We would not be surprised to see RHP Victor Vargas pitching to catcher Logan O’Hoppe as a starting battery at some point next year for the Phillies. They both are two of the top, young pitching and position players in the Philies minor league system.
Saturday night, Vargas started and struggled out of the gate allowing a lead off home run and two more runs in the second inning. He settled down and retired the next 13 batters in order. He left with a quality start and unlike many starters was dominate the more times through the lineup.
Vargas has pitched at three levels this year mostly at Low A but also a game at AAA and now two games at High A. He pitched a five inning, one-hitter at AAA and in his two High A starts his ERA is 2.25. Vargas pitches with velocity of high 80’s to 90 mph and has an excellent off speed pitch. Vargas reminds me somewhat of Roy Halladay when he was with the Phillies.
In the game, O’Hoppe was Jersey Shore’s DH for the 23rd time this season. He has been the starting catcher 53 times. It appears that the Phillies are also grooming him for a DH role when he or it comes to the National League. As the DH Saturday night, he hit a double and a home run.
O’Hoppe’s 2021 numbers in High A are similar to J.P. Realmuto’s current MLB numbers. O’Hoppe, in 32 fewer at bats, is hitting .266 with 16 doubles, 2 triples and 12 homer runs. Realmuto is hitting .270 with 17 doubles, 2 triples and 12 or it is now 13 home runs.The Phillies have two of the top young pitching and catching prospects in the minors. Follow them closely as the final six weeks of the minor league season begins.