Chicago Cubs News: Ian Happ is locked in already this Spring
We are still in the early phases of Spring Training, but Chicago Cubs All-Star Ian Happ is already looking great at the plate. From the Cubs Cactus League opener Saturday through Thursday, Happ is slashing .500/.636/.625 with four RBI, two walks, and a stolen base in eight at-bats. In Thursday's game alone against the Oakland A's, he went 2-2 with a walk.
Happ has yet to hit a home run, but there will be plenty of more Spring games for him to start pulling out the driver. What he has been doing is spraying the ball all around the field.
A few days ago he pulled an RBI double down the right field line (hitting lefty) and Thursdayswatted an RBI single the other way (hitting righty).
The overall approach at the plate has looked good, working counts and putting together quality at bats, and has yet to strike out.
What has also been nice about his first set of ABs is that he has once again looked good from both sides of the plate. One of the biggest factors in Happ's rise to being an NL All-Star last year was his improvement at hitting from the right side. In 2021 he hit just .211 as a righty batter but improved to .313 from the right side in 2022. (Note those averages also factor in the four at-bats between 2021-2022 he hit from the right side against righty pitchers)
The stock we take away from Spring Training games might be limited, but seeing him get off to a good start is good to see. His professional hitting approach is going to be key for the offense this season. There will be more calls from Cubs fans for Jed Hoyer to extend Happ as long as he keeps hitting.