Draft Profile: Ian Happ
*** With the 2015 First-Year Player Draft fast approaching, we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class. ***
Name: Ian Happ
Rank on Draft Top 200: 20
Bats: S Throws: R
Height: 6'0" Weight: 205 lbs.
Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale
30: Well below average
40: Below average
60: Above average
70-80: Well above average
An unheralded recruit from a Pittsburgh-area high school, Happ almost certainly will become the highest-drafted player in Cincinnati history. The Bearcats never have had a player taken in the top two rounds, not even when big leaguers Kevin Youkilis, Josh Harrison and Tony Campana came through the program in the 2000s.
Happ ranked as the top position prospect in the prestigious Cape Cod League in each of his two summers in college. A switch-hitter who's better from the left side of the plate, he has good balance and controls the strike zone well. Add in some deceptive strength, and he should hit for average and power.
Happ played mostly second base in 2013 and does have solid speed and arm strength, so a pro team could try him in the infield. But he lacks smooth infield actions, hasn't played regularly on the dirt since his freshman year and fits best on an outfield corner.
MLB comp: A switch-hitting, faster Kole Calhoun
Fun fact: Happ is hoping to become the first Cincinnati player ever selected in the first round.
He said it: "For me, it's a learning process of trying to have quality at-bats even when the team is failing. No matter if you're up 10 or down 10, you still have to go into the box with the same approach, because you can't control every aspect of the game. That's baseball."
-- Happ, via the Cincinnati Enquirer
They said it: "I could not be happier for Ian even if he were a member of my own family. He is everything that is right about baseball."
-- Happ's high school coach, Patt McCloskey, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette