The Los Angeles Angels have been void of a regular presence behind the plate for a number of years, but an injury created an opportunity for Logan O’Hoppe to showcase his multifaceted ability.
General manager Perry Minasian acquired O’Hoppe from the Philadelphia Phillies at the trade deadline last season in a one-for-one swap, sending former top prospect Brandon Marsh away. The backstop ranked within the top-10 prospects with his former club, but after the move, he became the Angels’ top guy.
Initial Opening Day rosters had O’Hoppe starting the year in Triple-A with the Salt Lake Bees, but an injury to Max Stassi made him a necessary addition to the initial group.
Angels manager Phil Nevin praised him for some leadership qualities at the backend of camp, and according to Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register, a bigger role might be upcoming:
Nevin said it’s possible that O’Hoppe would move up in the order, but for now he’s content to keep him in a spot with less pressure and give the Angels some pop at the bottom of the order.
Nevin’s logic is sound, mainly because Brandon Drury, Luis Rengifo, David Fletcher and Jake Lamb make up the names found in the second part of the batting order. All of whom are struggling in the early part of the season. Until they show more, O’Hoppe provides a threat in the lower third of the lineup.
In 35 at-bats, O’Hoppe has posted a .937 on-base plus slugging including a team-leading four home runs and 11 runs batted in. He currently ranks in the 89th percentile in average exit velocity, 94th percentile in expected slugging, and 82nd in sprint speed, making him an extremely athletic catcher at Nevin’s disposal.
One volatile area of his game remains in his whiff rate, low walk numbers, and his strikeout percentage. O’Hoppe will need to adjust to the game as the game begins to adjust to him, and Minasian has enough belief in his No. 1 prospect to give him an early shot in MLB.
Logan O’Hoppe ‘grateful’ for Opening Day nod
After receiving the call that he would be a part of the initial Opening Day roster, the 23-year-old explained he and family members felt a plethora of emotions when he was given word. Nevin and the O’Hoppe family developed some close ties during Spring Training and the skipper took the news as an honor to pass along.
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