How's Mickey Moniak doing? Can't really complain, he says.
That's because the Phillies' sixth-ranked prospect is tearing it up to end the month of July, ripping a career-high three doubles to back Mauricio Llovera, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in Class A Advanced Clearwater's 4-2 win over Tampa on Tuesday at Spectrum Field.
Gameday box score
After putting up a .217/.233/.253 slash line through 43 games, Moniak is batting .340 with nine extra-base hits over his last 12. Overall, the 20-year-old California native's hitting .255 with a .647 OPS.
"He's been putting together some really good at-bats and he's having a nice bit of success for us," Threshers manager Shawn Williams said. "He's a gamer. He gives it all every day and it's still tough, because he's only 20 years old. He's only going to get stronger. He's got a good swing and his approach has gotten better. There's no telling [how good] this can be with the improvements he's made this year. His want to get better makes it even better."
After flying out in his first at-bat, the center fielder doubled in his next three. Moniak sprayed the ball, sending his hits to left, center and right field.
It was a case of the 2016 first overall pick getting back to basics.
"I think throughout my amateur career down in high school and that whole summer showcase circuit, I think what I did really well is use the whole field," Moniak said. "I think that throughout the past, I don't know, two-and-a-half years playing pro ball, there's been times I've kind of gotten away from that. [I'm] just trying to get back to what got me here, and it's definitely been working."
Despite all the ups and downs, Williams has noticed a consistent demeanor with Moniak.
"The great thing with him is he's got great makeup to where if he has a good night or a not so good night, he's always the same -- which for me is really important," the skipper said. "For him .... maybe not getting off the start that he wanted, he had a good attitude and wanted to come and work. For me, that's one of the important things when you have someone like that that wants to get better, and it's showing now."
Wrapping up the campaign strong by staying hyper-focused with his approach would be a nice confidence boost for Moniak before he takes the next step in his career.
"I'm definitely looking forward to finishing strong, but not necessarily looking at the stats," he said. "I'm just going out there every day and putting together good at-bats and just trying to put the barrel on the ball. I've found if you do that it usually all takes care of himself."
Moniak started his career in 2016 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where he batted .284/.340/.409 in 46 games. He scuffled in his transition to full-season ball, hitting .236/.284/.625 in 123 games last season with Class A Lakewood.
Llovera (4-7) held the Tarpons hitless until Hoy Jun Park delivered an RBI single with two outs in the seventh. The right-hander recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts and ended up allowing a run on two hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings.
"He was really good," Williams said. "He's got the stuff and he was throwing three, even four pitches for strikes with the good fastball that he has. He got a lot of swing-and-misses with all of his pitches. He was throwing anything at any time, which is huge, and he was very impressive."
Jose Pujols went 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI for Clearwater.