The Los Angeles Angels traded outfielder Brandon Marsh to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for top catching prospect Logan O’Hoppe. In a surprise move for the Angels, they move on from Marsh, who had shown elite defensive prowess but struggled at the plate.
Marsh had long been seen as the successor to Mike Trout in center field. When Trout eventually moved to a corner outfield spot or the designated hitter, it was going to be Marsh taking over. Instead, the Angels clearly felt that his offense was not going to come around enough to follow through on that plan.
This season, Marsh was batting .226 with a .637 OPS. He had the highest strikeout rate in all of Major League Baseball, despite being known for his incredible plate discipline at the Minor League level. His career numbers aren’t much better with a .673 OPS in his rookie season.
In exchange for the struggling Marsh, the Angels acquired catcher O’Hoppe, who was the No. 3 ranked prospect in the Phillies system and immediately becomes the Angels top prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
O’Hoppe has been ranking at the Minor League level since the pandemic-canceled 2020 season. The 22-year old catcher is batting .269 with an .877 OPS in Double-A this season, and that’s where he’ll begin his Angels career. He has 15 home runs, 11 doubles, and 39 walks compared with 52 strikeouts, a relatively strong ratio.
The Angels seriously needed to improve catching depth in their farm system. Although Max Stassi is under contract with the team for the next two seasons, and the Angels had just one catcher in their top 30 prior to making this trade.
For some, a Marsh deal comes as a significant surprise. He is just 24 years old and had one of the best gloves on the Angels. And with the recent news regarding Trout’s back injury, having some long-term assurances in the outfield could have been a smart plan.
On the flip side, the Angels may feel confident enough in Trout’s long-term health that they didn’t want to pass up on landing one of baseball’s best catching prospects. O’Hoppe could be ready for the Majors as early as September of this season.
This was one of three trades made by the Angels on deadline day, firmly planting themselves as sellers and pushing their chips towards the 2023 season, Shohei Ohtani’s last under contract with the team as things stand.
Trout receives good news from doctor
After meeting with a doctor over the weekend to discuss the progress on his back condition, Trout received some good news. It appears he is doing very well in his recovery and could be ready to start swinging a bat shortly.
Long-term concerns for Trout’s back were overblown at the time of initial reports, but the Angels have officially calmed those concerns in the days since.