Former Phillies top pick Mickey Moniak crushes 2nd career HR

Hours after recalling his time with the Phillies, Mickey Moniak went yard.

In just his second game with the Los Angeles Angels, former Philadelphia Phillies first-overall pick Mickey Moniak slugged his second-career home run. Moniak’s blast was one of seven solo home runs the Angels hit on Thursday. Yet, his new American League West team still managed to lose, 8-7, to the Oakland Athletics — Major League Baseball’s second-worst team per winning percentage (.383).

The Phillies dealt Moniak and another prospect to the Angels earlier this week in exchange for starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, who made his team debut on Thursday.

With the Angels trailing 8-6 with one out in the bottom of the ninth, and the count 2-0, Moniak drove a 93 miles per hour four-seam fastball 377 feet over the right field wall. His opposition notably was A’s rookie right-hander Zach Jackson — who entering the outing had never surrendered a home run in his career through 46 appearances and 41 1/3 innings.

The home run also marked Moniak’s first hit in an Angels uniform. Before the home run, he had gone hitless with two strikeouts in his first five at-bats with his new club.

Just hours prior, Moniak spoke to MLB.com Angels beat reporter Rhett Bollinger about his time playing in parts of three seasons with the Phillies from 2020-22. The 24-year-old said he was “grateful,” given the organization gave him a chance at such a young age:

“Looking back on my time in Philadelphia, I was grateful for it, (being) given a chance as an 18 -year­ old kid, came up with them, debuted with them. But I think that, you know, for me, I’ve always been a guy that maybe takes a little bit to get comfortable at every level, and once I get comfortable, it’s on from there. So, wasn’t really given that opportunity there, which makes sense. They’re always in a pennant hunt with a lot of money on the field, so just to be here and be told that you’re gonna go out and play and have some fun is huge.”

Many fans and reporters on social media surely did not take kindly about Moniak saying he wasn’t given an opportunity to “get comfortable” in the majors with the Phillies. Among them was the Delaware News Journal’s Martin Frank, who said the Phillies were “practically begging” for Moniak to take over the center field job. Frank continued: “Sure, the broken hand set him back, but he had every opportunity, especially this year.”

Moniak’s lone previous home run of his major-league career occurred way back on April 21, 2021, opposite San Francisco Giants right-handed starter Anthony DeSclafani. With Brad Miller and Nick Maton on base, Moniak drove a 3-2 pitch in the bottom of the second to give the Phillies an early 3-0 lead. The Phillies would go on to win the game, 6-5.

Only slightly more than 9,500 fans were there at Citizens Bank Park to see Moniak go yard in-person, as COVID-19 restrictions limited a larger attendance. Although, judging by the above video, it didn’t look like that many more were at Angel Stadium of Anaheim to see the California native’s second-career home run, either.