Although this is a somewhat unspectacular play, it is, for me, rather notable. Earlier this year, as decent as Ian Happ looked covering ground in center field – a position to which he was still adjusting – I felt like his arm was extremely erratic out there.
And, of course, it still could be, but he made a really nice play tonight to cut down a runner at the plate.
He had to field a groundball single up the middle, and then fire a strike home:
Ian Happ throws out Mercer at home. pic.twitter.com/tFi8zvdwWY
— Kevin Marchina (@kg_holler) September 8, 2017
OK, so calling that a “strike” is probably a bit much, but it was a good, very strong throw that gave Rene Rivera a chance to make a nice play to convert the out.
We don’t know what the future holds for Ian Happ, especially as Javy Baez increasingly emerges as a must-start player in the middle infield, so the more he can acclimate to center field, and perform reasonably well there defensively, the better.