The Philadelphia Phillies may have played more than 20 games already this season, but prospects within their organization have still been taking part in minor-league camp, which wraps up this week.
On Wednesday, the Phillies ensured to keep an end-of-spring training tradition alive that honors a pair of minor-league spring standouts each year. Catcher Logan O’Hoppe and outfielder Johan Rojas were respectively named the 2021 recipients of the Bill Giles and Larry Rojas awards.
Logan O’Hoppe, Johan Rojas earn prestigious honor for Phillies prospects
The two awards were established in 1999 to honor Phillies minor leaguers who share the same attributes as the awards’ namesakes — a love and respect for the game of baseball, an outstanding work ethic, and pride in being a member of the Phillies organization.
“Bill Giles climbed the baseball ladder from the minors to the majors, working in numerous executive capacities with the Astros and Phillies until getting a group together to purchase the Phillies in 1981,” this year’s media guide states. “He was president and general partner until 1997 when he became chairman and then was named chairman emeritus in 2015.”
Rojas, meanwhile, is a Cuba native who played minor-league baseball in the Phillies organization — before also serving as a minor league coach and manager, spring training coordinator, scout, and liaison for the Hispanic players in their farm system before his 2007 passing.
O’Hoppe was selected in the 23rd round in the 2018 draft. He appeared in one exhibition game at 2020 summer camp, and spent the remainder of the season at the club’s alternate training site in Lehigh Valley. In 2019 while with the Williamsport Crosscutters, he was named an All-Star, catching 13 runners in 42 stolen base attempts (31 percent).
Signed by as an amateur free agent in January 2018, Rojas did not play last season due to the pandemic, although he participated in Florida Instructional League. In 2019, Rojas batted .333 in 51 at-bats opposite right-handed pitching at the Gulf Coast League level. He was later promoted to Williamsport in mid-July, and ended up leading the New York-Penn League in triples (6).
Among the Phils prospects to have received these awards in recent years include outfielder Jimmy Smith and catcher Rafael Marchan in 2019, outfielders Adam Haseley and Simon Muzziotti in 2018, infielder Cole Stobbe and right-handed pitcher Sixto Sanchez in 2017, and outfielder Roman Quinn and infielder Angelo Mora in 2016.
Current backup catcher Andrew Knapp recieved the Bill Giles Award in 2015. Awards were not given last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.