The Cubs selected Ian Happ with the ninth overall pick in last June’s Draft. After the Cubs signed him, the front office said the plan for Happ was to have him play outfield and just hit over the last two-plus months of the minor league season. The Cubs thought Happ’s future was at second base in the big leagues and would start teaching him the position in Fall Instructs.
In 29 games for the Emeralds, Happ batted .283/.408/.491 with eight doubles, a triple and four home runs for a .898 OPS. With South Bend, Happ hit .241/.315/.448 with nine doubles, three triples, five home runs and a .763 OPS.
Ian Happ finished his first 67 games in the minor leagues with a combined .259/.356/.466 line with 17 doubles, four triples and nine home runs for a .822 OPS. Happ had 40 walks with 67 strikeouts in 295 plate appearances.
Happ was solid at the plate from the left side, batting .257/.346/.478 with a .824 OPS in South Bend. Happ has work to do from the right side. Happ hit only .188/.200/.344 versus left-handed pitchers in Low-A ball.
Defensively, Happ spent his time in the outfield as planned. Happ played 28 games in center while he was with the Emeralds. After his promotion to South Bend, Happ played all three outfield spots. Happ lined up in center for seven games, in left field for 14 games and 12 games in right.
After a short break, Happ reported to Arizona to participate in Fall Instructs. Happ worked on his defense at second base, as planned.
The Cubs have decided to convert Ian Happ to a full-time second baseman. Jaron Madison mentioned the team’s decision in a recent conversation with Scott Kornberg.
Madison said that Happ is probably ready for High-A Myrtle Beach offensively, but with making the full-time conversion to second base, the Cubs will take it slow and make sure he’s ready for a higher level. Madison made it sound like Happ is penciled in for the Pelicans’ Opening Day roster.
The Cubs plan on starting Gleyber Torres at High-A Myrtle Beach. Not only would two of the top prospects in the organization be back together on the same team, Torres and Happ would form the Pelicans’ double play combination.
When the Cubs selected the 21-year old switch-hitter last June, it was believed Ian Happ would take longer to work his way up the system than Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber. Happ projects to be a solid, top of the order bat in the big leagues. One that will take a little more time to develop than the Cubs recent first round picks.