Angels News: Aaron Hicks Working Toward Being Every Day Player
MLB: Spring Training-Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Angels
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels made a surprise move in the offseason by adding Aaron Hicks to an outfield that already seemed a bit crowded with Mike Trout, Taylor Ward, Mickey Moniak and an out-of-options Jo Adell. If that move wasn’t surprising enough, Hicks certainly shocked some with a declaration that he plans to be an every day player in 2024.

And while that wasn’t a plan the Angels had in mind, it’s not out of the realm of possibility given what Hicks accomplished last season. Hicks was released from the New York Yankees in May of last season after several seasons of decreasing production levels. But he was picked up by the Baltimore Orioles who had an immediate plan for him, and the result was a 65-game stretch that saw him post an .806 OPS, his best since 2018.

The Angels certainly signed him to be a contributor based on the potential of an .800 OPS player, and especially his .970 OPS against left-handed pitching last season. He serves as a perfect platoon with the right-handed-favoring Moniak. And while there are no promises of how often he’ll play, Hicks is approaching the season with the mindset of an every day player, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:

“If you make yourself feel like you’re a bench player, you’re going to be a bench player,” Hicks said this week. “Obviously, I want to work my way into playing every single day. But, you know, whenever my name is called, I’ll be ready to go.”

Hicks knows that he has to battle with the likes of Moniak and Adell for playing time, and recognizes that both players are doing well in their own way in Spring. But he’s ready for the challenge and excited for the upcoming season in Anaheim.

“I’m just working hard and trying to make as big a splash in spring training as I possibly can,” Hicks said. “It seems like everybody’s having a good spring. It seems like this whole team is hitting. The vibes are good. The people here are all motivated to start off good and have a good season. That makes me happy, because all I want to do is win. So I’m excited.”

The Angels would certainly like to have an every day outfield if they can get consistency from one of the three non-Trout and Ward players. But until one player separates himself, the platoon of Moniak and Hicks while working Adell in as a sub for Ward and Trout could be the ideal method.

Angels reveal Mike Trout to DH at least once per week

One way more outfielders are going to get involved is the announcement from manager Ron Washington that Trout is going to be a designated hitter at least once per week during the regular season. The Angels are opting to use the loss of Shohei Ohtani as a means of getting Trout and Anthony Rendon off their feet more during the regular season.

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