The Chicago Cubs prospects playing in the Arizona Fall League this year got in one extra game on the season, a championship game yesterday, which ultimately handed the title to the Mesa Solar Sox, on which the Cubs prospects play.
And the Cubs prospects weren’t just along for the ride, either. Eloy Jimenez was the team’s DH on the day (though he had a rough go of it), and James Farris pitched a perfect ninth to finish out the game.
Then you had Ian Happ, the switch-hitting, infield-outfield prospect whom the Cubs drafted 9th overall in 2015. He had himself a day, with four hits, including two homers.
The shots came from each side of the plate, but they both went out to right center:
Happ said after the game that it was the first time he’d homered from both sides of the plate in a game.
The pulled shot there must have been a bomb, because it looked like neither of the outfielders could even find it. The center fielder even shrugged once he gave up trying to track the ball.
And, just to make it a truly perfect day, Happ also had a nice running, leaping catch in left field:
That’s a hard shot that probably had a fair bit of hook on it. So, nicely done for the part-time outfielder.
Happ hit .236/.375/.403 in the AFL before the championship game, and had really turned it on in the second half of the league. I don’t think there’s anyone who won’t call what he did a big success.
Heading into 2017, Happ remains one of the Cubs’ best prospects, and he’ll probably start the year out at AA Tennessee, where he finished last season. He could be a quick mover to AAA Iowa, though, depending on how and where the Cubs are working him defensively, and if the bat takes another step forward.