Cubs News: Chicago Cubs, first-round pick Ian Happ agree to terms


Cubs agree to terms with No. 9 overall pick

The Chicago Cubs

and No. 9 overall pick Ian Happ have agreed to a $3 million bonus with the former University of Cincinnati star. According to

Baseball America

, that represents a $351K saving assigned to that slots value. The Cubs signed last year’s top pick

Kyle Schwarber

for well under the slot value as well. Getting advanced hitters at a discount in the draft is becoming the Cubs M.O.

After the top pitchers were off the board, the Cubs–even with pitching being their perceived “need”–took another bat, possibly the best if not one of the top three available. He rated within the top 30 of most prospect rankings, with ESPN’s Keith Law having him the highest at seventh.

The biggest question with Happ is his eventual landing spot defensively. He’s played the outfield and second base, and many feel the infield is going to be the likely outcome. He lacks arm strength, so left field is a possible landing spot. He played exclusively in the outfield this season for the Bearcats.

But similar to Schwarber, the Cubs decided to take the most advanced hitter and deal with the position issue later. Happ is a switch-hitter, with great bat speed from both sides of the plate. Baseball America projects him with “above average” power while having above-average speed.

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The Cubs hope they’ve landed another pick in the same mold as Kris Bryant and Schwarber, whose bat can lead him through the system quickly while the Cubs find a solution to the defensive questions in the time-being. They continue to build a strong foundation of offensive players throughout the system that will either help the Cubs on the field or possibly in trade in the coming years.

This is good news because the Cubs, as well as their fans, are hoping that the usual top of the draft spot in the order is no more as the play on the field improves. Both will be happy picking in the late 20’s thanks to a playoff appearance.

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