What you are looking for is the property MovingAngle. It's a property both of the Platform and 8Direction behaviors and you access it by looking inside behavior properties. For instance, if your avatar is called PlayerAvatar, the property would be PlayerAvatar.Platform.MovingAngle (or PlayerAvatar.8Direction.MovingAngle in case you're using this behavior).
You can check a working example at the url below:
Move the dog to all 8 directions using the arrows, the MovingAngle property is shown on the top left corner.
Your code seems to be ok. However, I prefer to have an invisible object called player, which I control directly, and have another object, called avatarAnimations, which contains all animations, pinned to it.