While Ian Happ didn’t outperform his rookie season and underperformed most expectations, the Cubs’ super utility player still had a decent year offensively. Many hitters would gladly take Happ’s .329 wOBA and 106 wRC+ (i.e., six percent more run production than league average) for 2018.
I write this mostly as a reminder to myself that with a few adjustments and tweaks, Happ has the power and approach to become one of the most robust run producers in the league. If you ignore the glaring 36 percent whiff rate, the 24-year-old increased his walk rate from 9.2 percent in his rookie year to 15.2 percent while sustaining a well above-average ISO. But it’s hard to ignore the whiffs.
As Theo Epstein emphasized in his season-concluding press conference, it’s up to the incoming coaching staff to unearth Happ’s talent.