With the Los Angeles Angels season winding to a close, the organization felt it was the perfect opportunity to give their No. 1 overall prospect — Logan O’Hoppe — a taste of the Major Leagues. O’Hoppe currently is the leading candidate to back-up Max Stassi in 2023, so the final eight games of the season could serve as a primer.
O’Hoppe made his MLB debut against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night, setting up behind the plate with Michael Lorenzen as the starting pitcher. As a catcher, O’Hoppe had a mixed bag debut, making a couple nice plays to force outs, while also allowing two stolen bases.
At the plate, O’Hoppe logged his first MLB hit in his first at-bat. After swinging and missing on two sliders to begin the appearance, he settled down and worked the count to even before ripping a 2-2 sinker up the middle for a single.
O’Hoppe spoke about what was going through his head as he prepared for this game and as he stepped up for his first at-bat, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“I was nervous going into warmups, but luckily I had Max [Stassi] who told me to stay focused on the game plan and that was my approach,” O’Hoppe said. “I chased two sliders [my first at-bat] but then realized there was no [pitch] clock, so I was able to step out and take my time. I caught my breath and that definitely helped.”
The Angels’ No. 1 prospect via MLB Pipeline finished 1-for-3 on the night, but perhaps the most important part of the evening was the attendance of his father, Michael. O’Hoppe’s dad battled non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2021, and was declared cancer-free in November of last year.
“It was great,” O’Hoppe said. “I’m just grateful he was here for it along with everybody else. I can’t really put into words what it means.”
O’Hoppe’s mother and twin sister were also in attendance, flying in from New York on Wednesday morning. They got to see one of the game’s best young catching prospects notch his first Major League hit and catch a winning effort from the Angels.
The Halos allowed just one run all game, coming in the first inning. Due to an error, the run was not charged to Lorenzen, meaning O’Hoppe caught a game in which no earned runs were allowed. The Angels ultimately won 4-1 behind homers from Mike Trout and Taylor Ward with RBIs by Matt Thaiss and Matt Duffy.
Jo Adell plays hero in opener
While O’Hoppe was the major story on Wednesday, Jo Adell was the headliner of Tuesday’s outing. His tie-saving home run robbery of Dermis Garcia and his game-winning RBI single combined for one of his best performances in the Majors.
Phil Nevin credited Adell for staying ready despite being demoted to a platoon role with recebtly-acquired Mickey Moniak.