When you have destroyed a league’s pitching for two months, I guess there is not much left to do at that level. This afternoon both the Tennessee Smokies and Myrtle Beach Pelicans announced the promotion of Ian Happ to AA Tennessee. Happ has been on fire at Myrtle Beach and has been named the Carolina League Player of the Week two weeks in a row. In his last ten games, he hit .400 with 6 RBIs and 8 walks.
For the season, Happ hit .296 in the Carolina League, a noted pitcher’s league. He had 7 HRs with an impressive 42 RBIs from the #3 spot.
Happ was drafted by the Cubs a year ago in the first round out of Cincinnati. This year Happ, moved from the outfield to play 2B and has adjusted nicely.
To be honest, it may not seem like it, but the Cubs are taking their time with him. In 2015, he played at Eugene and South Bend for about a month each. The key to Happ’s ascent through the system is ability to pick his pitches. He has a high OBP of .410 this year. His approach to hitting will serve the switch hitter very well at this next level. In fact, it would not surprise me to see his power numbers increase playing in the Southern League.
I expect to see Hatch finish out the year at Tennessee. If he does well at AA, he could be in Iowa to begin 2017.
Happ is currently ranked the Cubs #3 prospect at MLB.com.