Ian Happ leadoff hitter?
The Cubs need a leadoff hitter, this is undisputed. I submit Ian Happ may be the best candidate. In 2017 Cub leadoff hitters slashed .246/.324/.422, the middle number being most concerning. The Cubs desperately need a leadoff hitter who will get on base at a greater than .350 clip. I think Happ can easily surpass that mark. While most Cubs fans’ first impression of Ian Happ was his power, his 2017 homerun numbers were actual an aberration. Happ’s greatest attribute, and the reason the Cubs drafted him, is his knack for getting on base.
Happ slashed .253/.328/.514 last year, with a 9.4% walk rate. Hardly leadoff hitter numbers. Yet Happ posted an OBP above .440 in each of his three college seasons. He also posted a .408 OBP in his 2015 low A ball debut, a .410 mark in 2016 at high A, and a respectable .362 at AAA in 2017. He did flounder each season after promotion, dropping to .315 in A ball in 2015, .318 in AA in 2016, and .328 in the majors in 2017. Yet each offseason he regrouped, learned, and improved; and then dominated in higher competition the next year. I expect the same pattern to continue.
If Happ raises his walk rate to 11%, which is more consistent with his minor league production, and raises his batting average by only 10 points, his should post an OBP in the .350-.360 range. This would make him a solid leadoff hitter. Happ is a switch hitter with positional flexibility (CF, LF, 2B). This would allow him to stay in the line-up regardless of pitching matchups and defensive alignments. I suspect Joe Maddon will give Happ the first chance to prove he can be the Cubs’s 2018 leadoff hitter.
What do you think?
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 3 min ago (view)
Lame. He was intriguing
crunch 7 hours 13 min ago (view)
cubs release matt dermody...he's heading to japan.
Cubster 16 hours 27 min ago (view)
and they are including amusement tax, healthcare costs (Doc Adams doesn't come cheap!), social security and political donations to the City and the Governor of Nebraska.
bradsbeard 16 hours 52 min ago (view)
It all depends what you count as "payroll." If you include the $11M in Lester and Descalso's buyouts plus the $3M sent in the Darvish trade you get to somewhere like $145M. If you include the $15M in estimated share of player benefits, you get to $160M. I think that last year, including player benefits, they were slated to be up around $205M for MLB payroll before the pandemic.
crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
not sure, but i think it's around 130-135m right now even with bryant/baez/contreras still on board...including the 3m to set darvish free and other random $$ expenses on the roster.
tack on another 3-4m for happ when that gets settled....plus other odds/ends that have a chance to make the roster (s.miller, a.morgan, j.holder, etc) and other pre-arbitration guys...
cubs still need someone to back up contreras (if he sticks around, which i wouldn't be surprised to see him stick around)...not sure if taylor gushue is gonna be that guy and m.amaya is too young.
George Altman 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
Seriously, what's the 2021 payroll number? Currently at approximately $165M and after they trade Bryant, Baez, & Contreras - $130M. Is that it, $135-140M.
crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
Q to the angels...supposedly 1/8m
crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
pete ricketts (the governor of Nebraska ricketts) is a key part of an anti-gambling Nebraska group called "Gambling With The Good Life" that actively lobbied their open legislature...including a speech by pete...to keep gambling illegal in Nebraska.
he last spoke for the group to the state government in-session 3 months ago.
...it's also worth mentioning all of this is separate from the Draft Kings/Wrigley Field deal that flew under the radar toward the end of the season that will put a sportsbook directly in wrigley field, itself.
Charlie 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
Of all the things, why does this most make me want to punch
Cubster 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
I thought the Cubs had lost a rising star in Porter, seems the just got lucky with him leaving the organization.
crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)
jared porter...damn dude...mets gm, ex cubs director of scouting...
crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)
cubs freeing up that chatwood + lester loot sure did help...wait...sigh.
Cubster 2 days 5 hours ago (view)
Plus Chatwood signing w Bluejays is done.
crunch 2 days 7 hours ago (view)
...and done. 1 year deal with a mutual option.
Cubster 2 days 8 hours ago (view)
Dolorous in discussions with the Washington Schwarbs.