The Philadelphia Phillies selected California prep outfielder Mickey Moniak with the first pick in Major League Baseball’s draft Thursday, their reward for a 99-loss season in 2015.
Moniak, a center fielder from Carlsbad, Calif., is an advanced hitter for his age who doesn’t yet possess elite power. He has committed to UCLA, although the Phillies likely would not have selected him without assurances that he would sign. The slot value of the No. 1 pick is $9 million, but the Phillies could disperse some of that bonus money to later picks.
Moniak becomes the Phillies’ first overall selection since slugger Pat Burrell in 1997.
“Collectively, we believe Mickey was the best player available in the draft,” Phillies scouting director Johnny Almaraz said in a statement. “He’s a true center fielder with…