Angels top prospect Logan O’Hoppe collects first hit in win over Athletics

Angels' Logan O'Hoppe singles for his first career MLB hit in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics.
The Angels’ Logan O’Hoppe singles for his first career hit in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium on Wednesday.
(Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

Logan O’Hoppe, the Angels’ No. 1 prospect, made his major league debut in Wednesday’s 4-1 win over the Oakland Athletics. After dominating with the Angels’ double-A team this summer, he was put on the taxi squad early Tuesday, then told he was heading to The Show.

The highly touted catcher had an overall successful start.

“He was great,” starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen said. “He came prepared today and I didn’t feel like we were ever out of whack. We’re always on the same page.

“He never lost composure. I think that’s a huge thing.”

O’Hoppe’s game wasn’t without its tests.

In the first inning, with runners at the corners, the A’s Seth Brown stole second. O’Hoppe popped up from his crouch but instead of throwing he looked toward third, wary of a potential double steal. In the fifth inning, Tony Kemp stole second and as O’Hoppe cocked his arm back, he dropped the ball behind him.


A rookie slip, to be sure, that O’Hoppe anticipated might happen. “When it happened, I didn’t hit the panic button,” he said.

At the plate, also a brief slip. In his first at-bat, O’Hoppe chased the first two pitches from A’s starter Adrian Martinez, both sliders, but laid off the next two, a sinker then a changeup. The fifth pitch of the at-bat, another sinker, O’Hoppe jumped on for a single to center, his first major league hit.

“When I realized there was no [pitch] clock anymore, and I could take my time, I stepped out and kind of caught my breath,” O’Hoppe recalled and smiled. “And that definitely helped.”

O’Hoppe went one for three, grounding out and striking out swinging in his last two at-bats. He got the ball from his first hit as well as the lineup card and had his bat authenticated.

“The offensive side, I thought he looked good,” interim manager Phil Nevin said. “He gathered himself together that first at-bat after swinging at the slider off the plate. He’s always done a really good job of controlling the zone and first major league at-bat, believe me, your mind’s racing. … He did a phenomenal job behind the plate.”

The rookie helped Lorenzen and four relievers limit the A’s to five hits, and home runs by Mike Trout and Taylor Ward highlighted the Angels’ third win in a row.


“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking in the past day or so,” O’Hoppe said before the game, “and the thing I’m most proud of is that all my life I’ve worked to get here to prove the people I love right. I’ve always been motivated to keep those people believing in me and proving them right.”

Those people he loves most had a good view of that first hit, in the second row behind the first base dugout. He made them proud long before he waved to the Angel Stadium crowd after getting that hit.

“People say that they would like to do this someday, but to actually do this is extraordinary,” said O’Hoppe’s mother, Angela. “And he just willed it to be by always doing it the right way, and I’m so proud of him.”

Including the Angels’ 3-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday, Taylor Ward has been on a tear in September batting .333 with an OPS of .929.

Sept. 27, 2022

O’Hoppe’s family reflects on his baseball journey

As far back as O’Hoppe and his family remember, he has loved baseball.

He remembered being a child, hitting off a plastic tee in the backyard of his family’s home in Sayville, N.Y. “And dad would pitch to me after he cut the grass,” he said. “That sounds cliche, but it’s true.”

His mother remembered the 2-year-old boy who would fall asleep with his bat. “And then it’s his first tee-ball game and then it’s his first [Little League] home run,” she added. And there was always one rule in particular O’Hoppe’s parents had: “Play with class or don’t play at all.”

O’Hoppe, 22, was told Tuesday night he would make his debut Wednesday. In that instant, his baseball life leading up to that point played out in a series of happy memories in his mind.


“It’s funny, I haven’t thought about my minor league career a lot these past couple days; I thought about those moments the most,” he said.

O’Hoppe had been in the Phillies’ minor league system until this summer, when he was part of a deadline trade that sent Brandon Marsh to Philadelphia. In 32 games at double-A Rocket City, O’Hoppe logged 32 hits, scored 25 runs, drove in 34 runs and had a 1.104 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.

O’Hoppe — who was drafted No. 677 overall out of St. John the Baptist High School in West Islip, N.Y. by the Phillies in 2018 — also kept in mind all the people who helped him get to this moment, some of whom made the trip to Anaheim.

His parents booked flights within hours of learning he was scheduled to make his debut. They arrived at Angel Stadium before the gates opened at 5 p.m. His twin sister, Mel, flew in Tuesday to see him in his Angels uniform.

Joining them was a contingent of more than 15 people including family friends, former coaches including his old catching coach Tom Downey and high school coaches Casey and Ronny McKay, and some of O’Hoppe’s friends.

“This is so much more than baseball,” his mother said, explaining how O’Hoppe’s play has been something of a baseball buoy, helping the family get through tough times, like when his father battled cancer last year, or when his grandfather, Pop, died, or when he lost his Aunt Dana.


“She told Logan from the hospital bed, and he was 15, ‘My superstar nephew. You have all the tools to make it. And I will be watching from heaven. My nephew, starting catcher,’” Angela O’Hoppe said.

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 700th home run, joining Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth as the only players to reach the milestone.

Sept. 23, 2022

Welcome back, Rendon

Third baseman Anthony Rendon was reinstated from the injured list and began his five-game suspension for his role in a brawl with the Seattle Mariners.

With seven games remaining, Rendon will have the opportunity to return to the lineup before the season ends.

Before being reinstated, Rendon completed his second day of taking live pitches from Angels minor leaguers.

“I was gonna push myself to try to come back this year in order to work but if it didn’t, that’s fine,” said Rendon, who didn’t want to end the season on the injured list for a second season in a row. “I didn’t want to leave anything behind, saying ‘Oh, I could have kind of got activated.’ I wanted to make sure that I gave myself every opportunity.”

He also credited Kurt Suzuki, his longtime teammate who plans to retire after this season, for motivating him to continue working hard.