The Los Angeles Angels fell out of contention by the MLB trade deadline last year and made several deals, including sending Brandon Marsh to the Philadelphia Phillies for top catching prospect Logan O’Hoppe.
O’Hoppe immediately became the Angels’ top farmhand, and after putting up big numbers with Double-A Rocket City, was called up to the big leagues during the penultimate week of the regular season.
After a successful cup of coffee, O’Hoppe has continued impressing the Angels this spring. He’s hitting a solid .276/.364/.448 with two doubles, one home run and six RBI in 11 Cactus League games.
O’Hoppe could emerge as the Angels’ primary catcher this season and has drawn praise from veteran Max Stassi, per Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group:
“The sky’s the limit for him,” said Stassi, whose locker is just a few feet away from O’Hoppe’s. “He’s got the physical tools. He’s going to be up here for a long time.”
Angels manager Phil Nevin also credited O’Hoppe for his work ethic and attention to detail, and believes he will be a factor on the team this year:
“As far as what we’ve seen here, his preparation, the way he handles the pitchers I think he’s ready to play here,” Nevin said. “I don’t think there’s any question about that. Offensively, I don’t know. He’s certainly put up good numbers in the minor leagues. We wouldn’t have brought him up last year if we didn’t think he was ready to handle that. And we’re certainly thinking the same thing now. He’s in the mix.”
While O’Hoppe is expected to have an impact on the Angels this season, he might ultimately begin the year with Triple-A Salt Lake in order to protect the team’s catching depth.
Matt Thaiss has improved this spring and could break camp as Stassi’s backup due to being out of Minor League options. It is also possible the Angels decide to carry all three players and use Thaiss in a utility role.
Logan O’Hoppe worked to ‘get comfortable’ with Shohei Ohtani
Before Ohtani left the Angels to play for Team Japan in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, O’Hoppe made it an effort to get comfortable catching him to prepare for future battery starts.
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