Happ’s impressive 2016 has been recognized officially by the Cubs, with the former Bearcat receiving a promotion to Double-A Tennessee last week – a week in which Happ slashed .600/.655/1.160 over 29 plate appearances between Tennessee and High A Myrtle Beach. In his final Carolina League series, Happ went 10-for-20 against Potomac, with seven of his hits going for extra bases (five doubles, a triple and a homer).
The switch-hitting Happ has hit well from both sides of the plate this year and projects as an above-average bat with 20 home run potential. He has a balanced and leveraged swing that plays across the diamond, and there is enough raw pop in the barrel to muscle balls out to all fields. Happ controls the strike zone and is at his best working ahead in the count and seeking out fastballs. Historically, he has struggled with spin, particularly on the outer half, and while he has made strides in that department this season, he’ll need to demonstrate that his gains will play against more seasoned arms at the upper levels.
After occupying the outfield in 2015, Happ is back at second base where spent time in college. He’s not yet an asset on the dirt, but he shows enough feel to project as an adequate defender at the major league level. At maturity, Happ will provide Chicago with yet another versatile option to go with a growing army of young multi-position threats already occupying roster space at Wrigley. He should produce as an everyday player, and there is room in the profile to grow into an impactful first-division regular at the upper end of his projections.