After spending most of 2019 in the minor leagues, 26-year-old University of Cincinnati baseball alumnus and current Chicago cub Ian Happy ended the season with a hot streak in the majors, putting together a successful September.
University of Cincinnati baseball alumnus and current Chicago cub Ian Happ started his season on a bang, averaging 0.299 while completing six home runs in 25 games. His start helped his cubs set a 16-9 record, the best in the National League Central.
The Pittsburgh native was the most prolific hitter of the Cubs, leading the team on batting average, hits, runs taken, base percentage, and hit percentage.
“”[I’m] I really just focus on having good bats, “Happ told the Chicago Sun Times.” This is my daily goal to put together really high quality bats. “
After spending most of 2019 in the minor leagues, the 26-year-old ended the season with a hot streak in the majors, putting together a successful September. He competed against .311 and ran 17 races during the month. Last week of the season, he was named National League Player of the Week by MLB. That week he slammed four home runs and a total of 10 runs in just six games.
“In my opinion [Happ] was absolutely taking advantage of his time [in the minors]”Theo Epstein, general manager of Cubs, told NBC Sports Chicago,” And [he] is in a different and better phase of his career because of what he has been through. “
Happ has continued to build on his strong end of the 2019 season, much to the delight of Cubs manager David Ross.
“Right now it’s difficult to take Ian Happ off the line-up,” Ross told MLB.com. “This guy swings the club really well.”
By the time Ross headed into the 2020 season, he believed Happ was ready for a breakout campaign.
“He who plays well has kind of cemented my thoughts this off-season,” said Ross. “We knew he had this production in him and he had the ability to do that. But just going out and doing it was what we had to see and he’s proven it so far this year.”
Happ, who finished ninth in the Cubs batting order on the opening day, has worked his way up the lineup as he continued to be successful. Ross recently put him in the starting position.
“Ian, wherever I put it doesn’t matter,” Ross said. “I think he’s just as locked up with what he’s trying on his plate and who he is when I saw him.”
Happ has excelled as a leadoff hitter in his six games, hitting three home runs with a slugging percentage of 0.857 since climbing the lineup.
Happ had a brilliant career at UC that resulted in the Cubs picking with the ninth overall win in the 2015 MLB Draft. His time at UC lasted from 2012 to 2015. During that time he was named the first team of all AACs twice and in 2015 won the AAC Player of the Year award. That same year he was also a semi-finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, which goes to the best player in college baseball every year.