Chicago Cubs prospect Ian Happ appears to be settling in just fine
By David Miniel
We’re officially halfway through the first month of baseball action and the Chicago Cubs are making noise. As the season inches closer, the excitement continues to build.
Just how good are the reigning World Series champions? Pretty good. Although our Chicago Cubs sit near the bottom of the Cactus League standings, all is well. Everyone involved at camp has brought their very best – from veterans to prospects.
Especially those who sit at the top of the list when it comes to future Chicago Cubs’ stars. At least, we can only hope they are wearing the same uniform when it’s time to debut. That is for Theo Epstein and company to decide.
Not too long ago, I posted an article on which Chicago Cubs’ star I thought would end up leaving the organization first. Spoiler alert, it was Javier Baez.
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Baez, 2016 co-NLCS MVP, and Puerto Rico powerhouse, is looking to take off behind veteran utility man, Ben Zobrist. Zobrist will likely pick up some playing time somewhere in the outfield, giving Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber a day off as needed.
As a result, Baez would be penciled to the left of shortstop Addison Russell. This is a position that the Cubs will be keeping a close eye on, especially with Happ swinging a hot bat. So far this spring, Happ is hitting .407/429/.741 with two loud home runs, three doubles and 11 hits in 27 at-bats.
Is it me or is he ready to make his big league debut against the St. Louis Cardinals? If only. For now, Happ will open up with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs and stick to second base. Over the course of his minor league career, he has made some starts in both the outfield and second. However, outfield appearances heavily outweigh his infield play.
That’s not stopping him.
"“It’s becoming natural,” Happ said Sunday about playing second. “All the work last year and all the [repetitions] coming into this year — I’m still working and trying to get better every day, but it’s become my position, it’s become pretty natural to go out there every day and field ground balls. It feels great.”"
This is always a good sign for a young player looking to make an impact. He later went saying that second base has become his position and that “it’s become pretty natural”.
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Having another lefty in Joe Maddon‘s batting order would definitely help when it’s time for Zobrist to step away. The 22-year-old ninth overall pick back in 2015 could provide Maddon with more than just depth.
Actually, this young man is an All-Star in-the-making and if he is allowed to stick around, there’s no question he’d help this club win another World Series title.