This Chicago Cubs player ranks among the best in MLB at his position

This Chicago Cubs' All-Star is starting to get national attention.

2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages
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Chicago Cubs left fielder Ian Happ is entering the first year of his three-year contract extension, which he signed with the team before the 2023 season.

Prior to that extension, Happ was in a position to be one of the best position players on the free-agent market this past off-season.

Considering the slow nature of the free-agent market this past off-season, Happ and the Cubs, in hindsight, showed tremendous foresight in getting an extension done when they did.

The 2023 season was an odd season for Happ. While Happ did earn his second consecutive Gold Glove award for his defense in left field and posted a 118 wRC+ and 21 home runs, the way he was used by former Cubs manager David Ross was a topic of contention.

Ross was insistent on Happ serving as the three-hitter in the Cubs' lineup and considering the lack of power from the left fielder during the first half of 2023, many fans believed that was a mistake. Happ's power profile returned during the second half of the season as he had 14 home runs in his final 71 games played.

Happ is one of the players that new Cubs' manager Craig Counsell is excited to manage considering the headaches the former National League All-Star caused the Milwaukee Brewers while Counsell was managing the Cubs' division rival.

Craig Counsell recognized Ian Happ as one of the best outfielders in all of Major League Baseball.

Happ is currently dealing with a hamstring injury but is expected to be ready in time for Opening Day.

There is no doubt that the Cubs are once again counting on Happ to be one of the cornerstones of the team's starting lineup. Though, with Counsell now leading the clubhouse, Happ may be an option to serve as the team's leadoff hitter given his ability to draw walks.

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