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.
Moniak has hit a strong .319/.382/.531 over his last 30 games for High-A Clearwater.
Over that stretch, the young outfielder has walked 9.9 percent of the time while posting a 14.5 percent strikeout rate, significant improvement after he walked just 5.5 percent of the time last season while striking out at a 21.4 percent clip. Moniak's awful start to the season means his overall line is still poor (.266/.301/.380), and he's homered just four times in 101 games, but he's finally starting to tap into some of the potential that the Phillies saw when they drafted him first overall back in 2016. He still has a long way to go in order to live up his draft position, but he's at least no longer looking like a total non-prospect.
Moniak went 3-for-4 with three doubles for High-A Clearwater in its 4-2 win over Tampa on Tuesday.
It was the second three-hit performance in four games for Moniak, who closed out July with a .277/.336/.489 slash line and 13 extra-base hits. Though he's trending upward after a dismal start to his season in the Florida State League, Moniak's lack of pop and poor on-base skills hinder his long-term outlook. The 2016 No. 1 overall pick doesn't currently profile as a big-league starting outfielder and no longer looks like an intriguing asset in dynasty settings.
Moniak has seven walks in his last 11 games for High-A Clearwater, hitting a strong .282/.404/.564 overall.
Moniak walked just five times in his first 66 games, so even after his recent display of plate discipline his walk rate still sits at an anemic 3.9 percent. The 20-year-old has looked overmatched all season by a surprisingly aggressive assignment to High-A, hitting just .244/.276/.338 in 77 games. He'll need to continue his hot streak for quite some time to justify the assignment and begin to reach the potential that led the Phillies to draft him first overall in 2016.
Moniak (illness) returned to the lineup for High-A Clearwater on Thursday, going 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI and two runs scored.
An unspecified illness cost Moniak a week, but the 2016 first overall pick returned for Clearwater's final game before the Florida State League All-Star break. The overall numbers for Moniak are ugly and his dynasty-league stock has taken a significant hit, but he has picked it up of late, slashing .345/.361/.500 with a homer and a couple steals in his last 15 games.
Moniak is out of Friday's lineup for High-A Clearwater with an illness, Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
He left Wednesday's game early, so there was some concern that he may have suffered an injury, but that does not appear to be the case. Moniak is hitting just .244/.263/.307 with one home run, four steals and a horrific 55:5 K:BB in 214 plate appearances this season.
Moniak is struggling again through his first month for High-A Clearwater, The Athletic Philadelphia reports.
Moniak was promoted to High-A Clearwater to start the 2018 season despite a poor showing for Low-A Lakewood last season (.236/.284/.341 in 123 games). He's fared even worse in his first 22 games for Clearwater, hitting just .213/.228/.258, good for a 33 wRC+. It's not particularly surprising to see a 19-year-old struggle at High-A, but the extent of Moniak's struggles is disconcerting for a top overall pick (2016). Pitchers clearly aren't afraid of his bat, which has posted a meager .045 ISO, so he's walking just 2.2 percent of the time. His ability to handle center field keeps the bar on his bat fairly low, but his performances so far in his professional career have given little reason to believe he'll be able to hit enough for an everyday role in the big leagues.
Moniak recorded three base hits in five plate appearances Thursday for High-A Clearwater in the affiliate's 10-3 loss to Charlotte.
It was the first multi-hit effort of the season for Moniak, but those holding the 2016 No. 1 overall pick in dynasty settings shouldn't view the performance as a breakthrough outing. Per Vincent Lara-Cinisomo of MiLB.com, only one of Moniak's three knocks was a line-drive hit, underscoring the lack of power the 19-year-old has shown to this point in his professional career. Only two of Moniak's 11 hits this season have gone for extra bases, limiting the outfielder to a weak .464 OPS. That mark is actually 161 points worse than the OPS that Moniak posted for Low-A Lakewood in 2017, when he finished with an 80 wRC+.
Moniak will open the year with High-A Clearwater, Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com reports.
It wouldn't have been surprising to see a 19-year-old repeat Low-A after posting the numbers Moniak did last season. The 2016 first overall pick hit just .236/.284/.341 with five home runs in 509 plate appearances for Lakewood. Nevertheless, Moniak received a promotion and will split time in center field with 2017 first-round pick Adam Haseley while also playing the outfield corners. Moniak was thought to be a potential four-tool star, above average everywhere except power, and with a potentially elite hit tool. That evaluation of his hit tool appears to be inaccurate now, and he may turn out to be a fourth outfielder at best. A bounceback season could send Moniak shooting back up prospect lists, though another season of struggles at the plate would result in him being written off by a lot of evaluators.
Moniak's biggest challenge in 2017 was adjusting to how opposing pitchers attacked him, Kyle Glaser of Baseball America reports. "He got thrown into the fire as an 18-year-old hitting third in the South Atlantic League," Low-A Lakewood manager Marty Malloy said. "But he's made adjustments at the plate. He's getting pitched differently at times than in the beginning where people didn't know him. Now he's learning to see pitches better and get in hitters counts, and when he gets in hitters counts not to miss the pitch."
After pitchers realized they couldn't couldn't beat Moniak with fastballs, they adjusted to a diet of offspeed offerings. That's when he started to slide. While there were times when he's laid off the offspeed stuff, it hasn't been consistent and Moniak struggled during the second half, batting just .201 after the All-Star break. Still only 19, Moniak has plenty of time to educate himself on pitch recognition and sequencing.
Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development, said Moniak's recent struggles are due to the long grind of his first professional season, Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "If you take away the last 30 or 40 days, you're looking at a guy who was hitting .270ish," Jordan said. "He's running out of gas. He'll physically get himself where he needs to be over the next couple of winters to not go through this."
Moniak is hitting .238/.285/.341 with five home runs and 11 stolen bases in 454 at-bats for Low-A Lakewood this season. His .718 OPS through the end of June was very good for a 19-year-old at Low-A, but as Jordan notes, things have gone downhill in the second half of the season. It is likely Moniak will return to Lakewood next season with an eye towards a midseason promotion to High-A Clearwater if he gets off to a good start.
Moniak, 19, is hitting .267/.318/.380 with three home runs, 29 RBI and nine steals through 79 games at Low-A Lakewood.
Moniak's numbers are about what is to be expected for a teenager in his first year of full-season ball. He's struggled a tad making consistent contact, and his power stroke has not yet developed. Still, the former No. 1 pick has tremendous upside even if he has some developing to do.
Moniak, 19, is hitting .279/.333/.413 with two home runs, 22 RBI and five steals through 48 games for Low-A Lakewood.
The No. 1 overall pick from 2016 was aggressively pushed to Low-A as an 18-year-old to begin the 2017 campaign, and he has more than held his own. Moniak is a ways away from making a big-league impact, but his upside has not diminished at all.
Moniak (finger) went 2-for-4 with a run scored Sunday for Low-A Lakewood.
Moniak had been sidelined a few games with a jammed finger. He's off to a nice start at Lakewood, slashing .298/.388/.421 with four stolen bases over his first 15 games.
Moniak exited Wednesday's minor-league game early after injuring his finger while sliding into home plate, Ryan Lawrence of The Philly Voice reports.
The team is labeling Moniak's status as day-to-day, so it doesn't appear that the injury is anything too serious. The promising young prospect is slashing .288/.377/.404 with four stolen bases over 62 plate appearances with Low-A Lakewood this season.
Moniak went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI in Low-A Lakewood's 8-4 win over Kannapolis on Saturday.
Moniak is off to a nice start at Lakewood with six hits in his first 14 at-bats along with one stolen base. The 2016 first-round pick figures to spend most, if not all, of the season at Lakewood.
Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan said Moniak "has a good chance" to start the 2017 season at Low-A Lakewood, Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal reports.
The decision is certainly not set in stone yet, but this is a promising sign for 2016's top overall draft pick. Moniak seems to be ready for the challenge after batting .284 with a home run and 28 RBI in 46 Gulf Coast League games. Moniak had the best hit tool in the 2016 draft, and also boasts plus speed with the ability to grow into double-digit homer pop.
Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development, said Moniak (hip) was able to return to action before the instructional league ended earlier this month, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports.
Moniak missed some time with a sore hip earlier this month. The first overall pick in the 2016 MLB draft hit .284/.340/.409 with a homer and 10 steals over 176 at-bats in the Gulf Coast League this season.
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