Ian Happ hits game winning three-run homer in bottom of eighth inning … Sixth homer for Double-A Tennessee, 13th longball of the season
Ian Happ stepped to the plate in the eighth inning with two outs, Kelly Dugan on second base, David Freitas on first and the Smokies trailing the Barons 3-2. Happ pulled the first pitch from lefty Andre Wheeler out to left central. Happ’s three run shot, his first off a left-handed pitcher and sixth of the season with Double-A Tennessee, gave the Smokies a 5-3 lead.
David Berg nailed down the game in the ninth for his fourth save of the season. And the Smokies (Cubs) beat the Barons (White Sox) by a final of 5-3.
Happ finished the game 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk, two runs scored and three RBI.
Ian Happ is looking to finish his first-full year in pro ball on a positive note. After tearing up the Carolina League and earning a promotion to Double-A Tennessee, Happ has struggled offensively since the break.
Happ batted .296/.410/.475 with 16 doubles, three triples and seven home runs for a .885 OPS in 69 games for High-A Myrtle Beach. Happ was bumped up to Double-A Tennessee on June 23 and picked up in the Southern League where he left off with the Pelicans.
Happ cooled off significantly and has not been able to adjust to the higher level. Over his last 25 games, Happ is hitting .222/.327/.378 with two doubles and four home runs for a .705 OPS. And he is only 6-for-35 in his last 10 games with seven walks.
Ian Happ has continued working at-bats and has stayed with the process that has produced results, and the numbers expected from an organization’s top prospect.
In 59 games for Double-A Tennessee, Happ has hit .259/.321/.395 with 12 doubles and six home runs for a .717 OPS.
Happ has spent time at second base learning the position and played all three outfield spots for Double-A Tennessee.
The Cubs could send Happ to the Arizona Fall League just to get him extra playing time and push him that much further as the team did with Willson Contreras and Jeimer Candelario a year ago.
Ian Happ’s season has to be considered a success. Ian Happ has hit a combined .278/.369/.437 with 28 doubles, three triples and 13 home runs for a .806 OPS in 128 games with High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Tennessee. Happ has 69 RBI and scored 66 runs with 68 walks and 122 strikeouts in 460 at-bats.