Cubs Quick Hits: Ian Happ’s Unexpected Power Surge Has Him Among Top Sluggers
Ian Happ headed into the 2016-17 offseason after splitting time between A+ and AA, where he belted 15 homers in 567 plate appearances. Just like Happ’s slugging numbers, FanGraphs modestly rated the top prospect’s game power as a 50 on a standard 20-80 scale, meaning he was projected as a league-average power hitter.
However, Happ has been surprisingly better than league average in the power department and is actually in the very top tier of sluggers. He’s blasted 13 homers in 203 plate appearances at the big-league level, all while hitting the gaps and posting a .290 ISO (a measure of raw power). Among players with at least 200 plate appearances, Happ’s ISO ranks No. 12 overall and third for center fielders (Mike Trout – .405; George Springer – .304).
If you thought Happ would be in the top 5 percent in ISO this far into his debut season, you deserve a prize.