5 observations from Phillies spring training opener

Adam Haseley #40 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Adam Haseley #40 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Mickey Moniak (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports) /

Former No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak might finally be turning things around.

Another former first-round pick — selected first overall in 2016 — fellow outfielder Mickey Moniak also showed positive signs in Sunday’s Grapefruit League opener.

After struggling to connect for power while debuting last season, collecting only three singles, four walks, and six strikeouts through 18 plate appearances in mid-to-late September, Moniak laced a near-400-foot double in the top of the second — also opposite left-hander Tyler Alexander.

According to MLB Barrel Alert, the double had an exit velocity of more than 103 miles per hour:

Moniak did not only look impressive at the plate, but he also made a diving catch in the bottom of the third in what was ultimately the first scoreless inning Phillies pitching put together in the contest — after giving up six runs in the first inning and one run in the second.

The California native, playing left field, left his feet to make the grab on the soft fly ball. If there will be any playing time for Moniak in the outfield this coming season, chances are it will be in left field to give time off to the veteran Andrew McCutchen.

First baseman prospect Darick Hall works a double-digit count.

Starting at first base, batting ninth, Darick hall put together a strong at-bat in the fourth inning to keep the inning alive after Moniak struck out swinging and catcher Rafael Marchan grounded out to first.

The 25-year-old worked a 10-pitch, two-out walk. The count started out 2-2 before Hall fouled off four consecutive pitches and saw two additional balls for the base on balls. In his first plate appearance in the second inning, Hall struck out on a 2-2 curveball, but still managed to work the count to five pitches in the at-bat.

Similar to Moniak, it feels as though Hall’s only current path to receiving big-league plate appearances this coming season is as the replacement to a veteran — in his case, Rhys Hoskins. Set to turn 26 in July, it feels as though time is running out for the Arizona native, who was drafted in the 14th round of the 2016 draft.

Playing in the recent 2020-21 Mexican Pacific Winter League, Hall slashed .227/.352/.413 with two doubles, four home runs, 20 RBI, 11 walks, and 24 strikeouts across 21 games and 91 plate appearances.