Of no relation to former Astros pitcher J.A. Happ, Ian has been a huge bright spot on a weak Cincinnati club, leading the team in virtually every offensive caregory. Stat-heads are sure to zero in on Happ, who is batting .363/.489/.681 with a 48/46 K/BB ratio, 16 doubles and 14 homers in 228 PAs. A Pittsburgh native, Happ stands 6-foot and tips the scales at 205 pounds, giving him a versatile frame from a baseball perspective. He has played multiple positions for the Bearcats, including shortstop, center field and second base. While he might not have the range to man short in the long term, he has improved with his glove this season and has convinced most that he is capable of playing second.
As a hitter, Happ shines. A switch hitter with a simple, balanced stroke from both sides of the plate, Happ has fantastic hands and strong wrists that play into his line-drive approach. He stands out with his plate coverage and bat speed, and is one of the few prospects in this draft class that projects to have a true plus hit tool. His frame is more or less maxed out, but he grades out well in the power department, too, drawing solid-average to above average grades.
The rest of Happ's package is of major league quality, as well. It's hard to find a tool that Happ doesn't grade out as solid-average in, he's less a player who couldn't find a defensive home due to inability and more a player who legitimately has the skills to play either infield or outfield. An above average runner with solid average arm strength, Happ could be a highly productive major leaguer wherever the team that drafts him sees him fitting in best.
Deceptively toolsy and highly talented as a hitter, Happ has climbed draft boards steadily since his college career began. His list of college accolades can fill a page, and he might be the best pure hitter in the amateur ranks right now. While he may not have the look of a first round talent at first blush, his versatility and hitting skills make him well worth his projected draft position.
Happ looks like a future 2-hole hitter who could hit .300 with solid power and defense.
Projected Draft Round
There is a good chance Happ comes off the board in the top 10 selections and could go as high as #5.
Will he sign?
A college junior, Happ has very little to gain by returning to school and will sign.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LPbgE6CcZq8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TzmjRyFAmos" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>