftermath of his selection. Per Matt Gelb at The Athletic, Almanzar stated the following:

“We loved the bat. We loved the offensive capabilities, so we would have taken him regardless [of] whether he felt he could stay there. But we don’t believe that. We believe he can stay there. He’s a very athletic player. He’s a good third baseman and, with some instruction, I believe that he’s got the chance to be an average to an above-average third baseman at the major-league level. Very, very athletic for his size at 6-foot-5.”

Bohm hit well at Roncalli Catholic High School in Omaha, and won the Home Run Derby at the Connie Mack World Series in 2015. But he went undrafted out of high school and moved on to Wichita State.

During his collegiate career, Bohm blasted 40 doubles and 33 home runs, 16 of those homers in this past Junior season. He became an all-star in the Cape Cod League, and was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America.

Bob Brookover at Philly.com pointed out just how important it will be to the Phillies for Bohm to be able to stick at the hot corner: 
“…mostly third base has been a huge hole for the Phillies over the last 15 years. The Phillies have finished 21st or lower in OPS at third base 12 times during that stretch, including 28th last year. This year, the Phillies’ third basemen ranked 25th in OPS at .698 going into Tuesday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies.”

Bohm was in attendance at the draft, and it was clear in his post-selection on-air interview that he isn’t particularly comfortable in front of the cameras just yet. His answers to local reporters have been just as succinct.

“It’s been a wihirlwind for me,” said Bohm per Tom McGurk at The Courier-Post. “I’m excited to get started. I just want to get out there and get some at-bats, get back into playing, it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve played.”

That’s fine. Some of that hesitation will melt away the more he faces reporters questions and matures as a person and a ball player. More importantly to Phillies fans is that Bohm speaks loudly with his bat, and that he advances to play in South Philly as quickly as possible.

Phillies lead race for top 2018 MLB Amateur Draft pick

Brady Singer could be top pick in 2018 MLB Draft
On Friday, the Philadelphia Phillies will begin playing the final full month of their 2017 schedule. The club will enter that last full month with the worst overall record in baseball.
The Phillies dropped the final two games of their most recent series against the woeful Atlanta Braves by a combined scored of 14-3. Now the club opens up a four-game weekend set with the Miami Marlins on Thursday.
That series in South Florida begins an 11-game away trek against division rivals, the Phillies longest road trip of the season. It continues with three against the New York Mets, and then a four-gamer with the Washington Nationals next weekend.
Entering play on  Thursday, the Phillies sport a record of 49-83. The San Francisco Giants (82), Chicago White Sox (79), and Cincinnati Reds (77) are currently closest to the Phillies in the loss column.
Should they finish with the worst record, it will be for the second time in three years. In 2015 the Phillies finished 63-99, the worst record by any Phillies team since the year that I was born. That 1961 squad dropped 107 games, and currently stands as the worst Phillies team in more than 70 years.
The current group is on pace to win just 60 games, which would make it the worst in the last 56 years for the franchise, and the only one in that span to lose 100 or more games.

HEADED FOR TOP PICK IN 2018 DRAFT

Finishing with the worst record in the league would again give the Phillies the top overall pick in the MLB Amateur Draft. After earning that “reward” in 2015, the club made outfielder Mickey Moniak the top pick in the 2016 Draft.
Many evaluators currently rank University of Florida right-handed ace Brady Singer as the top available talent. However, it is far too early to worry about who will actually emerge by next spring, and speculate as to who the Phillies might pick.
The real issue is that this has to stop. This must be the last time for a long time that the club is in contention for such a high draft pick.
The Phillies are fielding a losing team for a fifth consecutive season. The emergence this year of position players Rhys HoskinsNick Williams, and Jorge Alfaro is a positive sign. But more talent is needed, and it’s time to stop looking at the short-term band-aid of stopgap players.
Advertisements

SPEAK THE TRUTH, EVEN IF YOUR VOICE SHAKES

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: