The first overall pick just two years ago, Moniak’s ups and downs in pro ball to date have been highly scrutinized. After a quiet first full season in Low-A, the industry was ready to press the panic button after he limped to a .254/.272/.321 line the first half of last season in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. Moniak quieted some doubters with a strong second half, making a few critical adjustments and rebounding to slash .286/.332/.442 the rest of the way.
The Phillies assigned him aggressively to Double-A to start 2019, where he’s currently one of the youngest regulars in the Eastern League. He has struggled against advanced pitching in the early goings, though his age versus the level has masked Moniak’s true talent a bit thus far. The raw ingredients for an everyday CF are still here, and his gains in both swing lift and power last season make it more realistic he could finish with enough offensive impact to play every day. Moniak is an instinctual outfield defender with an above-average arm, a potential solid-to-above-average glove in CF who would be plus on either corner.
While he wouldn’t go 1/1 if the 2016 Draft was done again, we’re cautiously optimistic there’s reason to stay the course on Moniak’s general upside. With continued offensive development–especially against both same-side arms and advanced off-speed in general–he’s a potential regular at a center-diamond spot. The makeup and feel for the game that drove his draft stock prevevnt the floor from being too low; even if Moniak winds up a tweener, his well-rounded toolset and general instincts project to make him a capable role player.