Mickey Moniak, the Phillies’ former No. 1 overall pick, gets a fresh start with the Angels

Looking back at the 2016 draft after the Syndergaard-Moniak trade
Mickey Moniak, then #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies, looks on against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on June 29, 2022, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mickey Moniak, then #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies, looks on against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on June 29, 2022, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo credit Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Many will say it was over a long time ago.

At 24 years old, Mickey Moniak hasn’t lived up to the Phillies’ expectations. He’s shown he can’t hit consistently at the major league level, and he has struggled to find playing time with the big club.

As a former No. 1 overall pick, Moniak was supposed to be a very impactful player, so it’s noticeable when that doesn’t pan out.

Moniak was traded to the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday in a package for starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, who could be a two-month rental for the Phils because he is on an expiring contract.

“We really like Mickey,” said Phillies President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski. “Think he still has a chance to be a good player. I think he may benefit himself … from a change of scenery.”

Moniak was drafted in 2016 by former General Manager Matt Klentak, as well as former Director of Amateur Scouting Johnny Almaraz. Dombrowski was not with the Phillies organization at the time.

After mostly underwhelming numbers in the minor and major leagues, Moniak had an outstanding spring training in 2022 — before he was hit with extraordinary bad luck on the last exhibition game before Opening Day. He was hit in his right hand by a pitch and suffered a fracture.

When he returned from the injured list, he continued to struggle at the plate. To this day, he still doesn’t have a hit in 17 major league at bats against left-handed pitching.

Looking back at 2016’s MLB Amateur Draft, in which the Phils had the top pick in the first and second rounds, none of the top five picks did not make huge impacts at the big league level — they are no longer with the organization.

Moniak was traded for Syndergaard on Tuesday. Second-round pick Kevin Gowdey was dealt to Texas last season in the Kyle Gibson-Ian Kennedy-Hans Crouse trade. Crouse is in the Phils’ minor league system, and Kennedy was a late-season rental. Fourth-round pick JoJo Romero, who showed promise before needing Tommy John surgery, was traded over the weekend for backup infielder Edmundo Sosa. And fifth-round pick Cole Irvin, who saw a little time in the Phils rotation, was traded in 2021 to Oakland for cash considerations.

While the MLB Draft is not a super exact science, there are a decent amount of players other teams drafted in 2016 that would look pretty good in a Phillies uniform.