While Cubs struggle offensively, Ian Happ continues to quietly produce

St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Although defensive metrics have soured on his work in left field after he brought home a Gold Glove in 2022, Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ continues to quietly produce at the plate.

The 2022 NL All-Star entered Saturday's matinee against the Twins riding a 19-game on-base streak, during which he's put up a .318/.458/.455 slash line, drawing 17 walks to just 15 strikeouts. While the Cubs search for answers offensively as they look to get back on track after a rough 14-game stretch during which they went just 5-9, Happ just keeps chugging along at the plate.

Cubs getting needed consistency from Ian Happ offensively

In Friday's win, he went 3-for-5 with a double, raising his OPS+ on the year to an impressive 150. He's done all this without having any sort of answers against left-handed pitching, an area he dramatically improved last season. This year, he's regressed in a big way from the right side, mustering a .472 OPS in 40 trips to the plate.

Happ still ranks second on the Cubs with his .911 OPS, trailing only Patrick Wisdom in that category. Statcast loves what he's done at the plate to this point - and so does Chicago skipper David Ross.

"He’s just sliding in and being very consistent. Getting on base and doing his thing. It’s been really rewarding for me in being able to make out a lineup and pencil him in every day. He’s really important to our success when he’s the type of player we’ve seen the last year and a half."

David Ross on Ian Happ

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Happ has somehow flown under the radar again here to start 2023, despite his coming out party from a year ago. The scary (and exciting thing if you're a Cubs fan) is that if he even modestly improves from the right side, he could be not just the best offensive player on the team - but one of the best in the entire league.