5 positive Cubs takeaways – #4: Ian Happ’s consistent showing
Last year, the beginning to Ian Happ’s season was so horrendous that he looked like a sure-fire DFA candidate. If you’ll recall, in the first half of 2021, the switch-hitting outfielder slashed an underwhelming .183/.296/.330. After what had been a roller coaster of production for the better part of the last five years, Happ has sustained his production over the course of a full season for the first time.
In the second half last year, Happ slashed .268/.350/.536. For the entirety of 2022 now, his line has sat around his current mark of .275/.347/447. In over 100 more at-bats this season, Happ has fewer strike outs than all of last season, while drawing nearly as many walks. On top of that, his on-base percentage has risen from .323 to .347 and while there has been a slight drop in power, he does have 61 extra-base hits compared to just 46 last year.
After being singled out as a prime trade candidate, nothing ever came to fruition at the deadline – and Happ hasn’t looked back. Now, he and the Cubs will have to see if they can work out a long-term deal this winter. Considering the team is looking to spend this winter in, it’s hard to see him being shopped again next summer, especially if Chicago is in contention.
Happ’s patience, extra-base power and grinder mentality both at the plate and in the outfield are all ‘pluses’ for the veteran. Seeing him finally put it all together this year is, without a doubt, one of the biggest bright spots for me personally.