Mr. Baseball 2016: Mickey Moniak

Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year Mickey Moniak (10) reacts after USA team wins game in international competition. He just graduated from La Costa Canyon. Photo:

Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year Mickey Moniak (10) reacts after USA team wins game in international competition. He just graduated from La Costa Canyon. Photo:

It became just too hard not to add the Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year selection to a player who was just chosen No. 1 overall in the annual MLB Draft. Of the seven previous No. 1 picks in the draft who were California prep players at the time, all seven also are State Players of the Year. It’s not as if Moniak had a sub-par or injury-prone senior season, either. He was among the state leaders in RBI and nearly set the single-season state record for triples.

For a rundown of the other State Players of the Year for baseball, CLICK HERE.

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Recent La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad graduate Mickey Moniak has been named as the 2016 Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year and goes onto an all-time list of honorees in the Cal-Hi Sports record book that dates back more than 100 years.

Since Moniak was also chosen as the No. 1 overall pick in the annual Major League Baseball draft of eligible college and high school players earlier this month by the Philadelphia Phillies, him being picked as Mr. Baseball may seem like a simple formality.

Moniak talks to the media just after the Phillies chose him first overall in this year's MLB Draft. Photo:

Moniak talks to the media just after the Phillies chose him first overall in this year’s MLB Draft. Photo:

It wasn’t. All six other finalists – seniors Dylan Carlson of Elk Grove, Grant Gambrell from Buchanan of Clovis, Jeremy Ydens from Mountain View of St. Francis, Grant Rutherford from Chaminade of West Hills, Sean Reynolds from Redondo Union of Redondo Beach plus junior Royce Lewis from JSerra of San Juan Capistrano – certainly compiled the type of resumes that could have landed any of them the top prize. Lewis also was the winner of bracket-style vote of twitter followers.

Unlike a couple of the other finalists, Moniak was not a pitcher for his team. And unlike a couple of the other finalists, Moniak did not play for a CIF section championship team.

But because it was difficult to even decide which one of the others had risen above the rest, Moniak’s combination of being the top pick in the draft and being a player who’s had an exemplary career (he also was the State Sophomore of the Year two seasons ago) became the difference.

Since the MLB Draft began in the 1960s, there had been seven No. 1 overall picks from California high schools heading into this year. Moniak became the eighth when he was picked by the Phillies earlier this month and since then has signed for a reported $6.1 million bonus (which is well below the dollar amount he was slotted for).

All seven previous No. 1 picks also are on the all-time list of Mr. Baseball State Players of the Year – Tim Foli from Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks (1968), Jeff Burroughs from Wilson of Long Beach (1969), Darryl Strawberry from Crenshaw of Los Angeles (1980), Adrian Gonzalez from Eastlake of Chula Vista (2000), Delmon Young of Camarillo (2003), Matt Bush from Mission Bay of San Diego (2004) and Brady Aiken from Cathedral Catholic of San Diego (2014). Young was actually State Player of the Year as a junior. In his senior year, the State Player of the Year was top 10 draft pick Ian Stewart from La Quinta of Westminster.

For Moniak to break that precedence and not be chosen, it would have taken something similar to Royce Lewis leading JSerra to the CIF Southern Section Division I title or Dylan Carlson of Elk Grove putting up record totals for homers and RBI. Lewis and the Lions went out in the semis. Carlson’s totals were outstanding (.406, 9 HRs, 40 RBI) and he was the 33rd player taken overall in the draft, but his totals were not as high as recent Thundering Herd standout Ryan “Rowdy” Tellez (.500 as senior with 9 HRs, 46 RBI).

Moniak already had a baseball card when he played on the 15U national team.

Moniak already had a baseball card due to when he played on the 15U USA national team.

Yes, we know that signability can be a big reason for a player going first and that other finalists, such as Grant Gambrell and Jeremy Ydens, let it be known that it would take top-round signing bonus dollars for them to forgo their college scholarships. Still, this is the No. 1 pick in the entire draft we’re talking about. Not choosing him as State Player of the Year in favor of someone who wasn’t drafted at all or who was the last pick of the last round (Ydens) – even with the signability factors – just wouldn’t make sense to many observers.

Besides, it’s not as if Moniak had a poor season. His team at La Costa Canyon played one of the toughest schedules in the state (going 23-5) and he hit .476 with 12 triples, seven homers and 46 RBI. The Mavericks lost in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division playoffs as the top seed.

The triples total especially stands out because it’s just one off the reported state record of 13 set in 1996 by Paul Caffrey from Heritage Christian of Anaheim. Moniak’s career total of 19 triples also will make the state record book. The RBI total also is noteworthy because there was only one other player from a large school in the entire state – Valencia’s Ben Farris – who had that many.

Plus, Moniak was an easy choice as the CIF San Diego Section Player of the Year, already has been named the Gatorade State Player of the Year and two years ago was the Cal-Hi Sports State Sophomore Player of the Year.

Instead of getting ready for UCLA, Moniak is now beginning to play for the Gulf Coast League Phillies in Arizona, which is where a lot of high draft picks start their pro ball experience. He had an RBI single in his first game on Wednesday. His path toward the major leagues has begun.


(Selected by Cal-Hi Sports)

Last year's honoree, Joe DeMers, played this spring at the University of Washington. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Last year’s honoree, Joe DeMers, played this spring at the University of Washington. Photo: Mark Tennis.

2016 – Mickey Moniak, Carlsbad La Costa Canyon OF
2015 – Joe DeMers, Pleasant Hill College Park, P/INF
2014 – Brady Aiken, San Diego Cathedral Catholic, P
2013 – Jack Flaherty, North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake, P-3B (Jr.)
2012 – Ty Moore, Santa Ana Mater Dei, P-INF
2011 – Henry Owens, Huntington Beach Edison, P
2010 – Cory Hahn, Santa Ana Mater Dei, P-OF
2009 – Tyler Matzek, Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley, P-1B
2008 – Aaron Hicks, Long Beach Wilson OF-P
2007 – Mike Moustakas, Chatsworth INF
2006 – Tyler Robertson, Fair Oaks Bella Vista OF-P
2005 – John Drennen, San Diego Rancho Bernardo OF
2004 – Matt Bush, San Diego Mission Bay INF
2003 – Ian Stewart, Westminster La Quinta INF
2002 – Delmon Young, Camarillo OF (Jr.)
2001 – J. P. Howell, Carmichael Jesuit P
2000 – Mike Stodolka, Corona Centennial DH-P
1999 – Ryan Christianson, Riverside Arlington C
1998 – Sean Burroughs, Long Beach Wilson 3B
1997 – Jon Garland, Granada Hills Kennedy P
1996 – Eric Chavez, San Diego Mt. Carmel SS-P
1995 – Eric Chavez, San Diego Mt. Carmel SS-P (Jr.)
1994 – McKay Christensen, Fresno Clovis West OF
1993 – Derrek Lee, Sacramento El Camino OF
1992 – Jason Kendall, Torrance C
1991 – Dmitri Young, Oxnard Rio Mesa 3B
1990 – Mike Lieberthal, Westlake Village Westlake C
1989 – Todd Johnson, Fresno Bullard C-P
1988 – Scott Davison, Redondo Beach Redondo Union P-DH
1987 – Tom Redington, Anaheim Esperanza SS
1986 – Brian Johnson, Oakland Skyline C
1985 – Gregg Jefferies, San Mateo Serra SS
1984 – James Mitchell, El Cerrito OF
1983 – Kurt Stillwell, Thousand Oaks SS
1982 – Bret Saberhagen, Reseda Cleveland P
1981 – Lenny Dykstra, Garden Grove OF
1980 – Darryl Strawberry, Los Angeles Crenshaw OF
1979 – John Elway, Granada Hills OF
1978 – Lloyd Moseby, Oakland 1B
1977 – Craig Landis, Napa Vintage SS
1976 – Rickey Henderson, Oakland Technical OF
1975 – Carney Lansford, Santa Clara Wilcox SS
1974 – Lonnie Smith, Compton Centennial OF
1973 – Robin Yount, Woodland Hills Taft SS
1972 – Scott McGregor, El Segundo P
1971 – Keith Hernandez, San Bruno Capuchino 1B-Semipro
1970 – Terry Forster, Santee Santana P
1969 – Jeff Burroughs, Long Beach Wilson OF
1968 – Tim Foli, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame SS
1967 – Bill Buckner, Napa 1B
1966 – Kemer Brett, El Segundo P
1965 – Bob Boone, San Diego Crawford P
1964 – Willie Crawford, Los Angeles Fremont OF
1963 – Bob Tolan, Los Angeles Fremont P-OF
1962 – Rudy May, Oakland Castlemont P
1961 – Bob Bailey, Long Beach Wilson SS
1960 – Wade Blasingame, Fresno Roosevelt P
1959 – John Boccabella, Kentfield Marin Catholic 3B
1958 – Dick Ellsworth, Fresno P
1957 – Johnny Callison, Bakersfield East OF
1956 – Mike McCormick, Alhambra Keppel P
1955 – Deron Johnson, San Diego OF
1954 – Don Drysdale, Van Nuys P
1953 – Frank Robinson, Oakland McClymonds 3B
1952 – Jim Gentile, San Francisco Sacred Heart 1B
1951 – Ed Cereghino, Daly City Jefferson P
1950 – J.W. Porter, Oakland Technical C
1949 – Paul Pettit, Harbor City Narbonne P
1948 – Karl Olson, Mill Valley Tamalpais OF
1947 – Gus Triandos, San Francisco Mission C
1946 – Jim Baxes, San Francisco Mission 2B
1945 – Jack Harshman, San Diego 1B
1944 – Jackie Jensen, Oakland OF
1943 – Herb Gorman, San Francisco Balboa 1B
1942 – Charlie Silvera, San Francisco St. Ignatius SS
1941 – Bob Brown, San Francisco Galileo SS
1940 – Duane Pillette, San Diego P
1939 – Ferris Fain, Oakland Roosevelt 1B
1938 – Bob Lemon, Long Beach Wilson SS-P
1937 – Rugger Ardizoia, San Francisco Commerce P
1936 – Bobby Doerr, Los Angeles Fremont 2B (Pro)
1935 – Ted Williams, San Diego Hoover OF
1934 – Frankie Hawkins, San Francisco Sacred Heart SS
1933 – Chet Smith, San Diego P
1932 – Gordon Maltzberger, Colton P
1931 – Joe DiMaggio, San Francisco Galileo SS (Semi-pro)
1930 – Athos Sada, San Diego OF
1929 – Arleigh Williams, Oakland Technical C
1928 – Frank Dobranksy, San Diego P
1927 – Willard Hershberger, Fullerton C
1926 – Dick Bartell, Alameda SS
1925 – Louie Almada, Los Angeles P
1924 – Joe Cronin, San Francisco Sacred Heart SS
1923 – Gene Hollister, San Francisco Mission P
1922 – Walter Berger, San Francisco Mission 3B
1921 – Babe Herman, Glendale 1B
1920 – Bernie Viveiros, Oakland Technical 2B
1919 – Ren Kelly, San Francisco Poly P
1918 – Brick Muller, San Diego OF
1917 – Johnny Gillespie, Oakland Technical P
1916 – Ray Lorrigan, San Francisco Poly P
1915 – Frank Schellenback, Hollywood P
1914 – Bert Cole, San Francisco Lowell P
1913 – George Kelly, San Francisco Poly 3B
1912 – Harry Heilmann, San Francisco Sacred Heart SS
1911 – Will James, Oroville P
1910 – Eddie French, San Francisco Sacred Heart P
1909 – Babe Hollis, San Francisco Cogswell P
1908 – Oscar Vitt, San Francisco Wilmerding SS
1907 – Lloyd Burton, Alameda SS
1906 – Mowatt Mitchell, Los Angeles 1B
1905 – Walter Johnson, Fullerton P
1904 – James Schaeffer, Berkeley C
1903 – Mead Hamilton, San Francisco Lowell P
1902 – Mead Hamilton, San Francisco Lowell 2B
1901 – Heinie Heitmuller, San Francisco Lick 1B
1900 – Orvall Overall, Visalia 1B-Town team
1899 – Will Moreing, Stockton P

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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