Moniak hit .353/.500/.588 in his 22 Grapefruit League appearances. Perhaps most impressive for Moniak were his five walks, as he's yet to record a walk rate higher than 6.5 percent at any minor-league stop thus far. The 21-year-old's prospect pedigree isn't nearly what it was when he was drafted first overall back in 2016, but his 115 wRC+ for Double-A Reading suggested that he's finally turning a corner. He'll presumably head to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to open this season but could make his big-league debut before the end of the campaign if his progress continues.
Moniak was invited to the Phillies' major-league spring training Monday. Moniak's development slowed slightly in 2019 after he missed several weeks with a strained hamstring, but he still managed to show some signs of improvement last season. The 21-year-old hit a career-high 11 home runs with 15 stolen bases over 119 games in his first year with Double-A Reading, but his batting average dropped 18 points to .252. That's not necessarily what would be expected from a first overall pick (2016), but he'll get the chance to work with the major-league coaching staff in the spring and could make his debut sometime in 2020 if he can refine his overall performance.
Moniak (hamstring) returned from the 7-day injured list with Double-A Reading on Thursday, Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle reports. Moniak hasn't played since the end of June due to a strained hamstring. He'd shown significantly improved performance prior to suffering the injury, though his .266/.324/.437 line still isn't necessarily what one would expect from the first overall pick in the 2016 draft.
Moniak was placed on the minor-league injured list at Double-A Reading with a hamstring strain, Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports. The severity of the injury is not yet clear. The 21-year-old still doesn't look like a player who deserved to have been picked first overall back in 2016, but he's finally showing some signs of life as a prospect. His .266/.324/.437 slash line is good for a 121 wRC+, the first time he's been above 100 in that category since 2016. The Phillies have handled his development slowly and methodically, never promoting him in the middle of a season, so it's unlikely he has a chance to debut this season even if he returns from his injury soon and continues his solid performance
Moniak's second-half improvements can be traced to a change in approach, Ben Harris of The Athletic Philadelphia reports. After posting a .592 OPS in his first 54 games of the season, the 2016 first overall pick put up a much more respectable .774 OPS over his final 59 games. Several factors contributed to his improvement. He tripled his walk rate up to around seven percent while cutting his strikeout rate from 27 percent to 18 percent. His combined fly ball and line drive rate, which sat below 35 percent for the first three months of the season, was up to 42 percent in August. He also began pulling the ball more often. That combination of changes -- a better eye and a shift towards pulling the ball in the air -- is one that commonly sticks and improves a player's profile, so it could be the shift needed to put him back on the map as a legitimate prospect and unlock the potential that had seemed lost in Moniak.