Cubs prospect 2B/OF Ian Happ ranked as ninth best prospect in Southern League by Baseball America
Baseball America’s end-of-season ranking of the top 20 prospects in each league in Minor League Baseball continued. And the top prospect in the Cubs’ system was included in a second post-season list.
The Cubs promoted Ian Happ to Double-A Tennessee on June 23. Happ played in 69 games for High-A Myrtle Beach before he was bumped up a level. Happ hit .296/.410/.475 with 16 doubles, three triples and seven home runs for a .885 OPS with the Pelicans.
Happ hit the ground running with the Smokies before cooling off after not adjusting to advanced pitching as was expected.
Happ hit only .222/.248/.296 in July with eight doubles, three walks and a .544 OPS. August wasn’t much better batting average wise, but he did reach base at a 33 percent clip and had a .730 OPS. Happ started figuring things out, somewhat, as the season came to an end. Happ batted .261/.261/.522 (6-for-23) with two home runs over his last five games.
Happ’s issues at the plate with Double-A Tennessee were from the right side. Happ batted only .232/.257/.348 with six extra basehits (five doubles, one home run) and a .605 OPS in 69 games. From the left-side, Happ hit .274/.340/.441 with nine doubles and seven home runs for a .781 OPS.
And a further look at his numbers points to a problem hitting outside of Smokies Park. Happ hit .321/.391/.509 with nine doubles and four home runs for a .900 OPS in 32 home games. On the road, Happ had a .213/.253/.338 slash line in 33 games with a .592 OPS that included five doubles and four home runs.
In 65 games with Double-A Tennessee, Ian Happ hit .262/.318/.415 with 14 doubles and eight home runs for a .733 OPS.
Happ played in 134 games for High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Tennessee in his first full-season of pro ball. Happ hit a combined .279/.365/.445 with 30 doubles, three triples and 15 home runs for a .810 OPS.
Defensively, Ian Happ played all three outfield spots for the Smokies and 42 games at second base. Reports have been mixed about his play in the infield at both Myrtle Beach and in East Tennessee. Happ showed improvement at second base but not as much as the Cubs thought he would this season. Happ is expected to continue to working on his defense at second base in the Arizona Fall League.
Baseball America’s Top 10 Southern League Prospects: SS Dansby Swanson (Braves), SS Willy Adames (Rays), 2B/SS Ozzie Albies (Braves), OF Tyler O’Neill (Mariners), OF/1B Jake Bauers (Rays), LHP Josh Hader (Brewers), RHP Brent Honeywell (Rays), LHP Sean Newcomb (Braves), 2B/OF Ian Happ (Cubs), LHP Anthony Banda (Diamondbacks)
Dylan Cease, Wladimir Galindo, D.J. Wilson and Chris Pieters landed in Baseball America’s Top 20 Prospects list for the Northwest League. Eloy Jimenez was Baseball America’s second best prospect in the Midwest League. And Trevor Clifton and Ian Happ made BA’s list of the Top 20 Prospects in the Carolina League.
- Four Cubs Land in Baseball America’s Northwest League Top 20 Prospects List
- Eloy Jimenez Ranked Second Best Prospect in Midwest League
- Trevor Clifton, Ian Happ Make Baseball America’s Carolina League Top 20 Prospects List