Moniak slugs two homers to pace prospects

March 5th, 2021

Center field is up for grabs at Phillies camp this spring, and Mickey Moniak supplied two reminders Thursday that he could put some pressure on the front-runners for the job.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 Draft homered twice in the Phillies’ 15-0 rout of the Yankees at BayCare Ballpark, the latter of the two exiting the stadium after sailing well beyond the right-field fence.

Moniak entered the game as a defensive replacement in the fifth inning. The 22-year-old led off the sixth by ripping Reggie McClain's inside 1-2 pitch out to right, then repeated the feat in the seventh against left-hander Nestor Cortes. The two homers gave Moniak three hits in six spring at-bats so far.

It’s unlikely Moniak lands on the Phillies’ Opening Day roster, with Adam Haseley, Roman Quinn, Scott Kingery and Odúbel Herrera all vying for time in center field. But Moniak did reach the Majors during the shortened 2020 season and spent all of 2019, his best and most recent Minor League season, at Double-A Reading, where he hit .252/.303/.439. He led the circuit with thirteen triples. Gameday »

Here's a look at how other top prospects performed Thursday:

MacKenzie Gore, LHP, SD (MLB No. 6 prospect)
Gore recorded only two outs in the opening frame against the Rangers while walking three, but he returned for the second inning with better control and retired the side in order on nine pitches. The left-hander struck out Nate Lowe before Jose Trevino and Brock Holt hit into outs. It was the first Cactus League action of 2021 for the 22-year-old Gore. More »

Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, PIT (MLB No. 9 prospect)
Hayes now has extra-base hits in all three of his appearances this spring. The 24-year-old drove in Kevin Newman with a triple to right field off Braves right-hander Tyler Matzek in the third inning and completed his 2-for-3 day with a single in the fifth. Hayes is 4-for-8 with two RBIs and a run scored so far in Grapefruit League play. Gameday »

Luis Patiño, RHP, TB (MLB No. 19 prospect)
In his first action in a Rays uniform, the former Padres prospect struck out one batter in a scoreless second inning and earned the win against Minnesota. Patiño did surrender a one-out double to No. 26 overall prospect Alex Kirilloff but turned around to fan Brent Rooker and get JT Riddle to fly out. The right-hander threw 10 pitches total and his fastball topped out at 96.4 mph. More »

Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B, MIN (MLB No. 26 prospect)
In his third game of the spring, Kirilloff logged his first two hits in a 2-for-4 effort, including a third-inning double off the fence in right-center field. The 23-year-old blasted an 0-1 changeup off No. 19 overall prospect Luis Patiño for the two-bagger. After his two previous starts came in left field, Kirilloff began Thursday’s contest as a designated hitter before taking over at first base in the sixth. Gameday »

Randy Arozarena, OF, TB (MLB No. 34 prospect)
After a very loud autumn, Arozarena began to make a little springtime noise by reaching twice, scoring a run and plating one. The 26-year-old right-handed hitter got aboard on an error in the first and poked an opposite-field single in the third before scoring on a Willy Adames force out. He plated Josh Lowe with a ground ball to second base in the fourth. He entered the day 1-for-4 over two Grapefruit games. Gameday »

Drew Waters, OF, ATL ( No. 35 prospect)
Entering for Ender Inciarte as a fifth-inning defensive replacement, Waters made good on his lone opportunity at the plate, drilling Clay Holmes' 0-2 offering through the left side for a single in the seventh and his first hit of the spring. The 22-year-old Georgia native batted .309/.360/.459 with 40 doubles over Double-A and Triple-A in 2019. Gameday »

Brandon Marsh, OF, LAA (MLB’s No. 53 prospect)
Marsh tripled in the fifth inning off D-backs right-hander Jon Duplantier and came home on a passed ball. It was the 23-year-old’s first hit of the spring, as well as his first in Cactus League play since March 26, 2019. Marsh struck out in his only other at-bat Thursday. Gameday »

Cade Cavalli, RHP, WSH (MLB’s No. 99 prospect)
Washington’s first-round pick in 2020, Cavalli showed off his impressive arsenal in his Spring Training debut against the Mets. The right-hander put two runners on by walking James McCann and committing a throwing error, but then escaped the second inning with back-to-back four-pitch strikeouts of Khalil Lee and Drew Ferguson. The former whiffed at three consecutive pitches -- two 89 mph changeups and a 98 mph fastball. More »

Jackson Rutledge, RHP, WSH
Rutledge, the Nationals’ first-rounder in 2019, followed Cavalli with a scoreless third inning. He did surrender a hit -- a leadoff single to New York’s Brandon Nimmo -- but proceeded to pick off Nimmo at first base. Rutledge closed the frame with full-count punchouts of Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith. The 21-year-old battled back from a 3-0 count against McNeil and got Smith to fan at a slider on the 11th pitch of the at-bat. More »

Jarren Duran, OF, BOS
Starting in center field and in the No. 2 spot, Duran homered, doubled and scored twice in his first multi-hit showing of camp. The left-handed hitter took Orioles prospect Dean Kremer the other way in the opening frame and got the Red Sox on the board on a César Puello single. In the second, he clubbed a two-out solo homer to center. The 2-for-3 performance makes Duran 5-for-10 with two dingers and two doubles in five spring games. More »

Aaron Ashby, LHP, MIL
After a 1-2-3 fifth inning against Cleveland Thursday, during which Ashby struck out Austin Hedges, Billy Hamilton and Oscar Mercado, the 22-year-old southpaw has recorded all six of his outs this spring via punchout. He fanned three without allowing a hit in one frame against the White Sox on Feb. 28. Gameday »

Nick Maton, INF, PHI
A candidate for a bench spot on the Phillies’ roster, Maton supplied the key hit of the Phillies’ nine-run fourth inning against the Yankees, doubling sharply to right field to plate three runs before coming around to score on Luke Williams’ ensuing double. It was the 24-year-old’s second hit in seven at-bats this spring, his first for extra bases. Gameday »

T.J. Zeuch, RHP, TOR
After giving up a run over two innings of relief on Sunday, Zeutch started for the Blue Jays and turned in a couple scoreless frames. The 25-year-old righty shrugged off a two-out single by Tigers prospect Isaac Paredes in the first, then worked around a walk and a hit in the second. Zeutch made eight appearances -- four starts -- for Toronto over 2019-20. Gameday »