Ian Happ

Ian Happ

28-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Chicago Cubs
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Happ had an interesting season in that his homers came down, but his overall production increased. He reduced his strikeout rate by six full percentage points, and that certainly helped the 45-point imporvement in his batting average as that .271 final figure was the best in six seasons as a big leaguer. Happ also broke the 70 barrier in both runs and RBIs for the first time in his career. The .336 BABIP was the second-highest of his career and his expected stats are not very supportive of the achieved outcomes in 2022. His .305 average against lefties was the first time in five seasons in which Happy has hit above .250 against southpaws as the switch-hitter does most of offensive damage as a lefty. His approach at the plate would be better served hitting first or second in a lineup, but the Cubs primarily used him in the third spot of the lineup last season. That could change should the Cubs alter their roster this winter so be willing to adjust runs or RBI expectations accordingly. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#153
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $10.85 million deal with the Cubs in January of 2023.
Agrees to one-year deal
OFChicago Cubs
January 14, 2023
Happ signed a one-year, $10.85 million deal with the Cubs on Friday, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports.
ANALYSIS
Happ's deal with the Cubs means he avoided arbitration and will now be a free agent following the 2023 season. He slashed .271/.342/.440 in the 2022 campaign, while accumulating 17 home runs and 72 RBI. The 28-year-old also went 9-for-13 on stolen base attempts. He projects to start in left field entering the year.
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Batting Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
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2020 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
10
57
51
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
16
1
2
8
2
4
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+11%
OPS vs RHP
2022
 
 
+1%
OPS vs LHP
2021
 
 
+21%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
+28%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020vs Left .724 321 37 6 30 7 .261 .336 .387
Since 2020vs Right .804 1086 125 48 136 12 .249 .338 .466
2022vs Left .788 137 15 2 16 4 .305 .350 .438
2022vs Right .780 504 57 15 56 5 .261 .339 .440
2021vs Left .653 125 18 3 12 2 .213 .301 .352
2021vs Right .789 410 45 22 54 7 .230 .329 .459
2020vs Left .713 59 4 1 2 1 .250 .379 .333
2020vs Right .915 172 23 11 26 0 .260 .355 .560
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2020
 
 
+14%
OPS at Home
2022
 
 
+19%
OPS at Home
2021
 
 
+12%
OPS at Home
2020
 
 
+7%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2020Home .839 700 79 27 85 5 .273 .360 .480
Since 2020Away .733 707 83 27 81 14 .230 .316 .418
2022Home .851 313 36 6 32 2 .308 .383 .467
2022Away .716 328 36 11 40 7 .236 .302 .414
2021Home .800 261 29 13 35 2 .246 .335 .465
2021Away .716 274 34 12 31 7 .207 .311 .405
2020Home .894 126 14 8 18 1 .243 .352 .542
2020Away .833 105 13 4 10 0 .275 .371 .462
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Stat Review
How does Ian Happ compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.39
 
BB Rate
9.0%
 
K Rate
23.2%
 
BABIP
.336
 
ISO
.169
 
AVG
.271
 
OBP
.342
 
SLG
.440
 
OPS
.781
 
wOBA
.341
 
Exit Velocity
89.7 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
30.8%
 
Barrels/PA
4.4%
 
Expected BA
.239
 
Expected SLG
.379
 
Sprint Speed
23.2 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
46.4%
 
Line Drive %
20.1%
 
Fly Ball %
33.5%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
It was a tale of two seasons for Happ. There was the pre-trade-deadline Happ, who really struggled at the plate, hitting .180/.294/.326 with 10 homers and one stolen base over four months. Post-deadline Happ hit .288/.363/.581 with 15 homers and eight steals. There are no reports of him being injured to start the season, but signs point to him playing through something. He started the season by hitting for a .146 ISO and doubled it to a .293 ISO for those last two month. Not running was an indicator something was not right. Finally, he lowered his groundball rate from roughly 51% to 39% in those last two months. Besides his power being down a bit, his season-long stats were in line with previous years. On top of all the struggles, he did post a career-high nine thefts. If he did turn a corner over those last two months, there is significant upside.
Happ got off to a hot start in 2020 and never really looked back, as he put to rest any notion that he and Albert Almora would split time in center field. Happ ended up finishing with 12 homers, 27 runs, 28 RBI and an .866 OPS across 57 games. Encouragingly, the 26-year-old posted a career-best .361 on-base percentage and kept his strikeout rate below 30% for the second straight season. Happ spent a good chunk of his 2019 season in the minors working on making more consistent contact, and that decision looks brilliant in retrospect as Happ has been a different player since returning. Notable in 2020 was the fact that Happ virtually stopped playing the infield, making just two appearances at first base. He broke into the majors as more of a utility player but is now mainly an outfielder. Fantasy managers might like to see Happ earn eligibility at more positions and run a little bit, but they can't complain much about his recent production.
In 2018, Happ led off the Cubs' season with a homer on the first pitch. Last year, Happ opened with Triple-A Iowa where he toiled until July 26. The Cubs wanted Happ to work on contact. At the time of his callup, Happ sat with a .242/.364/.432 overall line, though he had registered a 1.059 OPS with five home runs, 17 walks and only 19 strikeouts in his last 20 games. Happ played a lot the rest of the season, setting personal bests in average (.264) and slugging (.564). More importantly, he reduced his strikeout rate from 36% to 25%. A dip in exit velocity with an increase in launch angle helped fuel power but conspired to drop his BABIP to a career-low .286. After last season's improved contact rate, Happ should be in the mix for a roster spot, at minimum as a super-utilityman. In just 58 games last year, Happ played at least five contests at first base, second base, third base and all three outfield spots.
Happ experienced a heavy dose of the sophomore slump last year as he failed to meet the expectations his bat established in 2017. His overall offensive production was still slightly above league average, but that is not how he was drafted. He was very helpful in OBP leagues as he jumped his walk rate nearly six percentage points to 15.2%, but his strikeout rate worsened (36.1%), which pulled down his batting average while his slugging percentage dropped over 100 points. The frustrating part with Happ was that he chased a lower percentage of pitches in 2018 than he did in 2017, but he struggled to make contact within the strike zone as pitchers kept him guessing on pitch type and location. He is much more effective against righties and the team has not hesitated to leave him on the bench against lefties, which cuts into his overall playing time. Happ lost his second-base eligibility, but gained third-base eligibility.
It is great when rookies come up and exceed expectations as Happ did in 2017, even if it was not in full-time duty. Happ was part of the outfield rotation as well as the second-base situation in Chicago as manager Joe Maddon likes to keep everyone involved. His rookie year saw him slug over .500, something only the likes of Kris Bryant and Billy Williams have done for the northsiders. With the great power came the great problems with contact as he struck out in nearly one-third of his plate appearances. The power comes nearly all from the left side (19 of his 24 homers game off righties), but he hits for a better average when put into the game to face lefties. Many rookies struggle at the big-league level when moved as quickly as Happ has been -- he had fewer than 400 plate appearances above A-ball. This kid is special and has more room for growth.
The ninth overall pick in 2015, Happ hit .296/.410/.475 in 69 games with High-A Myrtle Beach to begin the 2016 campaign, earning a promotion to Double-A Tennessee as a 21-year-old. Predictably, there were some growing pains as his walk rate fell by nine percent between levels, resulting in a nearly 100-point drop in OBP. Happ also saw a 60-point decline in SLG, but he made more consistent contact with Tennessee and the decline in numbers did little to dim his prospect star. This is a highly appealing skill set -- Happ is a switch-hitter with a quick bat, an advanced eye and more than a splash of both power and speed. The question has been; where will he play with Chicago? That was seemingly answered with a move to second base in 2016, although there's also a chance he never ends up calling Wrigley Field "home." Trade rumors have followed Happ and will for the foreseeable future.
The Cubs selected Happ with the ninth pick in the 2015 draft, and the former college star hit the ground running. Happ, who hit .369 with 14 home runs in 198 at-bats for the University of Cincinnati last year, finished his first professional year slashing an aggregate .259/.356/.466 with nine home runs and 10 stolen bases in 251 at-bats with short-season Eugene and Low-A South Bend. He started slowly in South Bend, but came on strong late in his run and finished with a strong walk rate with good power. With most of the strongest Cubs prospects getting promoted to the majors in the last couple of years, Happ may already be one of the best players in the Cubs' system. He's a good name to know for dynasty leagues, especially because he'll rise through the ranks quickly as a polished college bat.
More Fantasy News
Three hits in win
OFChicago Cubs
October 2, 2022
Happ went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI in Sunday's win over the Reds.
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Tallies two hits, two runs
OFChicago Cubs
September 30, 2022
Happ went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored in Friday's win over the Reds.
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Steals ninth base
OFChicago Cubs
September 25, 2022
Happ went 2-for-5 with a double, a stolen base, a run scored and an RBI in an 8-3 win Sunday in Pittsburgh.
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Resting Wednesday
OFChicago Cubs
September 14, 2022
Happ isn't starting Wednesday against the Mets.
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Takes deGrom deep in win
OFChicago Cubs
September 13, 2022
Happ went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and an additional run scored in Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Mets.
ANALYSIS
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