Happ, 20, was awarded All-American honors for his efforts while at The University of Cincinnati. He was drafted ninth overall by the Cubs in this year’s amateur draft. His batting prowess is what makes him one of the most exceptional players in this draft, not to mention he’s also a switch hitter. He hits a little better from the left side and has shown small sparks of power.
In 2015 he hit a very respectable slash line of .369/.492/.672 to go along with his team leading 14 home runs and 44 RBI’s. In 56 starts (one of only two team members to start all 56 games) he tallied 73 hits and 43 runs in 198 at bats. He did strike out 49 times, but he also had a team high 49 walks.
When playing multiple positions one might assume that a player would make a few adjustment mistakes, but that wasn’t the case with Happ. He only has one error in the entire season, leaving him with a .992 fielding percentage. Although he could find himself in a corner outfield spot at some point, perhaps for relief appearances or just to keep him fresh, all things point to him most likely becoming a more full-time second baseman.
Cubs Shifting To “Closer By Committee”
Cubs manager Joe Maddon prefers to have a set closer, but just like any other good manager he’ll do what’s best for his team and whatever will help them win. In this particular case, it’s going to “closer by committee”, at least for the near future.
Hector Rondon has been the closer this season, but Maddon feels that the rest of the bullpen needs a boon, so keeping him until the end of a near-win might not be the best utilization of one of his better relievers.
Rondon, 27, is having a modest season so far for Chicago’s Northsiders. He’s 11/14 in save opportunities, which is very respectable at this point in the season. Any Cubs fan can tell you, reliever issues have been a constant affliction on the Cubs pen for years. Ever since Carlos Marmol or Rod Beck. Even Marmol ended up a blight himself.