Moniak goes No. 1 to Phillies, buddy loses tattoo bet
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 10, 2016 06:21 PM
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announces the No. 1 pick by the Philadelphia Phillies during the draft, Thursday, June 9, 2016, in Secaucus, N.J. The Phillies selected outfielder Mickey Moniak, of La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, Calif., with the first pick. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports Writer
SECAUCUS, New Jersey (AP) — Mickey Moniak made his mark in the Major League Baseball draft — and his buddy could soon be getting a permanent reminder.
Moniak, a high school outfielder from California, was selected first overall by the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night. Long before the draft, he bet La Costa Canyon High School teammate Ethan Abrams that he'd go in the top 10.
At stake: Moniak's signature tattooed on Abrams' rear end.
Just a few minutes after Commissioner Rob Manfred announced at MLB Network studios that the Phillies were on the clock, Moniak didn't have to wait long for his friend's fresh-ink fate to be sealed.
"That is very true," a smiling Moniak said in an interview on MLB Network. "I'm holding him to that, too."
Abrams, a freshman pitcher at Columbia this season, can return the favor by getting picked in the first 20 rounds someday, Moniak said.
Moniak became the first prep outfielder chosen No. 1 since Tampa Bay drafted Delmon Young in 2003. The selection marked the first time the Phillies led off the draft since they took Miami slugger Pat Burrell in 1998.
"I definitely wouldn't say there's pressure," the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Moniak said. "I'm excited to hopefully prove the Phillies right."
With no consensus No. 1 talent this year, there was plenty of suspense right up until the pick was announced. At least five players were considered in the mix for the top spot.
Tennessee third baseman Nick Senzel went second to Cincinnati, giving the Reds a slugger who might someday provide pop in the middle of their lineup.
With the third pick, Atlanta took high school right-hander Ian Anderson. At No. 4, Colorado went with fireballing Kansas high school righty Riley Pint. Milwaukee selected Louisville outfielder Corey Ray to cap the first five picks.
Two prospects were in attendance at the draft site: Anderson and Georgia high school outfielder Will Benson, who went 14th to Cleveland.
Anderson, from Shenendehowa High School in upstate New York, slipped on a Braves home jersey and cap, and his mother, sitting with his father in a makeshift dugout in the studio, wiped away tears as her son shook hands with Manfred and placed his own name on the draft board.
The 6-6, 220-pound Benson, who was also with his parents, was a standout in both baseball and basketball at The Westminster Schools in Georgia.
Two players who were mentioned as possibilities for the No. 1 pick dropped out of the top 10.
Mercer outfielder Kyle Lewis went to Seattle with the 11th overall pick, and New Jersey high school left-hander Jason Groome was selected by Boston, his favorite team growing up, at No. 12.
Stanford right-hander Cal Quantrill, the son of former big league pitcher Paul Quantrill, was taken at No. 8 by San Diego despite missing this season after having Tommy John surgery last year. He still easily got family bragging rights: his father was a sixth-rounder by Boston in 1989.
Detroit also picked a player with pro bloodlines, selecting California high school righty Matt Manning, the son of former NBA forward Rich Manning.
AP Baseball Writer Mike Fitzpatrick, and AP Sports Writers Tim Booth, Pat Graham, Beth Harris, Rob Maaddi, Steve Megargee and Steven Wine contributed to this report.