By Jen Smith

Mickey Moniak played left field last night in his major league debut with the Phillies, going 0-for-4 with a walk.

The 22-year-old Moniak was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft and hit .252 with 11 home runs and 67 RBIs at Double-A Reading in 2019.

“I had a hard time getting it out,” Moniak said when asked about telling his father by phone.

“He started bawling on the phone, I could tell. It was a cool moment.”

“I had a four-hour window between getting the news and the car service taking me to Philly,” Moniak said. “I made a lot of phone calls, and tried not to leave anyone out. Every one was special and something I’ll never forget.”

The Phillies selected Moniak with the first overall pick in the 2016 Draft. Moniak is the organization’s No. 13 prospect according to MLB Pipeline and he slashed .256/.302/.390 in four Minor League seasons, including .252/.303/.439 in 503 plate appearances with Double-A Reading in 2019.

“There’s a lot that comes with being the No. 1 pick,” Moniak said. “At first, I didn’t think it would affect me at all, being an 18-year-old kid, getting into pro ball and never having a struggle in my life. Once those struggles hit, it kind of hit me. I had to take a step back. In almost every interview I’ve done, I’ve kind of treated it as a blessing to be able to go through those struggles and keep a level head. Keep working toward that goal, and that’s to get to the big leagues. And now that I’m here, I think that, I won’t say it validates the No. 1 pick, but it’s a step forward.

“It’s a special moment for me and it takes a little bit of weight off the shoulders knowing that I got here, but the work is not done. There are long days and seasons to be had. I’m just excited to get started.”

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