Mickey Moniak Selected by Phillies No. 1 Overall in 2016 MLB Draft

June 9, 2016 by  
Filed under Fan News

There was no consensus No. 1 pick entering the 2016 MLB draft, but the Philadelphia Phillies‘ extensive evaluation process led the team to select La Costa Canyon High School outfielder Mickey Moniak with the first selection Thursday evening.  

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Moniak became the first outfielder selected No. 1 overall since the Washington Nationals snagged Bryce Harper in 2010. Moniak is also the first left-handed-hitting high school outfielder to be selected with the draft’s top pick since Josh Hamilton in 1999. 

The Phillies’ official Twitter account confirmed Moniak’s arrival:

Philadelphia could have opted to add a top-tier pitching prospect such as A.J. Puk or Jason Groome—who ended up with the Oakland A’s and Boston Red Sox, respectively—but Moniak offers the team a potential future cornerstone in the outfield. 

“Collectively, we believe Mickey was the best player available in the draft,” Phillies scouting director Johnny Almaraz said, per Philly Voice’s Ryan Lawrence. “He’s a true center fielder with incredible offensive ability and the potential to be a perennial All-Star.”

According to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, the 18-year-old batted .476 with seven home runs, 12 triples, 46 RBI and a .921 slugging percentage during his senior year. 

“The bat is good,” an evaluator said, per CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury. “He’s going to hit and hit for average. He’s a good center fielder. 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.”

Adding Moniak to the mix gives the Phillies a slew of talented outfielders who should be able to carry the franchise forward as the rebuild accelerates.

Nick Williams, who’s now playing for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, grades out as the team’s third-best prospect, per MLB.com, while 2015 first-round pick Cornelius Randolph ranks No. 5 on the team. 

With an arsenal of assets who are growing and appreciating at a rapid rate, the Phillies have positioned themselves as potential National League contenders by the time the decade comes to a close. 

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MLB Trade Rumors: How Bad Would Losing Cole Hamels Hurt the Phillies?

July 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

After being swept by the Miami Marlins in their most recent tale of despair, the panic surrounding the Philadelphia Phillies has reached an all-time high.

Impending free-agent and All-Star pitcher Cole Hamels has been the center of trade speculation for weeks, and the Phillies’ struggles are not helping combat any rumors.

Although the Phillies are sitting at a lowly 36-45 mark, 11 games behind the first-place Washington Nationals in the National League East, there’s still plenty of time to turn the season around.

With the return of Chase Utley, and eventually Ryan Howard to the starting lineup, the Phillies will have the band back together for the second half of the regular season.

Phillies’ general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has never been one to panic, and he shouldn’t start to because of the team’s poor performance thus far. Amaro has always found ways to keep or reacquire his team’s most prized pieces, and Hamels is no different.

According to CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury, Amaro won’t be jumping the gun on a potential Hamels deal:

“Our goal is the same,” Amaro said in a telephone interview Monday. “It hasn’t changed. All this rumor and speculation is a product of the time of the year and the way we’ve been playing. That’s how this works. Our goal has always been to keep Cole Hamels in our uniform for a long time and that hasn’t changed.”

Losing Hamels wouldn’t just be detrimental to the team’s immediate future, but it would signal the end of an era to one of the league’s most loyal fanbases.

Rushing to deal Hamels for prospects by the trade deadline would be a message from the front office that it’s time to rebuild a once great team. For a franchise that has flashed so much promise over the last five years, it feels far too early to deem this team dead. 

It’s understood that Hamels could very well walk out on the Phillies if they don’t deal him at the deadline, but that’s a risk Amaro should be willing to take.

Holding onto Hamels appears risky, but Amaro has shown in the past that he’s aggressive when it comes to retaining his own players. Signing Hamels may require letting a player like Shane Victorino walk, but it’s a price worth paying.

It’s safe to assume that Hamels will cost a fortune to retain, but there’s still hope that his loyalty to Philadelphia will bring him back long term.

After San Francisco Giants‘ pitcher Matt Cain signed a lucrative extension this season, Hamels will likely demand a contract in excess of $120 million, according to USA Today. 

With Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Hamels, the Phillies have composed one of Major League Baseball’s elite starting rotations, and it would be a shame to see it all self-destruct after just two seasons.

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Spring Training Preview: Phillies Must Be Wary of Improved NL East

February 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Fan News

With pitchers and catchers set to report to Clearwater in a mere two days, it’s time to start wrapping our minds around a fresh season of Major League Baseball.

Since winning the NL East title in 2007, the Phillies have been the class, not just of the East, but of the entire National League. They have been to two World Series’ since 2007, winning that memorable series against Tampa Bay in 2008.

At this point it would be easy to look at the Phillies roster and pencil them in for 95 wins and another National League East crown.

However, I’m not ready to jump to conclusions yet.

After an offseason of surprise signings and departures, the National League East is looking like one of the more competitive divisions in baseball.

While the Phils did enhance their bullpen in the form of closer Jonathan Papelbon and middle relievers Dontrelle Willis and Chad Qualls, they did not add a definitive answer at first base to replace the injured Ryan Howard.

Jim Thome is a start, but there are still questions about his ability to field the position at 41 years old. Thome will be a huge upgrade as a bat off of the bench, but his presence in the field may be minimal.

The Phillies also added veteran infielder Ty Wigginton, and if I had to guess I’d say Wigginton will be the primary replacement for Howard until he is able to return from his torn Achilles.

When evaluating the rest of the division it’s easy to notice vast improvement.

While the Mets and Braves didn’t add much this offseason, the Nationals and Marlins sure did.

With their new stadium set to open this season, the Miami Marlins knew they had to make a big impact in free agency.

They did not waste any time.

After hiring Ozzie Guillen as the new face of their franchise they went out and signed All-Star shortstop José Reyes to a six-year, $106 million deal.

In addition to signing Reyes, the Marlins also snagged former White Sox hurler Mark Buehrle, and eventually signed All-Star closer Heath Bell, formerly of the Padres.

Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals kept busy, signing former Phillies Brad Lidge and Chad Durbin to bolster their bullpen.

While those names don’t seem like a big deal, they will provide necessary depth. In addition, the Nationals drastically improved their starting rotation by adding pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson who combined to win 28 games and strike out 345 batters a year ago.

Maybe the Nationals won’t make a run towards the playoffs this year, but I would expect Miami to be in contention for a Wild Card spot at the very least.

So while the Marlins and Nationals may not be as well-rounded as the Phillies, they’re taking notes on how to become like the reigning NL East champs.

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