Phillies Center Field Battle has a Surprise Entry
The Phillies center field battle has a surprise entry.
22-year old Mickey Moniak, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 Major League Baseball draft, has forced his way in to the Phillies Opening Day conversation.
With Adam Haseley hurt, Scott Kingery struggling, and Odubel Herrera's baggage, Moniak has put himself in position to win the job, after looking like a guy who was on the path to be a major bust.
From ESPN's Jeff Passan:
Two years ago, Moniak was being called a bust. Now, amid an impressive spring, he is changing the tune of evaluators. "He should be starting in center field Opening Day," one said of the 22-year-old, whose six hits this spring include two doubles, a triple and a pair of home runs.
Moniak was placed on the Phillies 40-man roster and given the call to the show during last seasons 60-game slate - he struggled mightily. In eight games, Moniak looked over-matched, hitting ,214 with six strikeouts in 14 at-bats.
He looked like a player who was completely stripped of all his confidence, as if he knew he didn't belong. However this spring, he looks like a totally different player, with a totally different look and approach.
He was drafted straight out of high school as a 168-pound kid. Now 22, he entered Phillies camp looking physically bigger and strong, at an impressive 205-pounds.
So far in 18 Grapefruit League at-bats, Moniak is hitting .333 with two home runs and a team leading 16 total bases.
Will he have his name penciled into the Phillies Opening Day lineup? That remains to be seen, but the fact that he has forced his name into the conversation is another positive for the Phillies organization.
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