Angels catcher Logan O'Hoppe at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.

Angels catcher Logan O'Hoppe at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Angels rookie catcher Logan O’Hoppe has become half of what is arguably the best battery in Major League Baseball.

The Sayville product and former star at St. John the Baptist High has caught four of Shohei Ohtani’s five starts this season, and Los Angeles’ two-way superstar is 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA. He has held opposing hitters to a .092 batting average.

“It’s been a lot of fun working with him,” O’Hoppe said. “He has such a good idea of what he wants to do that the game-playing is easier. He’s calling his own pitches [and] that takes a lot off [me] mentally.

“And as far as his stuff? I don’t think his stuff is talked about enough. It’s pretty special .  .  . I’m just really grateful to be a part of it.”

O’Hoppe had been scheduled to catch Ohtani’s fifth start on Friday against Kansas City but instead landed on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder discomfort. He went 4-for-8 in the three-game series against the Yankees at the Stadium, suffering the injury on an infield single in the ninth inning Thursday.

He opened the season slashing an impressive .283/.339/.547 with four homers and 13 RBIs in 16 games.

That O’Hoppe, 23, has smoothly handled the job as Los Angeles’ primary catcher doesn’t surprise manager Phil Nevin. From his first call-up in late September, Nevin saw O’Hoppe as a natural.

“I’m not sure if I’ve seen anybody as advanced at this age as Logan,” Nevin told Newsday. “He walked right in the room last year as a guy we just traded for, didn’t know anybody and kind of took over those pitchers’ meetings — took over that room [with] his leadership qualities.

“It didn’t take me long to see where it comes from. I’ve had a chance to meet his parents [Michael and Angela O’Hoppe] and get to know them very well. He’s [a product of] a tremendous family .  .  . and it shows.”

Arianne Berritto, Audra Marcantonio, Jane Fergus Berritto and Michele Hogan cheer for Logan O'Hoppe at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. Credit: Newsday/Roger Rubin

If there is a surprise for anyone, it belongs to O’Hoppe, who was drafted in 2018 by the Phillies and dealt to the Angels at last season’s trade deadline for outfielder Brandon Marsh. Learning an entire big-league pitching staff sounds like a daunting task, but he said “I think it’s easier than in the minor leagues, to be honest.”

“Guys up here know themselves a little bit better,” O’Hoppe said. “In the minor leagues, guys are working on things and trying stuff out. So [while] it’s never easy, it is a little easier up here.”

On a few occasions this season, Nevin has said that O’Hoppe has emerged as Ohtani’s preferred catcher.

“That really started when we first got to spring training,” Nevin said. “[Incumbent starter Max] Stassi was down for a little bit and they just kind of followed each other. Logan caught all his pens, caught all his starts before he left for the WBC, and you saw that bond just develop. It’s gone even further as the season has gone on once Shohei got back from the WBC.

“It’s a really fun dynamic for us to watch. Somebody like Shohei takes you under his wing. You watch how Logan catches him. It’s pretty impressive.”

Logan O'Hoppe's stats entering Wednesday


AB: 48

AVG: .250

OBP: .315

HR: 4

RBI: 11

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