The Philadelphia Phillies signed 2016 first overall pick Mickey Moniak on Monday afternoon.
Eighteen-year-old Mickey Moniak is officially a professional baseball player, after agreeing to a reported $6.1 million signing bonus yesterday. The club is set to formally introduce Moniak at a press conference today. Moniak, an outfielder from Encinitas, California, passed his physical on Monday and will begin his career with the Gulf Coast Phillies.
“The No.1 pick has always been a dream,” the youngster said earlier this month, “When it happened, it was unbelievable.”
In addition to Moniak’s sweet left-handed swing, the Phillies were also enticed by his relatively modest salary demands. Moniak signed for significantly less than the No. 1 overall slot tag of $9,015,000, giving the Phillies additional flexibility to sign their remaining draft class. Interestingly enough, the Phillies ended up signing Moniak for less than the Reds signed No. 2 pick Nick Senzel ($6.2 million).
Moniak’s draft stock rose precipitously throughout the spring as the rangy outfielder hit .476 with seven home runs, 46 RBIs and a .921 slugging percentage during his senior season at La Costa Canyon High School in California. Phillies amateur scouting director Johnny Alvarez remarked on Moniak’s skills by saying, “I think you’ll have a Gold Glove center fielder who will hit in the middle of the lineup and be a leader on the team.”
The Phillies are hoping Moniak can replicate the success of their only previous No. 1 overall selection, Pat Burrell. The team selected Burrell, an outfielder from Miami, with the top pick in the 1998 draft. Burrell went on to play 12 seasons in the major leagues and was a member of the team’s 2008 World Series Championship team.
Most scouts project Moniak to be a gap-to-gap hitter with plus skills on the bases and an elite outfield prowess. Given the dearth of outfield talent on the big league roster, the Phillies are hoping Moniak will partner with last year’s No. 1 pick (10th overall) Cornelius Randolph to form a potent tandem in Philadelphia for years to come.