Phillies prospects Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley will clash eventually

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 4: Fans dressed as umpires watch the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies from the stands at Citizens Bank Park on July 4, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 4: Fans dressed as umpires watch the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies from the stands at Citizens Bank Park on July 4, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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The Phillies won’t be able to separate first-round picks Adam Haseley and Mickey Moniak forever and they will have to split playing time in center field.

Since signing with the Phillies, this year’s first-round pick, Adam Haseley, has done nothing but hit. After logging seven hits in three games in the Gulf Coast League, it was clear the rookie league was no challenge for Haseley.

The team promoted Haseley to short-season Williamsport a week ago, and he’s hit there too. In seven games there, Haseley has 11 hits with a 1.031 OPS. He’s walked as much as he’s struck out – five teams each to be precise – while scoring six runs and driving in two.

In this small sample size, Haseley has been nothing but dominant at the professional level. A first-round caliber college hitter should have no trouble in the Gulf Coast League – which he didn’t – and the New York-Penn League shouldn’t be too much of a struggle either. Most players of Haseley’s caliber jump right to Low-A, but Haseley didn’t. Why? 

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Haseley was drafted a year behind Mickey Moniak, the No. 1 overall pick from 2016. After a solid season in the GCL last year, he was promoted to Low-A Lakewood to start the year. At 2.5 years younger than the average South Atlantic League player, Moniak has been solid but not spectacular with a .268/.318/.383 slash line, three home runs, and eight stolen bases.

Moniak’s stats don’t warrant a promotion to High-A Clearwater, and he probably wouldn’t fare too well as a 19-year old there. That blocks off Haseley’s ability to play at the level he’s capable of without forcing one of the two to move to a corner outfield position.

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This situation will only continue from here. Both are top 100 prospects according to Baseball America and warrant as much playing time as possible at their position. Haseley is two years older than Moniak and should be at least at the same level as Moniak, if not ahead of them. At some point, the two will be at the same level on the minor-league ladder. That means someone will have to move out of center field.

If one is going to move, it’s probably going to be Haseley. It’s not that he is a bad defender or too slow, it’s just that Moniak has always been regarded as a plus defender in center field even as a draft prospect.

Haseley doesn’t have a plus arm but it’s still strong enough to play right field need be.

Next: Prospects take devastating dive in rankings

The drawback of drafting a college center fielder the year after a high school one is that the two are going to run into each other at some point as they progress through the farm system. It will happen at some point between Haseley and Moniak, and how the team handles it will be interesting to see.

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