Why Aaron Hicks could be a sneaky-good free agency signing for the Angels

It's not the player Angels fans want, but Aaron Hicks does make some sense as a potential Angels target.
Oct 10, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Baltimore Orioles center fielder Aaron Hicks (34) warms up
Oct 10, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Baltimore Orioles center fielder Aaron Hicks (34) warms up / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have the makings of a solid outfield with Taylor Ward, Mike Trout, and Mickey Moniak. A lot of ifs would have to go the Angels' way for this outfield to be as productive as Angels fans hope, but there certainly is potential thanks in large part to Mike Trout who is still one of the best players on the planet.

While the outfield has some potential, there's one glaring weakness. Moniak, while he crushed right-handed pitching in 2023, struggled mightily against left-handers. He did improve as the season progressed, but overall, he had just a .548 OPS against lefties. That's simply not close to good enough.

Logically the Angels would have a solid platoon option on the roster already in Jo Adell, but Adell has also struggled against southpaws, posting a .621 OPS in the majors against them. While his numbers in the minors are obviously better than the majors, his numbers against lefties have been worse than against righties. He's not an optimal platoon partner, leaving the Angels to potentially find someone in free agency. Enter Aaron Hicks.

Aaron Hicks would make for a good platoon partner on the Angels with Mickey Moniak

There's been a lot of negative energy in recent years revolving around Aaron Hicks because of how his tenure in New York with the Yankees ended. Not only did he struggle to stay healthy, but he didn't hit much in his final three years with the Yanks.

As discouraging as his Yankees career wound up finishing was, Hicks immediately turned things around after he was DFA'd and picked up by the Orioles. Playing with less pressure, Hicks posted an .806 OPS in 65 games and 236 plate appearances. He played at least ten games in all three outfield spots and found a way to produce at the plate.

What's most notable from an Angels perspective is that the 34-year-old slashed .349/.446/.524 with three of his eight home runs this past season against lefties in 74 plate appearances. That's a pretty small sample, however, Hicks has always fared much better against southpaws with a career OPS 56 points higher than his mark against righties.

The switch-hitter would make for an ideal Moniak platoon partner with his ability to hit lefties. He'd also be a player who wouldn't demand an everyday role although he could contribute in any outfield spot if the Angels were to need it.

It's not the player Angels fans have their eyes set on, but Aaron Hicks can be a nice fit on a team who could use a platoon partner for one of their young budding stars.