Every homer is a good homer, so I don’t want you to think I’m here to discriminate.
But when it comes to Cubs switch-hitter Ian Happ, I especially like seeing him send one out as a righty.
Although Happ has had an impressive, quick-ascending start to his big league career, he had been hitting far better from the left side than the right, and was even getting some of his break days when the Cubs were facing a lefty. In 2015 and 2016 in the minor leagues, he also showed a really pronounced splits, having much more success against righties (batting lefty) than against lefties (batting righty).
So, when I see him do damage as a righty, I get especially excited.
Happ hit his first righty homer of the year this weekend in Pittsburgh in front of the hometown crowd. And last night he did it again (via @Cubs):
415 feet of insurance. pic.twitter.com/r2pyXx5lKq
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 21, 2017
Much like the one in Pittsburgh, that thing was hammered. Whatever splits show up for Happ, no one can question the power. He’s got it.
And how about this: after a couple good performances from the right-handed side of the plate, he suddenly doesn’t look like he has significant splits this year. It’s all small sample stuff (which, I suppose, is partly the point), but he’s now gone .220/.326/.537 (119 wRC+) from the left side and .214/.267/.571 (109) from the right. Obviously you can still see some issues implicit in those lines (the 40.0% K rate and 6.7% BB rate from the right side chief among them), but it’s still nice to see the overall production looking good.
As he gets more experience facing big league lefties (he’s had just 30 PAs), he will probably improve a great deal on the discipline side.
And if he keeps mashing long dingers in the meantime, that’s good by me.
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