With their first round pick in the 2015 draft, the Chicago Cubs once again went back to the college positional well, taking the guy many believed to be the best overall college bat in the draft, Ian Happ out of the University of Cincinnati.
You can read the initial write-up on the selection here, as well as Luke’s initial take here, but here are a few more items to peruse about the Cubs’ top pick …
- According to Keith Law, Happ had double hernia surgery just one week before his junior season began. The fact that he went on to put up a .369/.492/.672 line, with his power taking a step forward, is all the more impressive.
- In terms of raw performance, Happ was one of the best college hitters in baseball this year, sporting the 9th highest OBP in the country, and the 10th highest SLG. His 14 homers were just five behind the NCAA leader.
- As MLB.com notes, Happ was the top prospect each of his two years in the Cape Cod summer league (prospect heavy).
- If you’re into pre-draft rankings, Happ was 20th to MLB.com, 10th to Kiley McDaniel, 7th to Keith Law, 6th to BP, and 24th to BA.
- Although he was a junior this past season, Happ is still just 20 years old, and he won’t turn 21 until mid-August. You’ve got to like that part, especially if the power is developing. Happ is five months younger than Kyle Schwarber was at this time last year, and seven months younger than Kris Bryant at the time of his draft.
- A UC write-up on their star player, who was an Academic All-American.
- Happ talks about being selected by the Cubs and about working out at Wrigley Field here at Cubs.com.
- Jason McLeod talks about Happ here at ESPN, including where he’ll play – undetermined. Happ is comfortable playing in the outfield and at second base, for what that’s worth. Most pundits don’t think he can stay at second base or cover in center field, but I doubt the Cubs place him into a corner outfield spot immediately until they rule out a higher order defensive position.
- BP’s Chris Crawford on the pick: “There are some guys who just get hitting. Ian Happ is one of those guys. The switch-hitting outfielder was the best pure hitter for me in the draft, and is a great pick for the Cubs (yes, I know, you wanted a pitcher). His swing is excellent from both sides of the plate, and there’s sneaky pop from the left-side as well, with enough strength to drive into the gaps from the right. The question is whether he’ll play second base or the outfield, but wherever he plays, he’s going to hit. Another great pick from Theo Epstein and company.”
- The KATOH system identified Happ (caveats aplenty on something like this, and it’s mostly just for fun) to be one of the better hitting prospects in the draft. The raw number is small, but they all are.
- An audible scouting report:
— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) June 9, 2015
- All manner of video on the top pick: