Moniak sounds unhappy with his ‘opportunity’ in Philly originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Mickey Moniak era in Philadelphia was frustrating, and now it’s over. The Phillies traded the 2016 first overall pick to the Angels at Tuesday’s trade deadline for Noah Syndergaard, parting ways with a player they hoped would become an everyday outfielder and a key bat in their lineup of the future.
Moniak simply never put it together at the plate during his stints in the majors, and didn’t exactly light it up in the Phillies’ minor league system either. Bummer.
But it doesn’t sound like Moniak thinks he got the fairest of shakes during his time in the Phils’ organization.
Here’s an intriguing quote from the 24-year-old, via Associated Press reporter Greg Beacham, after being asked if a fresh start out in Los Angeles will help:
“Looking back on my time in Philadelphia, I was grateful for it, (being) given a chance as an 18-year-old kid, came up with them, debuted with them. But I think that, you know, for me, I’ve always been a guy that maybe takes a little bit to get comfortable at every level, and once I get comfortable, it’s on from there. So, wasn’t really given that opportunity there, which makes sense. They’re always in a pennant hunt with a lot of money on the field, so just to be here and be told that you’re gonna go out and play and have some fun is huge.”
I appreciate the self-awareness from Moniak, the way he realizes that he takes time to acclimate to each level of play before hitting his stride. A lot of guys aren’t willing to admit that.
But as far as not getting a chance is concerned? The team was basically begging him to make the center field job his, and he simply never did. Sure, his major league sample size is small – just 105 plate appearances over 47 games in three years with the Phils – but racking up a .211 on-base percentage in those 105 PAs is highly concerning.
And the fact that multiple managers looked at Moniak, then looked at guys like Roman Quinn, Odubel Herrera, Adam Haseley, and others… and decided Moniak wasn’t even worth plopping in center? That’s not a good sign.
Maybe if the Phillies had simply given Moniak an entire season with no qualifiers, told him to just play ball and not worry about losing the job because he won’t, he would’ve found his stride. Or maybe he would’ve been awful. We don’t know. What we do know is that Moniak didn’t show much of anything during his time here that convinces you he’s got what it takes to become a legit contributor in the majors.
Perhaps that’ll change in Los Angeles. He smacked a home run in his second game with the Angels, his first hit with his new team.
He’s also 1-for-6 with two strikeouts.