In just his fourth game with the Angels organization, Logan O'Hoppe appears to be right at home. And he's starting to feel like it too.
"It was a quick turnaround, just like anything is in pro ball. It's just very different, things I just wasn't used to. So, the first couple of games were a little quick. I didn't really have my feet under me," O'Hoppe said. "I felt like I got drafted again. But, these guys have been great about welcoming me with open arms. I feel like I'm getting my groove now. Getting my feet settled under me again, just feeling good. And we've been winning too now so that's been fun."
The former Phillies top prospect was dealt to the Angels for Brandon Marsh at the MLB Trade Deadline. He made his debut with the Trash Pandas on Aug. 4 and immediately made an impact with a pair of walks and a run scored. The 22-year-old posted a .275/.392/.496 slash line with 15 dingers, 48 runs scored and 45 RBIs over 75 games with Double-A Reading to start the season.
Against the Shuckers, O'Hoppe got Rocket City on the board when he turned around a first-pitch fastball from Biloxi starter Nick Bennett and deposited it beyond the wall in left for a two-run blast. The homer was his second of the Southern League and came with two outs in the third inning.
"I just got my pitch to hit there," he said. "I don’t really have too detailed of a plan when I go up there, I think I just got my pitch and put a good swing on it. Not too much thought went into it. To be honest, the less I think the better the results."
MLB's No. 84 overall prospect faced Bennett again in his next at-bat to lead off the fifth inning, and must not have been thinking much again. After jumping ahead 3-1 on the left-hander, O'Hoppe was served another fastball over the heart of the plate and again did not miss it. The 2018 23rd-round Draft selection sent a rocket to left-center for a game-tying solo blast. The jack was his third in the past three games.
"I feel like my approach in the box is 'a beautiful mess,' I always say. I’ll never have it fully figured out and I know that," O'Hoppe said. "Just go pitch to pitch. Tonight was definitely not one of those nights where I felt like I could hit anything -- obviously, given the other results. But, I'm just trying to put it together piece by piece and control my emotions every time I go up there. Luckily tonight, I had two at-bats and two pitches where I got it."
The 22-year-old backstop is 3-for-14 with three walks, five RBIs and four runs scored over his first four games with Rocket City. He also started all four games behind the plate for the Trash Pandas and is sporting a .977 fielding percentage over 44 total chances in 36 innings.
"I don't want to get too ahead of myself. I'm just taking it day to day, but yeah, I can sleep a little better after a night like tonight," O'Hoppe said. "But I understand that it's just another new day tomorrow, and I'm just trying to be as present as I can."