Ian Happ called up by the Cubs
ST. LOUIS – The Chicago Cubs today selected the contract of infielder/outfielder Ian Happ from Triple-A Iowa and optioned right-handed pitcher Felix Peña to Triple-A. Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 40 players.
Happ, who will wear uniform number eight, will be available to make his major league debut for the Cubs today as they continue their three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Chicago’s first round pick in the 2015 Draft (ninth overall), Happ was named the club’s number two prospect by Baseball America heading into the 2017 season. He began this season with Iowa, reaching Triple-A for the first time, and is batting .298 (31-for-104) with six doubles, nine homers and 25 RBI in 26 games. Happ is tied for second in the Pacific Coast League in homers and tied for sixth in RBI. He has a .362 on-base percentage and a .615 slugging percentage, good for a .977 OPS. Since returning from a brief stint on the disabled list (left thumb bruise), Happ has gone 10-for-20 (.500) with three doubles, a homer and eight RBI in five games.
Defensively this season, the six-foot, 205-pound Happ has seen action at second base (16 games, all starts), center field (six games, four starts), right field (four games, three starts) and left field (three games, one start).
Happ, 22, now gives the Cubs all five of their most-recent first-round draft picks on the 25-man roster, joining Javier Báez (ninth overall in 2011), Albert Almora Jr. (sixth overall in 2012), Kris Bryant (second overall in 2013) and Kyle Schwarber (fourth overall in 2014).
The switch-hitter in 2016 played his first full season in the Cubs system and combined to bat .279 (136-for-488) with 30 doubles, three triples, 15 homers and 73 RBI in 134 games between Single-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Tennessee. He was a Single-A Carolina League All-Star. Overall, he is a career .275 hitter (232-for-843) with 53 doubles, 33 home runs, 131 RBI and 28 stolen bases in 227 minor league games covering three professional campaigns.
Happ was drafted by the Cubs out of the University of Cincinnati, where he was named a semi-finalist for the 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. He was recognized as the 2015 AAC Player of the Year, named First Team Academic All-American, Second Team Louisville Slugger All-American and was a unanimous first team All-Conference member as voted on by the league’s head coaches. He was listed as one of the top three pure college hitters in that year’s Draft by Baseball America.
Peña, 27, has posted no record with a 3.60 ERA (2 ER/5.0 IP) in two relief outings with the Cubs this season. With Iowa, Peña has posted no record with four saves and a 1.86 ERA (2 ER/9.2 IP) in eight relief appearances.
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