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Mickey Moniak’s first pro injury? A growing pain

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Looking for a reminder of how young Mickey Moniak is?

Moniak, whom the Phillies drafted last June with the No. 1 pick, missed the end of the 2016 Gulf Coast League season because of a hip injury. The team said then that it was a minor sprain of his hip flexor.

"It turned out that it was growing pain. I grew about an inch," said Moniak, who reported to spring training, which begins Friday for Phillies minor leaguers, fully healthy. "That's all taken care of. I'm excited to move forward."

The first injury of Moniak's professional career was a growing pain. He won't turn 19 until May. Moniak, who plays centerfield, was young for his draft class. Even if he moves quickly, Moniak is still a few seasons from reaching the majors. He likely will begin the season at single-A Lakewood.

Moniak built muscle this winter, using a diet and strength program that the Phillies gave him in November. Moniak said he weighs 190 pounds, 20 pounds heavier than when the Phillies drafted him. He is still growing. Moniak noticed his added strength in the offseason as he took batting practice at home.

Moniak said his high school coaches "noticed and then out here, coaches definitely noticed. I definitely pick it up - just the ball flight is a little bit different. I'm really excited to see how that translates into games."