Although he plays for the Chicago Cubs, and colleged in Cincinnati, Ian Happ spent his formative years in Pittsburgh.
So, a chance to come and play in front of his hometown crowd had to be special for the Cubs’ 2015 first round pick, who may not otherwise have expected to be up in the big leagues quite this soon.
Of the visit, Happ told Trib Live, “I have some good friends who have season tickets right above the Pirates dugout. They’ll be wearing Cubs gear for the first time …. You start to fall in love with PNC (Park), with the skyline and with the city. I grew up coming to the park and watching … Lastings Milledge and Nyjer Morgan, Brian Giles, Freddy Sanchez. It’s pretty cool to be on the field and doing the same thing they were doing.”
And then some.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 18, 2017
That thing was a rocket:
— Cubs Exit Velocity (@cubsexitvelo) June 18, 2017
Happ has had his struggles in his opening stint in the big leagues, but the power continues to show. That was his 8th homer in just 118 plate appearances, putting him on a ridiculous 45ish homer pace if he kept doing this over a full season’s worth of opportunities.
I especially liked seeing him blast that one from the right side, which Happ hadn’t yet done in the big leagues. Coming into today, he was hitting just .182/.250/.364 against lefties.