Logan O'Hoppe is the most exciting Los Angeles Angels prospect to watch this season. He's the number one prospect in the system according to most scouts and websites, and the numbers seem to back it up.
If O'Hoppe begins the season on the Opening Day roster, he'll have a really good shot at AL Rookie of the Year. The question is, how good of a shot?
MLB has Angels catcher Logan O'Hoppe as the runner-up in AL Rookie of the Year candidates
Logan O'Hoppe's Rookie of the Year candidacy depends entirely on if he makes the Opening Day roster or not. If it were up to me, unless the Angels sign Gary Sanchez or make an unforeseen trade, Logan O'Hoppe should be the front-runner for the starting job. Max Stassi showed last season that he couldn't hit a beach ball, and Matt Thaiss has shown nothing in the chances he's gotten.
If the Angels want to get back to the postseason, they can't have a black hole in their lineup. They can't just sacrifice a spot. If O'Hoppe isn't ready, obviously don't have him up. If he's ready, there's no reason to keep him down when catcher is a weak spot. I don't care about the inexperience.
Assuming O'Hoppe begins the year in the bigs, he'll have a really good shot. Let's look at the other candidates in the top five.
Gunnar Henderson is the favorite and for good reason. He's one of the top prospects in all of baseball, and looks to be a future superstar for Baltimore. If we're being unbiased, it'd be surprising if he didn't walk home with the award. However, crazier things have happened.
Triston Casas had just 15 hits in 76 at-bats for Boston last season. He has tons of power, but didn't look great. Josh Jung, same type of deal. 20 hits in 98 at-bats and he struck out 38.2% of the time. Loads of potential, let's see if he can put it together for Texas.
Hunter Brown looked unbelievable when he pitched for the Astros last season but even with Justin Verlander departing, he doesn't have a full-time spot in the rotation. He should open the season there with Lance McCullers Jr. on the sidelines again, but when McCullers comes back, Brown could easily be the odd man out.
If O'Hoppe gets starters reps and hits, he's got as good of a chance as anyone in the AL. Julio Rodriguez isn't a rookie anymore. Gunnar Henderson is O'Hoppe's biggest obstacle. Let's see if O'Hoppe can join the likes of Ohtani and Trout as Angels who have taken home this award.