In a game where what you know can be just as important as what you can do on the court, Logan O’Hoppe seems like one of the more observant and teachable prospects on the Reading Fightin Phils roster.
After a full 2021 season in the minors, the 22-year-old wide receiver continues to develop his game by doing things like keeping a notebook and learning from those who came before him.
“You don’t see that (keeping a notebook) a lot, and you don’t need to do that to be successful, but the guys that do it are usually really good,” Fightin Phils manager Shawn Williams said. Tuesday during team media day at FirstEnergy Stadium. “They take pride in everything they do and I know he takes notes on opposing hitters and pitchers. So on both sides of the ball he is taking notes and improving every day.
O’Hoppe, who was in the 23rd round of the 2018 draft, may have some work to do before heading to the big leagues, however, he is a true student of the game and tends to be an active listener in the dugout and clubhouse, including during his time as an unregistered guest at big league spring training with the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I try to shut up as much as possible,” O’Hoppe said. “I’m a big believer that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. And especially in situations like that (spring training), because they’ve been there, and then they’re so experienced, so I want to learn a lot from them. I wrote down quite a bit in my notes and it’s something I’ll keep with me in the future.
Williams said O’Hoppe’s enthusiasm for learning adds to his leadership qualities.
“He’s special because he’s not just a leader; he also wants to learn a lot,” Williams said. “I think his ceiling is so high because every day he asks big questions, he listens, he learns things and he improves quickly. So the leadership is there and it’s only getting better; even after this offseason and spring training, he just keeps getting better.
O’Hoppe is ranked No. 5 in the Phillies organization by MLB.com and No. 6 by Baseball America. He will open this season as Reading’s everyday receiver and said he wanted to take the opportunity to continue to mature and improve.
“To get more experience under my belt,” O’Hoppe said when asked about his next step in 2022. “I learned a lot last year on and off the pitch, and I looking to do it again this year. Last year was a different animal, basically being my first full season. I learned a lot about how to take care of my body and take care of my mind is still a work in progress, but we’re getting by and I’m excited to start with a clean slate.
O’Hoppe hit .270 with .331 on-base percentage, 17 home runs and 58 RBI during his 2021 season split between top Single-A Jersey Shore, Double-A Reading and six season-ending games at Triple- In Lehigh Valley. In his 13 games at Reading, O’Hoppe hit .296 with three home runs and seven RBIs.
This offseason, O’Hoppe continued to grow while becoming a star in the Arizona Fall League — where many teams send their top prospects — and winning the Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award.
According to the Arizona Fall League, “this special honor is given to the player who exemplifies selflessness, hard work and leadership – much like Dernell demonstrated during his time with the Fall League. Logan showcased these qualities at during the 2021 season, opening the eyes of fans, teammates, coaches and staff.
O’Hoppe hit .299 with eight doubles, three home runs and 17 RBIs in 22 games with the Peoria Javelinas.
“I got more than I thought (out of the fall league),” O’Hoppe said. “It was a great experience and six great weeks; I wish it wouldn’t end. I have met many good people and will seek to continue these relationships with the people who have helped me.
In addition to his time in Arizona, O’Hoppe also used spring training to select major leaguer brains ahead of him.
“Spring training was great; much nicer weather there,” O’Hoppe said. “But other than that, these guys have been great not only for me but for the other young guys that have come to the clubhouse. I noticed how prepared everyone was up there; they prepare like big leaguers. You see how they do their job, and that’s something I’m looking to delve into even more than years past. I’m proud of it to begin with, but seeing how they did it really put the icing on the cake and made me realize that I needed to focus on that part of my day.
Whether he’s working with big-name pitchers like Aaron Nola or catcher JT Realmuto, O’Hoppe understands the importance of listening to those above him.
“I see this as an opportunity to grow,” O’Hoppe said. “I mean, people see it as a competition, but not at all. I’m lucky to have him (Realmuto) in the organization and to strike up a friendship with him and share some ideas with him. That’s how I see it; he’s the best in the game, so why wouldn’t you want him in the clubhouse by your side? »
With Realmuto calling Citizens Bank Park home and 40-man receivers Rafael Marchan, who is injured, and Donny Sands at Triple-A, O’Hoppe is taking a patient approach on his way to the majors. When he sees his name appear on prospect lists, he says he tries to stay away from the buzz and focus on the things he can control, primarily his ever-improving game.
“I see it here and there, but none of it matters in my head as far as what I can control every day,” O’Hoppe said. “This stuff is out of my control. If I do what I can to prepare myself during the day, I feel like the game takes care of itself.