Ian Happ Popped Homer 23 in His Very Impressive Rookie Season (VIDEO)

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Ian Happ Popped Homer 23 in His Very Impressive Rookie Season (VIDEO)

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs scored their winning run last night in the 11th inning on a Taylor Davis double, which earned him a stare down in the EBS, but the team’s first run came all the way back in the first inning on a solo shot by Ian Happ.

Here’s the blast:

It’s been a monster rookie campaign, indeed, especially when you consider the context.

Happ, who just turned 23 last month, was a 2015 draft pick. He had one full professional season before 2017, and played just 26 games at AAA, and fewer than 100 above High-A, before coming to the big leagues. That he was ready to come up and hit .253/.328/.511 (112 wRC+) in a playoff race in his rookie season is truly impressive.

Also impressive: that was his 23rd big league homer this season, and his 32nd overall between MLB and AAA.

Sure, he’ll have some things to work on next season – the 31.6% strikeout rate will really crush him if the BABIP (.321) doesn’t stay elevated – but the bones are there for a very, very good big league hitter, especially when you consider the adjustments he’s been making constantly this season.

Where does he play next year? Ah, that’s a fun offseason discussion, isn’t it?

Happ’s 23 homers is the 8th most by a rookie this season, and none of the 7 guys ahead of him have fewer than his 402 plate appearances.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.