Ian Happ
Ian Happ.jpg
Happ with the Chicago Cubs in 2017
Chicago Cubs – No. 8
Outfielder
Born: (1994-08-12) August 12, 1994 (age 27)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Bats: Switch
Throws: Right
MLB debut
May 13, 2017, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
(through August 5, 2022)
Batting average.248
Home runs96
Runs batted in282
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Ian Edward Happ (born August 12, 1994) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played college baseball at the University of Cincinnati for the Cincinnati Bearcats baseball team. The Cubs selected Happ in the first round of the 2015 MLB draft, and he made his MLB debut in 2017.

Amateur career

Happ attended Mt. Lebanon High School in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.[1] In four seasons, he hit .449 with 12 home runs and 65 runs batted in (RBI).

He committed to the University of Cincinnati to play college baseball for the Bearcats. As a freshman, Happ started in all 56 games and had a team high .322 batting average, .483 slugging percentage, .451 on-base percentage, six home runs, 41 runs scored, 13 doubles, and 47 walks.[2] As a sophomore in 2014, he started 50 of 51 games. He hit .322/.443/.497 with five home runs and 19 stolen bases. After Happ's freshman and sophomore seasons in 2013 and 2014, he played collegiate summer baseball for the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL), was named a league all-star both seasons, and is a member of the CCBL Hall of Fame class of 2022.[3][4][5][6] As a junior, he played in 56 games for Cincinnati, hitting .369/.492/.672 with 14 home runs and 44 RBIs.

Professional career

Happ was considered one of the top prospects for the 2015 Major League Baseball draft.[7][8] The Chicago Cubs selected him in the first round, with the ninth overall selection.[9] Happ became the 50th Bearcat drafted in Cincinnati history; 2008 picks Josh Harrison (6th round) and Tony Campana (13th round) also both played for Cincinnati and were drafted by the Cubs, and former Bearcat and MLB 3-time All Star Kevin Youkilis is the Cubs Scouting and Player Development consultant.[10]

After he signed with the Cubs, Happ made his professional debut with the Eugene Emeralds of the Class A-Short Season Northwest League.[11] In July, he was promoted to the South Bend Cubs of the Class A Midwest League.[12][13] In 67 games between both clubs, he batted .259 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs. After playing the outfield positions during his first year of professional baseball, Happ was sent to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Class A-Advanced Carolina League to start the 2016 season and began playing second base regularly.[14][15] MLB.com ranked him the third best prospect in Chicago's farm system to start the year.[16][17] Happ was promoted to the Tennessee Smokies of the Class AA Southern League in June. In 134 total games, he batted .279/.365/.445 with 15 home runs, 73 RBIs, and 16 stolen bases. After the season, the Cubs assigned Happ to the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League.[18]

2017 season

Happ began the 2017 season with the Iowa Cubs of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League. The Cubs promoted Happ to the major leagues on May 13.[19] In 26 games for Iowa prior his promotion, he was batting .298 with nine home runs and 25 RBIs.[20] He made his debut the same day he was called up, and hit a 413-foot home run off of Carlos Martínez of the St. Louis Cardinals for his first career MLB hit.[21][22] In a June 13 game at Citi Field against the New York Mets, Happ became the fifth player in MLB history to hit a grand slam and strike out four times in the same game.[23] After Happ's 10th home run of the season, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, "When he hits it, it goes quickly."[24] Happ hit his 20th home run on August 30 against Pittsburgh Pirates starter Iván Nova.[25] He hit his 23rd on September 28 and his 24th the following day which was the second-most for a rookie switch-hitter in National League history.[26] He was third among NL rookies with 67 RBIs. Happ spent the remainder of the 2017 season with the Cubs after his June 13 promotion, and in 115 games, he slashed .253/.328/.514 with 24 home runs and 68 RBIs.

2018 season

On the March 29 opening day game against the Miami Marlins, Happ hit a home run off of Jose Urena on the first pitch, becoming the second player in MLB history to hit a home run off the first pitch of an MLB season.[27] He finished the season slashing .233/.353/.408 with 15 home runs and 44 RBIs in 142 games, striking out 167 times.[28]

2019 season

Happ was optioned to the Iowa Cubs to begin the 2019 Season, after slashing .135/.196/.192 during 17 spring training games, to work on cutting down his strikeout rate.[29] Happ was recalled to the majors on July 25, 2019. Happ finished the season with 11 home runs and 30 RBIs. He slashed .297/.409/.622 in 58 games, striking out 39 times. He was named National League Player of the Week on September 30, 2019.[30]

2020 season

Happ started the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season in center field for the Cubs. He hit .258/.361/.505 with 12 home runs and 28 RBIs in 57 games.

2021 season

In 2021, Happ hit .226/.323/.434 in 148 games for the Cubs. He led the team with 66 RBIs and set career highs with 105 hits, 25 home runs, 63 runs scored and 9 stolen bases.

Personal life

Happ chose "Happer" as his nickname for the Players Weekend during the 2017 season.[31] In 2021, Happ invested in Jomboy Media, a digital media company that produces content focused on sports and pop culture. As part of the investment, Happ agreed to host his podcast, The Compound, on the Jomboy Media network.[32][33]

Happ and girlfriend Julie Mazur got engaged in May 2022.[34]

References

  1. ^ "Happ's effort contagious for Mt. Lebanon baseball". TribLIVE.com. March 10, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  2. ^ "The Almanac - Lebo's Happ an All-American". The Almanac. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  3. ^ "2022 CCBL Hall of Fame Class Announced". capecodbaseball.org. June 12, 2022. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  4. ^ "#5 Ian Happ - Profile". pointstreak.com. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  5. ^ "#5 Ian Happ". pointstreak.com. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  6. ^ "Charpentier: Happ a happy camper". Cap Cod Times. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  7. ^ Casey Weldon. "MLB 2015 draft: Ian Happ, UC baseball player, rated No. 16 prospect". WCPO. Archived from the original on July 9, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  8. ^ Fox Sports (February 13, 2015). "Future first-rounder? Top prospect continues to hone his craft at UC". FOX Sports. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  9. ^ "Mt. Lebanon's Happ selected by Cubs with ninth pick". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  10. ^ "Cubs take Ian Happ with #9 overall pick".
  11. ^ "Chicago Cubs first-round pick Ian Happ belts first pro homer with Eugene Emeralds". MILB.com. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  12. ^ Krah, Steve (August 11, 2015). "South Bend Cubs outfielder Ian Happ focused on consistency, fun". Elkhart Truth. Archived from the original on August 20, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  13. ^ Pritchett, Darin (July 25, 2015). "Ian Happ Joins South Bend Cubs". MILB.com. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  14. ^ Muskat, Carrie (June 6, 2016). "Cubs' first Draft pick to come in third round". MLB.com. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  15. ^ Gonzales, Mark (April 4, 2016). "Cubs top prospects Gleyber Torres, Ian Happ assigned to Class-A Myrtle Beach". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  16. ^ Leboff, Michael (April 19, 2016). "Happ's two homers power Myrtle Beach". MILB.com. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  17. ^ Peng, Michael (June 5, 2016). "Happ extends RBI streak in Pelicans' rout". MILB.com. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  18. ^ "Cubs prospect Ian Happ leads Mesa Solar Sox to Arizona Fall League title". Azcentral.com. November 19, 2016. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  19. ^ "Cubs call up Ian Happ from Triple-A Iowa". Desmoinesregister.com. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  20. ^ "Ian Happ Stats, Highlights, Bio". MiLB.com. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  21. ^ "Game blog: Cardinals bounce back to beat Cubs | Cardinal Beat". stltoday.com. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  22. ^ Muskat, Carrie (May 13, 2017). "Cubs prospect Happ homers for first MLB hit: Just called up, slugger debuts right away". mlb.com. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  23. ^ Adler, Lindsey (June 14, 2017). "Ian Happ Did Something Only Four Other Players In History Have Done". Deadspin. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  24. ^ Muskat, Carrie; Cassavell, A.J. "Friars persevere to upend Cubs in finale". MLB.com. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  25. ^ Wilson, Jason. "Cubs set MLB record with 5 players, 25 or younger, hitting 20 HRs in season". www.thescore.com/. The Score. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  26. ^ Skrbina, Paul. "Ian Happ's 8th-inning homer lifts Cubs to 5-4 win over Reds". www.chicagotribune.com. The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  27. ^ "Ian Happ hits a home run on the 1st pitch in Cubs' 8-4 win on opening day". Chicago Turbine. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  28. ^ "MLB Players". MLB.com.
  29. ^ "In a surprise move, Cubs option Ian Happ to Triple-A".
  30. ^ "Ian Happ Named National League Player of the Week". NBC Chicago. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  31. ^ "MLB Players Weekend to showcase unique nicknames, colorful uniforms". August 10, 2017.
  32. ^ "Jomboy Media of New York gets $1 million in funding, eyes full baseball schedule". Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  33. ^ "Chicago Cubs Outfielder Ian Happ Keeps Busy With Podcast, Charity Efforts". Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  34. ^ "Cubs Ian Happ and Justin Steele use team's day off to get engaged to their girlfriends". May 3, 2022.