The Phillies farm system is one of the least inspiring in Major League Baseball. After a string of poor drafts and inadequate player development, the cupboard is looking somewhat bare. However, there are some genuinely exciting prospects, headlined by recent first round picks Andrew Painter and Mick Abel. In addition to them, one lesser known youngster is making a serious case to be the Phillies’ catcher of the future: Logan O’Hoppe.
A 2018 23rd round pick out of St. John the Baptist High School in New York, Logan O’Hoppe has made a meteoric rise through the Phillies’ farm system. The right-handed hitting catcher put up a terrific .943 OPS in 34 Rookie League contests, earning himself a promotion to Low-A midway through 2019. O’Hoppe posted only a .673 OPS in 45 games at his new level, but was able to right the ship during the offseason. He spent the winter playing for the Adelaide Giants of the Australian Baseball League, shredding pitchers Down Under to the tune of a. .872 OPS in 28 games. While the 2020 minor league season was wiped out due to COVID-19, O’Hoppe returned with a vengeance the following year.
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Logan O’Hoppe inked his name on prospect lists in 2021 by skyrocketing through three levels. In 104 games split between High-A, Double-A and Triple-A, O’Hoppe earned a rock solid .789 OPS. Oh, and he did all of this at only 21 years old. He also laid waste to the Arizona Fall League, with an OPS of .960 over an even 100 plate appearances. O’Hoppe really started to garner buzz in prospect circles after his magnificent 2021 season, jumping all the way up to number four on MLB.com’s top Phillies’ prospects list.
He’s done nothing to slow down the hype machine in 2022, as he’s slashed an incredible .301/.414/.583 across 186 plate appearances in Double-A thus far. O’Hoppe’s otherworldly .997 OPS has earned him a spot on MLB.com’s Prospect Team of the Week twice in the season’s first two months.
With J.T. Realmuto, the best catcher in baseball, under contract through 2025 O’Hoppe seems to be blocked at the big league level. The Phillies can get away with keeping O’Hoppe in the minors for a little while longer, but if he continues his magnificent play, he’ll force his way to the big leagues sooner rather than later. Perhaps we’ll see a gradual transition of Realmuto to first base after Rhys Hoskins hits free agency next winter, leaving the catching duties to O’Hoppe. However, it’s also a distinct possibility that President of Baseball Operations David Dombrowski deals the young backstop at this year’s trade deadline to address an area of need. The Phillies are in desperate need of relief pitching help, as well as lacking infield depth. O’Hoppe could find himself on the move in August as Dombrowski pushes all of his chips into the center of the table. Whichever way the organization decides to go with their prized prospect, one thing’s for sure: he’ll be making a big impact on the Phillies in short order.