MONIAK COMING ON STRONG TO MAKE PHILS OPENING DAY ROSTER!

By Matt Miller

Mickey Moniak is battling for a spot on the Phillies’ opening day roster.

Three years ago, signed a six-year, $24 million contract, and went from a spring long shot to making the roster on the strength of a red-hot spring.

Moniak, the top pick in the 2016 draft, made his major-league debut last September.

After coming off the bench yesterday to deliver a one-out triple in the eighth inning against tough Toronto lefty reliever Ryan Borucki, his spring performance is becoming more difficult to ignore.

Moniak is 5-for-9 with four extra-base hits.

“He’s looked really good. I mean, he’s been impressive,” manager Joe Girardi said after a 4-1 loss to the Blue Jays. “I’ve said all along he’s interesting. … I think there’s a lot of talent there.”

Moniak is vying with Scott Kingery, Roman Quinn, and Odubel Herrera in the wide-open center-field competition.

If Moniak is a dark horse in the center-field race, it’s because he missed valuable minor-league development time last year because of the pandemic. The Phillies would rather that the 22-year-old get a full season’s worth of at-bats in Triple-A before throwing him into the deep end of the major-league pool.

“One thing that you don’t want a young player to do is to come up and sit,” Girardi said. “… That’s one of the things, if Mickey continues to make this really, really interesting, that will have to be discussed.”

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