While J.T. Realmuto will inevitably be a candidate to play in his fourth consecutive All-Star Game next month, the Philadelphia Phillies seemingly have another catcher in the organization to be excited about in Logan O’Hoppe.
In the month of May alone, O’Hoppe homered six times, drove in 12 runs and posted a 1.004 OPS. If you’ve opened up Twitter at any point over the last month, it’s been hard not to see a tweet from Double-A Reading, MLB Pipeline or Mitch Rupert talking about the latest home run from the 22-year-old.
And like you, that’s how Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson has kept up with what’s turning into a special season for the Fightin Phils’ catcher.
“Well, only because everybody tells me about it because he’s a Twitter machine,” Thomson said jokingly Friday afternoon when asked if he’s aware of how O’Hoppe has played recently. “But yeah, he’s a really impressive guy. He can catch … he can throw … he can hit … hit for power. And he’s got intangibles too, he’s got great leadership … great makeup … he’s a guy.”
Thomson was at the Arizona Fall League last year when Bryson Stott emerged as a legitimate option to be on the 2022 Opening Day roster for the Phillies. He also got a glimpse at O’Hoppe, who — while wearing the No. 26 that he certainly won’t don at the Major League level for the Phillies — homered three times, drove in 17 runs and walked 21 times in 100 plate appearances.
But while O’Hoppe played very well in the AFL, that’s not when he first appeared on the radar of Thomson.
“He had a couple home runs while I was there and played very well,” Thomson said. “But we had him here at Summer Camp during COVID, and that’s where he really came on the scene because we needed an extra catcher and he just happened to be the guy. And I mean, he looked like a big leaguer then, just playing in intersquad games. Yeah, he’s an impressive guy.”
A 23rd round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, O’Hoppe has slashed .297/.411/.582 with 12 home runs, 33 RBIs, 24 walks and a .993 OPS in 47 games for Double-A Reading in 2022.
Normally, when someone puts up impressive offensive numbers while playing their home games at hitter-friendly FirstEnergy Stadium, you take it with a rather large grain of salt. But O’Hoppe has hit nine of his home runs and driven in 24 runs during road games. While there’s nothing wrong with a catcher slashing .244/.392/.410 — as O’Hoppe has in home games this year — he’s put up staggering production away from Reading, slashing .345/.430/.736 in 24 games.
In Baseball America‘s recent update of their top 100 prospects in the sport, O’Hoppe joined Mick Abel and Andrew Painter as representatives of the Phillies, coming in at No. 99. The scouting report on O’Hoppe was pretty glowing.
“O’Hoppe combines solid bat-to-ball skills with plus raw power, but it’s his work behind the plate that leads the way. He’s a plus defender with a plus arm and draws praise for his makeup and leadership ability.”
In terms of organizational depth, the Phillies are as well stocked at catcher as any position. Realmuto’s 1.4 fWAR is second among qualified catchers, and he’s under contract through 2025. Garrett Stubbs will enter his start Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a .344 batting average in 32 at-bats. Rafael Marchan is a strong defender for Triple-A Lehigh Valley that has had a few impressive offensive moments in his brief action with the Phillies over the last two years.
But if O’Hoppe continues to flash star potential, he’s going to force the hands of the Phillies, whether it’s finding a way for him and Realmuto to co-exist or using him as a trade chip.
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