1 LA Angels prospect most likely to start on Opening Day 2023
The Los Angeles Angels farm system is not a good one. It ranks as the worst farm system in all of baseball according to this list done midseason on mlb.com.
With that being said, the Angels do have some exciting talent on the farm. Zach Neto was the first round pick of the Angels in this past draft and should be the shortstop of the future. Edgar Quero might make a push towards the top 100 list as a catcher.
As it stands, the Angels have one player in mlb.com's top 100 rankings. That player is Logan O'Hoppe who was acquired at the deadline and has the best chance at starting on Opening Day out of all of the Angels' prospects.
Will the Angels Opening Day lineup include Logan O'Hoppe?
The Angels traded Brandon Marsh to the Phillies in exchange for O'Hoppe. I loved the trade for the Angels at the time and still do even with the encouraging strides Marsh has made with the Phillies.
The Angels traded a player who wasn't hitting at all for their catcher of the future. Marsh has potential, but O'Hoppe has great potential in his own right as a really good hitting catcher.
In terms of 2023 Opening Day, I think O'Hoppe has a great shot at earning the starting catcher role. As it stands right now, the Angels have three catchers. O'Hoppe is one, Max Stassi is another, and Matt Thaiss is the third.
Max Stassi earned a contract extension because of his outstanding 2020 and 2021 campaigns. He struggled mightily this past season. Even with his struggles, the extension guarantees he will have a roster spot. Thaiss hasn't hit much at all at the big league level. I have no idea if he will be on the Angels' Opening Day roster.
The Angels brought O'Hoppe up for the final five games of the season. He had four hits in 14 at-bats including two walks and two RBI. He looked like a competent big-league hitter in the small sample.
O'Hoppe slashed .283/.416/.544 with 26 home runs and 78 RBI in the 2022 campaign. The problem is, he didn't have a single at-bat in AAA. O'Hoppe doesn't necessarily have to play in AAA to earn a spot on the roster in 2023. We saw Michael Harris put up a potential NL Rookie of the Year campaign after playing in just 43 games in AA and no games in AAA.
O'Hoppe appears to have an MLB-ready bat. With a good Spring Training performance, I'd expect him to get the nod as the catcher on Opening Day. Stassi is the only other option that really makes any sort of sense and after the season he just had, I'd be hesitant to give him the job.