Has Mickey Moniak Earned the Phillies Starting Centerfielder Spot?

MLB: SEP 17 Mets at Phillies
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 17: Phillies OF Mickey Moniak (16) swings in the fifth inning during the game between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies on September 17, 2020, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Mickey Moniak has not had the luxuries of being a first overall pick. Drafted by the Phillies right out of high school, Moniak was just a kid, thrown into the world of professional sports.

After much of the Phillies’ fanbase, and even much of baseball, has seemingly given up on the kid, the Phillies have not. After a respectable debut season in 2021, Moniak has come into camp with a chance to prove himself. After a recent hot streak and a sudden power surge, Mickey has proved he deserves a spot on the 28-man roster come April 8th.

Why Mick?

The Phillies entered the 2022 off-season needing a center fielder. With the options were limited in free agency and on the trading block, the Phillies decided to bring back outfielder Odubel Herrera and promote from within the organization. With Herrera out for 4-6 weeks and officially ruled out for Opening Day, the centerfield spot is there for the taking. Manager Joe Girardi has already made it clear that the position is available for the taking.

Mickey Moniak has had played outstanding baseball as of late. Moniak has homered in each of his last three games, and in Sunday’s win over the Blue Jays, he was inches away from his fourth. Hitting the ball hard can only lead to good things for the former first overall pick.

The Competition

With Odubel out of the picture, there are three leading players in the race to become the starting centerfielder come Opening Day.

Matt Vierling, Adam Haseley, and Mickey Moniak. Matt Vierling has the edge due to his fantastic late-season run in 2021 and a nice start to his Spring Training. Mickey is most likely neck and neck with Adam Haseley for the second half of a platoon role and a guaranteed spot on the roster. The last few days of exhibition games will be crucial for Moniak, but he can force Joe Girardi’s hand if he can keep the train rolling.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire

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