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|Logan O'Hoppe, image- Jay Floyd|
With a cancelled minor league season last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it's fairly difficult to find bright spot in the prospect rankings from 2020. Catcher Logan O'Hoppe is one of those rare highlights from last year.
In need of an extra backstop to work with the pitching staff assigned to the organization's taxi squad, which served as the team's reserves throughout the shortened major league season, the Phillies took a risk plucking a 20-year-old with less than 80 games of professional experience to fill that void.
A 23rd round draft selection in 2018, O'Hoppe made a splash online in July when the Long Island native flashed a smile and more excitement than might be permitted in an exhibition game at Yankee Stadium. It was a pretty big moment for the youngster that grew up as a Yankees fan.
Prior to being added by the Phillies last summer, O'Hoppe's residence in Sayville, NY became somewhat of a destination for local hurlers looking to get their work in. Phillies prospects such as Kyle Young and Nick Fanti, also residents of Long Island, would spend time with their local backstop. Plenty of the work took place in O'Hoppe's back yard, which features a netted tunnel built by Logan's father Mike roughly a decade ago that's suitable for pitching practice, but is likely more recognizable as a batting cage. The length of the passage, though, at just 55 feet, isn't ideal for hitting.
O'Hoppe made his professional debut in 2018 in the rookie level Gulf Coast League. In 24 contests, the righty batter sported a remarkable .367/.411/.532 slash line.
The following year he was honored as a short-season Class A All-Star as a member of the Williamsport Crosscutters. In 45 games O'Hoppe batted .216 with 12 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 26 RBI.
He's described as advanced for his age at calling pitches and reading the opposition. Battery mates enjoy throwing to O'Hoppe stating that they have considerable confidence in his ability to control the running game and smother any pitches in the dirt.
With a baseball-only focus, the six-foot-two 185-pounder stays fixated on climbing the developmental ladder and improving his own game and that of those around him.
Look for O'Hoppe, who turns 21 years old next week, to get time with full-season Class A Clearwater this year.
You can keep tabs on this year's Phillies prospects countdown by clicking on this link.