Mickey Moniak, the #1 Overall Pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, made a name for himself this spring with his stellar play. Unfortunately, the 24-year-old fractured his wrist in the final Spring Training game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Moniak would go on the mend for the better part of two months.
During the first two months, the Phillies struggled with offensive and defensive output from the centerfield position. Matt Vierling and Odubel Herrera produced very little and played inconsistently, respectively. By May 29th, the Phillies announced Moniak's return to MLB after a short rehab stint in the minors.
2022 Return and Demotion
The California native made his return at a time when the Phillies desperately needed him. Moniak slashed a .160 BA, 4 H, 1 RBI, 3 BB, and 11 SO in nine games. Then on June 3rd, the Phillies fired manager Joe Girardi, which sparked a 9-game winning streak. Interim manager Rob Thomson started playing the younger players, including Moniak, to give the kids the reps at the Major League level.
On June 14th, Mickey Moniak was reassigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and the Phillies promoted Yairo Munoz.
Following last night’s game, OF Mickey Moniak was optioned to Lehigh Valley (AAA). Today, the Phillies selected the contract of INF Yairo Muñoz from LV and transferred INF Jean Segura (fractured right index finger) from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL.— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 14, 2022
On the one hand, the Phillies rushed Mickey Moniak's rehab to return during the Giants series instead of giving him consistent reps to build his confidence. On the other, Moniak's' plate discipline was low when he returned. Hence, the 11 SO over nine games was not a good look for the outfielder.
Bryce Harper praised Bryson Stott and the other young players for their energy and clutchness during the nine-game win streak. Under Joe Girardi's intensity, the players did not perform overall, but the energy and environment seems healthier under Thomson.
The demotion to Triple-A makes sense to give him more reps. However, if the new theme with this Phillies team is to "Let the Kids Play," then sending him down defeats the purpose in many ways. It is not the end of Moniak's year, but the Phanbase waits in anticipation for his return as the everyday centerfielder.
What to Expect?
Moniak is a great ballplayer. Getting consistent reps and building up his hitting and discipline will be integral to his return and the Phillies winning games. It is safe to assume that if he performs well, he will be back up in a couple of weeks, similar to the Bryson Stott situation.
Currently, Moniak is hitting .333 BA, 3 H, 1 HR, 1 RBI, and 1 SO. Obviously, this is a small sample size, but keeping his offensive numbers up will be essential. The Phillies have plenty of outfielders at this point: Schwarber, Castellanos, Vierling, Herrera, and Harper (eventually). Adding Moniak in a couple of weeks, when Nick Maton returns from injury, will be the right move for the Phillies.
The Phils need another outfielder to play the field since Harper will be out for the foreseeable future. The Phightins need to get healthy and construct this active roster to support any baseball situation.
Overall, Moniak is keeping up his offensive output with a home run in his first game with the Iron Pigs. Hopefully, Mickey Moniak makes his return soon offensively and is patrolling the outfield efficiently.
Discussion Question: How should the Phillies utilize Mickey Moniak in the future?