It's time for the Angels to cut bait with first-round bust after horrific 2024 start

The end is near.
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mickey Moniak
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mickey Moniak / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Angels are no stranger to first-round flops. Remember Cam Bedrosian? How about Will Wilson? Even current Angels outfielder Jo Adell has yet to live up the lofty expectations that come with being a first-round draft pick. But Mickey Moniak is on an entirely different level.

Moniak was not drafted by the Angels, but LA's right fielder was taken in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Not only that, Moniak was the first overall selection of the Philadelphia Phillies that summer. Moniak came to Los Angeles at the 2022 trade deadline as part of a deal for Noah Syndergaard.

Moniak had a measure of success in 2023, but those results were short-lived as nothing has gone right for the 25-year-old in 2024. Moniak is out of minor league options, but there's no need to prolong the inevitable. It's time for the Angels to designate Moniak for assignment.

It's time for the LA Angels to cut bait with first-round bust Mickey Moniak

Even last season there were questions. According to FanGraphs, Moniak hit .280/.307/.495 with a 114 wRC+. However, Moniak's 35% strikeout rate, 2.8% walk rate, and .397 BABIP certainly raised some red flags. As it turns out, Moniak's brief moment in the spotlight last season may be all he'll ever attain. This season, Moniak is hitting .135/.196/.212 and has been good for a -0.7 fWAR.

For those of you who aren't convinced, there's more evidence that the Angels need to cut bait. The outfielder's expected batting average, hard-hit rate, and average exit velocity are all among the bottom 10% of the league, according to Baseball Savant. Moniak is essentially Adell from two years ago, and Angels fans know all too well how awful that season was.

To be fair, it's not as if the Halos have a player down on the farm who's beating the door down looking to grab Moniak's spot in the lineup. Nor is there a player on the active roster who's losing at-bats. Aaron Hicks has been equally atrocious this season. Perhaps Angels GM Perry Minasian will jettison both players if things don't turn around.

Bryce Teodosio is an option. The 24-year-old is hitting .359 with a .938 OPS for the Salt Lake Bees this season. Whether the Angels decide to promote from within or take a flier on a veteran free agent, the time has come to bid farewell to Moniak. If he passes through waivers, the Angels can then outright Moniak to Triple-A. If not, another team can claim him and come to the same conclusion -- he's a bust.

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