Logan O’Hoppe, C, PHI

Logan O’Hoppe (oh-HOP-ee) is having a fine season. Is he a top catcher prospect now?

Video courtesy of FanGraphs
  • Born: February 9, 2000
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 6’2″, 185-lbs
  • Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2018 MLB June Amateur Draft from St. John the Baptist HS (West Islip, NY).

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

O’Hoppe was drafted in 2018 and got off to a very nice start.

In 2019 his OBP dipped as his strikeout rate increased. His power was a bit better.

In 2021 in High-A his OBP got getter, as did his strikeout rate.

Then he goes to Double-A at the end of the season and maintains his skills.

So far in 2022, repeating Double-A, he has put it all together. Everything is now first rate, from the massive power to the elite walk and strikeout rate, to a great wRC+. The only thing I will caution about the power is his Hard Hit% is only 24.5%, so he’s not a great slugger. But he is someone who can get to 20+ HRs in a full season.

He’s putting up better numbers against righties, though a .405 OBP against lefties is plenty good, as is his .290 BA. Just note it is only in 37 PA, so take it for what it’s worth for now.

So how did he get this improvement? It was noted during the 2021 Arizona Fall League where he hit .299/.440/.520, making his 2022 not as big a surprise as we’d think. So what happened?

From the BaseballHQ Minor League Baseball Analyst

BaseballHQ notes that in the lost 2020 season he remade himself as a hitter, and it’s important to remember with prospects that they are young and learning. They are not set in stone.

Here’s what FanGraphs said about him this spring:

There has been a lot of turnover among the catchers in this org during the last several months, and O’Hoppe is emerging as a potential long-term solution at the position thanks to his bat. Eric considered O’Hoppe’s swing severely detrimental to his prospects, but he was wrong: it’s a feature not a bug. O’Hoppe, who tracks pitches very well and is adept at identifying breaking balls, steps in the bucket. His front side opens up way down the third base line. This type of swing typically leads to pull-only contact and can leave hitters vulnerable on the outer half of the plate, and the low-ball nature of O’Hoppe’s swing made him appear vulnerable to fastballs at the top of the strike zone, too. While Fall League pitching didn’t stress-test the latter potential issue, it became obvious that O’Hoppe, like fellow bucket-stepper Eddie Rosario, can simply get extended and still cover the outer half of the plate pretty easily. He’s short to the baseball and has pretty good strength-driven gap power for a catcher, especially one this age and with this sort of strapping, projectable frame. A solid receiver, O’Hoppe also has surprising lateral agility for a young catcher his size. He’s a lock to catch and has developed at a surprising rate for a cold weather high schooler. He’s a potential future everyday backstop.

FanGraphs

He can cover the plate and has at least gap power, and he has a projectable frame. Oh yeah, he’s a lock to remain at catcher.

The Scouts

Warnings

He’s ready for Triple-A, so let’s see if his new skills translate there.

He’s a catcher, and they tend to develop slowly.

Conclusion

O’Hoppe has everything you want to see in a catcher prospect: some power, good bat control, gets on base, a lock to catch. In an era of great catcher prospects, he’s not as good as the top names, but he’s in the conversation to be one of the next good catchers for the next decade.

I don’t know when the Phillies will need a new catcher, but somebody is going to want this kid on their team in the next few years.

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