The Los Angeles Angels are in a desirable position with two of their outfield spots, with Mike Trout and Taylor Ward. But in left field, the combo of Jo Adell & Mickey Moniak is overshadowed by their own continued work to find themselves.
Both Adell and Moniak are former first-round picks in their respective draft classes, and both have run into a brick wall on their path to becoming Major League regulars. Adell, now back with the Angels, went 0-for-4 on Tuesday, lowering his batting average to .223 with a .629 on-base plus slugging. Moniak on the other hand hasn’t appeared in an MLB game since Sept. 28 because of a hit-by-pitch.
Moniak is batting .200 since his trade to the Angels, but on the season, he’s posted a 39 wRC+ with a .207 OBP. The Angels are banking on finding success, bottling it up, and carrying it with them in the hope that their positives can become a long-term thing.
Without a clear-cut left-field option, the Angels have grouped them up and have tried to give them every opportunity when healthy, via Sam Blum of The Athletic:
“If we were to start the season next year with where our roster is, that’s kind of where we’re at,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said of the potential for one or both to fill the position.
Moniak (24) & Adell (23) have nowhere to go but up, and for struggling players that can either be a turning point, or another step to being back in the Minor Leagues.
“Every spring training, I come in and want to prove there’s a chance that I can be an everyday guy and play every day. That’s what I’ll shoot for,” said Adell.
“I look at it like there’s a reason they traded for me,” Moniak said. “To be quite honest with you, I feel like I’m not playing at the level that I want to play at. But I’ve also shown some things when I am healthy, what I can do.”
The Angels didn’t give up much of anything to acquire Moniak, but just like they did with fellow outfielder, Brandon Marsh, general manager Perry Minasian is searching for a player who just needed a change of scenery and most importantly, organizational philosophy.
Jo Adell mentions struggles with Angels are a ‘part of the learning’
One-time top prospect and now Angels left fielder, Jo Adell, has been a fascinating player to evaluate in his first three Major League stints. When he was brought up for the shortened 2020 season, it was clear he was not yet ready for the big leagues, but there was no Minor League season to send him down to.
In 2021, he showed serious improvement, but over a small 35-game sample that all took place near the end of a lost season. So when 2022 began, it felt like the first real chance to see if Adell could be an impact player for a winning team.
The results have been mixed at best. Adell is .226 with a .639 OPS in 86 games this season. He is striking out a whopping 37.8% of the time and has almost as many home runs (8) as he does walks (11). He has shown some improvement defensively, but it has mainly been in right field, which belongs to Ward full-time.
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