On Feburary 28, VAVEL USA's Evan Petzold was able to sit down and talk with Mickey Moniak about his past, present and future in baseball.
Moniak attends La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, California. He is the 24th ranked player in California and 101st in the nation. He will attend the University of California Los Angeles after his high school days are over.
The outfielder has played 46 varsity baseball games, 13 games in 2012-2013 and 33 in 2013-2014. He has a .435 batting average and a .490 on base percentage. He has 60 hits over both seasons as well as 31 RBI's. He can show power at times, hitting 10 doubles, three triples and two long balls. The current junior has a low strikeout rate, judging by the fact that he has gone down on strikes just 13 times over 158 plate appearances.
Moniak is 6-foot-1 and will be a very nice addition to the Bruins. However, he has his junior and senior year of baseball to show what he has got to add to UCLA's recent success.
Evan Petzold: What is your biggest strength when it comes to baseball?
Mickey Moniak: I think my best strength when it comes to baseball is my hitting and being the best teammate I can be. I try and pride on that aspect.
EP: What is your weakness and how will you be able to improve on that weakness?
MM: I feel I don’t really have a weakness I'd say not to sounds cocky. There's always improvement to be made at every aspect at my game though. I will continue to work to get better every chance I get.
EP: When did you first realize that you wanted to play baseball for the rest of your life? Did you ever think you would get this good?
MM: I think I've always wanted to play baseball. It's the only sport I've played my whole life and I think it just runs in the family. My grandpa played for the Red Sox and was drafted out of high school and my dad played baseball at San Diego state. All my brothers and cousins play or have played so I grew up around it.
EP: What made you choose UCLA? Did any other schools come close or were you dead set on UCLA?
MM: UCLA has always been my dream school. Plus I wouldn't want to leave California for college so it was a perfect fit. I had offers from Tennessee, USD, USC and UCLA. I was interested in USC as well, but once I talked with Coach Savage I was set on UCLA. Plus my friends I grew up playing with were already committed there so that was big for me and my choice.
EP: How did your high school (teachers, coaches, teammates and etc.) help you become the ball player you are today?
MM: I gotta credit a lot if my success to my coaches especially coach Machado who gave me the opportunity to mature and put me on varsity my freshman year. As well as all the support I've gotten from my teammates and some teachers. They're always pushing me to get better in life and in the sport I love.
EP: How do you see yourself as a player at UCLA? Do you think you will get a lot of playing time?
MM: I think UCLA is gonna be a great experience. I've gotten some encouraging words from the coaches about playing time but nothing is handed to you. I know I am going to have to work for anything that come my way.
EP: Where do you see yourself exiting college? How high could you go in the draft?
MM: My goal is to go first round. I feel like if I work very hard, that could be a reality for me.
EP: What player (MLB) do you think you play like the most? Who is your favorite player?
MM: That's tough to say, but it would be Jacoby Ellsbury due to the fact that he can't hit for average. He's fast and can hit for power when he needs to. Carlos Gonzalez is my favorite player. I just love the way he plays.
EP: How important are grades to you? How have you done in school?
MM: Grades are really important, especially to get into a school like UCLA. I've always done pretty well in school and always kept a 3.0 GPA or higher.
EP: What do you have to say to all the youngsters that want to make it to college baseball? Any wise words?
MM: I'd just say never stop working. Anything’s possible if your willing to work for it.