The Phillies promoted Mickey Moniak, the first overall pick in the 2016 draft, on Wednesday as their outfield depth thinned so much they added the 22-year-old despite the fact he had not yet played in triple A.
Moniak takes the place of Kyle Garlick, who was placed on the injured list with an oblique strain. Moniak will play a reserve role this month, and he could be returned to Allentown soon if Jay Bruce is activated from the injured list.
Moniak was with the major-league club for a part of spring training, and was slowed this summer by a knee injury. He was added to the team’s 60-player pool in August and reported to Allentown.
“What I saw from him was there’s a lot of talent there, but there’s also a kid that I thought handled big-league spring training really well for such a young player, where he wasn’t intimidated. He felt comfortable. Guys loved being around him,” manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday.
“That’s what you worry about. First time a guy gets in a game, or the first week, or the first month, is how their nerves play. And if they play a lot in spring training, then you really worry about them in their beginning time in the big leagues. But I didn’t see a lot of nerves from him, and that’s a good sign.”
Moniak hit .252 last season at double-A Reading with a .741 OPS and 111 strikeouts in 119 games. Moniak, who was drafted out of high school and signed for $6.1 million, was three years younger than the Eastern League’s average player.
In four minor-league seasons, Moniak has hit .256 with a .692 OPS. Baseball America ranked him at No. 17 in 2017 of their Top 100 prospects before dropping him off the list the next season.
The Phillies would have needed to add Moniak to the 40-man roster this winter to protect him in the Rule 5 draft. They took care of that a bit early on Wednesday, and Moniak will get a taste of the majors.