Ian Happ, 2B/OF
Ian Happ is the best prospect the Cubs have in their system right now. A switch-hitting player with some pop, Happ can also play all over the diamond. Already in 2017, Happ has logged innings at every outfield position and second base.
The idea is that the Cubs want Happ to become a better second baseman. That means he will need to spend extra time at the position, but his ability to play all over the place is very attractive.
Combine his defensive versatility with his bat and you could very well have the second coming of Ben Zobrist. While it’s not clear whether Happ will be as good defensively as Zobrist was earlier in his career, Happ can swing a big stick.
In 13 games at Triple-A this season, Happ has already hit six home runs and recorded 10 RBI. Happ is slashing .264/.328/.623 on the young season after posting a .279/.365/.445 line between Single-A Advanced and Double-A in 2016.
Ian Happ only has two full seasons of professional baseball under his belt, and people are already calling for him to make his major league debut.
Happ still needs to hone his skills at second base, but he could provide to be a better option at the big league level if Zobrist and Baez continue to struggle.
Trade bait or a blue-chip talent?
As with Candelario, the most realistic chance Happ has to impact the Cubs is if he gets traded. This is hard to say because Happ is such a talented prospect, but with at least one proven big league player at that position, it makes it hard to get Happ on the club.
There is no doubt Ian Happ could bring all kinds of offensive firepower to the middle of the Cubs line-up in 2017. If Happ continues to see the ball well at Triple-A, he may be brought up in a utility role for a portion of the season.
Whether it’s on the field or via trade, expect Ian Happ to have a big impact on the Cubs in 2017, and beyond.