Cubs Quick Hits: Ian Happ’s Evolving Plate Approach Yielding Big Results

Ian Happ is surprising me. Not that I didn’t think the youngest position player on the team would successfully adjust to early performance issues, I just didn’t think it would happen this fast.

Happ has only swung at roughly 22 percent of pitches outside the strike zone in his last 101 plate appearances, around 10 points lower than the ~32 percent rate he put up in 2017. That’s also about four ticks lower than through his first 145 PAs this season.

Even more encouraging, the versatile athlete has generated almost a 76 percent contact rate (about league average) in his last 57 plate appearances. Remember, Happ was basically whiffing once every other pitch in April, so this is quite the rapid turnaround that we are watching.

As such, the man so many wanted to see demoted not long ago is coming back around in a big way. If, that is, you consider a .293/.424/.413 slash with a .368 wOBA to be “coming back around.”

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