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Ian Happ 2019 Outlook


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Has this roto darling reached post hype sleeper status, or is he just a bench bat with no clear path to ABs?  Heading into his age 24 season Happ's peripherals last season are some of the hardest to read.  Love the 15.2 walk rate, hate the 36.1 K rate...  Love the 38% hard hit rate, hate the 39.6 GB rate...  Love the versatility, hate his usage...  

In a dynasty I am holding on tight, but avoiding like the plague in redrafts. 

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Using League Average, especially in the NL, is a bit of a fallacy no? I mean you have pitchers in that sample don't you?    And if we're talking fantasy, the "average" player and the "averag

He's been a post hype prospect like five times. 

For whatever it's worth, his career numbers at Great American Ballpark are crazy good.  .405/.576/.881 in 59 PA. 

Just don’t get fluffy over his spring stats. Last year he was the spring darling and fell flat on his face.  Still has upside, way too early to write off.  His usage is very questionable to start season though.  

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He's a 3 true outcome player without 3 true outcome power. The high K, high BB guys without legit opposite field power/light-tower mega power? They will always disappoint more in 5X5 then their real offensive value lies. (Its my soft critque of Nimmo in 5X5 also, but Nimmo doesn't have near Happ's whiff issues and is a stud MLBer. So he's a useful 5X5 player)

 

Felt this way going into last year and he only went backwards. Just getting worse against fastballs. Yeah, he could bounce back..but i still feel is upside in 5X5 is over-estminated. Even if he gets his contact rate back to 2017 levels.

 

Purely a OBP league gamble IMO.

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The average batting average in the NL is .247. If he hits .230 to .240, that's not doing much damage. Add in around 20 home runs and 10 steals for someone likely to qualify at 2b, 3b, of.  I think he bounces back / takes a step forward this year.

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3 hours ago, murraygd13 said:

The average batting average in the NL is .247. If he hits .230 to .240, that's not doing much damage. Add in around 20 home runs and 10 steals for someone likely to qualify at 2b, 3b, of.  I think he bounces back / takes a step forward this year.

 

Using League Average, especially in the NL, is a bit of a fallacy no? I mean you have pitchers in that sample don't you? 

 

And if we're talking fantasy, the "average" player and the "average player rostered in a fantasy league" is different unless you play 30 Teams 25 Man Rosters. 

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20 minutes ago, taobball said:

 

Using League Average, especially in the NL, is a bit of a fallacy no? I mean you have pitchers in that sample don't you? 

 

And if we're talking fantasy, the "average" player and the "average player rostered in a fantasy league" is different unless you play 30 Teams 25 Man Rosters. 

 

11 team NL only...Here was our standings for average at the end of last year.  

 

.267

.266

.257

.257

.257

.256

.252

.248

.245

.244

He walks more than the average player so his ABs are typically lower than the normal hitter.  Say he hit's .240 in 400 at bats..team him up with someone who gets 550 at at bats at .270. Ends up being a .260 average for the two players.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, murraygd13 said:

 

11 team NL only...Here was our standings for average at the end of last year.  

 

.267

.266

.257

.257

.257

.256

.252

.248

.245

.244

He walks more than the average player so his ABs are typically lower than the normal hitter.  Say he hit's .240 in 400 at bats..team him up with someone who gets 550 at at bats at .270. Ends up being a .260 average for the two players.

 

 

 

Sure, but even in your model, .247 (your average) is close to the bottom, and "Say he hits .240" is using the upper range of what you just threw out, which is also a better BA than he produced in 2018, which he produced on a .360 BABIP. 

 

For the record, I like Happ for the most part, but don't see the Cubs OF as a good place to invest as a whole because of the variable playing time situations going on there. 

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4 minutes ago, taobball said:

 

Sure, but even in your model, .247 (your average) is close to the bottom, and "Say he hits .240" is using the upper range of what you just threw out, which is also a better BA than he produced in 2018, which he produced on a .360 BABIP. 

 

For the record, I like Happ for the most part, but don't see the Cubs OF as a good place to invest as a whole because of the variable playing time situations going on there. 

Not sure here you get the 0.247 from.  

.240 x 400 = 96 hits

.270 x 550 = 148 hits

244 hits in 950 at bats...is 0.257

 

He hit 0.253 in 2017..I don't think he will strike out as much as he did last year. I'd guess he falls somewhere in between 17/18 so 0.240 seems reasonable.  Almora isn't much more than a defensive replacement and platoon guy..so I see Happ playing the majority against righties at somewhere in the OF.

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3 minutes ago, murraygd13 said:

Not sure here you get the 0.247 from.  

.240 x 400 = 96 hits

.270 x 550 = 148 hits

244 hits in 950 at bats...is 0.257

 

I got the .247 from you... that was your NL Average BA above. 

Quote

He hit 0.253 in 2017..I don't think he will strike out as much as he did last year. 

 

Because.......... 

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2 minutes ago, murraygd13 said:

His K rate was lower in 2017...he's only 24.

 

Sure but even that year he had pretty bad contact numbers. His Contact% as a whole last year was 63.5%, which puts him as better than only Joey Gallo among qualifiers. He could improve of course, but I dont' see any real indications, personally. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

3 Ks and 2 BB in 26 PA so far this spring (11.5 K%; 7.7 BB%).  Obviously a small sample size, but that K rate is a major improvement compared to 2018's 36.1 K% (and 32.3 K% last spring).  I wonder if he is making adjustments to increase contact.  He is seeing 1.62 pitches per PA this spring, down from 4.15 P/PA in 2018 (and 2.32 P/PA last spring).  The possible new approach hasn't translated into production yet this spring (.359 OPS, albeit with a .142 BABIP), but is something to keep an eye on.

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  • 3 weeks later...
10 minutes ago, ImHighandInside said:

 

I’ve never thought he was MLB caliber and he’s definitely a defensive liability. 

 

He's a defensive liability when he's appearing in 20 games out of position at 3B. That's on Maddon and the Cubs organization. He's been average in the outfield and 2B where he has experience. 

 

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SOME young kids go through this - needing to learn how to hit w/n the strike zone.  That's what he has to do & why he's starting this year in AAA - based both on what he did last year and what the Cubs saw this Spring Training.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Happ is really, REALLY struggling down at AAA.  I've read a quote where he said he needs to cut down his strikeouts without thinking about striking out, so clearly its in his head.  Whatever hes doing, it isn't working.  His current slash line is .214/.267/.375 with a minuscule 5% BB rate and a bloated 36.7% K rate.  He always kept his K rate under 24% in the minors and this is even worse compared to his career 33.8% K rate in the majors.  He also sports a career 12.5% BB rate in the majors, so hes trending in the wrong direction.

 

I'm heavily invested in this player in multiple keeper and dynasty leagues and I'm wondering what to do next.  He was upset about the demotion and its clearly still affecting his play.  He needs to turn this around quickly.

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1 hour ago, Donniebaseball23 said:

He’s clearly disappointed about being down there, and I’d expect him to turn it around soon

but where is he going to play? Russell is back in two weeks.  Zobrisr, Descalso, Bote have been good.

Maybe Schwarber can play cf, and Happ plays left. 😬

 

Happ played majority CF last year, so I'd imagine thats his best chance to break into the rotation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Positive signs.  Last ten games:

 

9/34 with 11 Runs, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 Steals and most importantly 9 Walks to 6 Strikeouts.

If he can maintain his progress with the K rate, he should see himself back up shortly.  Only problem would be a position to play.  His best path is CF but Almora is starting to hit now.

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