Chicago Cubs: Is Happ a likely victim of the new mindset?
There’s no one the whole ‘performance over potential’ mindset seems to apply to more than Ian Happ. The switch-hitting utility player and former first-rounder is a tremendously versatile young asset.
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Now, Happ’s performance this season didn’t quite measure up to what he did when he burst onto the scene in 2017. His OPS fell from .842 to .761 (still above the league average of .728) and he hit just .233.
The biggest qualm with Happ? He strikes out – a lot. This season, he whiffed in 36.1 percent of his at-bats, and faded badly down the stretch. After the All-Star Break, Happ hit just .196 with only three home runs over the final two months.
Still, we’re talking about a guy who can handle all three outfield positions and has seen time at first, second and third base, as well. There’s little doubt he holds a great deal of value. Happ is only 24 years old and doesn’t turn 25 till next August.
If the Cubs go out and add an impact outfielder, say Bryce Harper, there’s no room for Happ, Schwarber and Almora – and it might mean that a guy capable of playing multiple positions and hits from both sides of the plate is on the move.