Projecting the 2021 Philadelphia Phillies Opening Day roster

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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Rhys Hoskins, Alec Bohm, Neil Walker and Didi Gregorius (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Former first overall Phillies pick Mickey Moniak should start in center field.

Outfield (3): Andrew McCutchen, Mickey Moniak, Bryce Harper

It’s reasonable to argue that Mickey Moniak should spend a little bit more time in the minors. At the same time, he is making it difficult for the Phillies to deny him the job with the way he is playing right now. That’s a sentence that some didn’t expect to say just weeks ago, as he has long struggled in the minors. Others kept the faith in the former No. 1 overall pick.

Spring training performance doesn’t always carry over to the regular season, but the Phillies have to reward Moniak for the way he’s been playing as of late. With fellow former first-round pick Adam Haseley out due to a groin injury, Moniak is taking advantage of the opportunity with five extra-base hits and an OPS of 1.257 in 18 spring training at-bats.

Unsurprisingly, Andrew McCutchen and Bryce Harper will start in left and right field. McCutchen will be almost two years removed from the ACL injury. Since he has arrived in Philly, he has been the table-setter that this team needed. Bryce has been the presence in the middle of the lineup that this team needed, as well, and he will already be entering his third of 13 seasons in red pinstripes. Harper makes opposing pitchers work to set him down and because of that, they have to attack other hitters.

Former Phillies All-Star outfielder Odubel Herrera is trying to resurrect his career, but at the end of the day, the Phillies may want to give Moniak the opportunity over him. The Phillies have not had many first-round picks succeed in the majors; hopefully, Moniak does not follow that trend.