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Chicago Cub Ian Happ Analysis
Ian Happ has burst onto the Major League scene
Chicago Cub Ian Happ's Debut Week Analysis
We see it every year, a young prospect is called up from the minors for a long week of pro baseball, and hits around .500, while knocking a few home runs. The media goes ballistic and fans are looking everywhere to get the jersey of their “new star.” While it is fun to believe every time this happens in the major league, or even any professional sport (see Jeremy Lin), you have a young all-star on your hands, the truth is, their debut is never an accurate measure of what their future potential will amount to.
In the Chicago Cubs 2008 season, they signed Kosuke Fukudome. No one had heard of him until spring training, and when he stepped to the plate at Wrigley on Opening Day, no one knew what to expect. Fukudome would end up going 3 for 4 with a game tying home run in the ninth inning. Kosuke would find continued success throughout his first weeks of pro ball, hitting for over .300 and playing a solid right field with a high ratio of defensive assists. Many avid Cubs fans purchased jerseys in hopes of general manager Jim Hendry finally finding the man that would help the Chicago Cubs reach the long-awaited World Series. Cubs fans especially are famous for falsely believing in any player that has a good few games as the pro that will lead them throughout the season. What Fukudome really became, beneath his hot start, was a sub par hitter who would end up becoming a journeyman in what would be a short major league tenure, finishing with a low .200 batting average and less than fifty career home runs.
The average fan does not understand how much preparation comes into a professional game. Whether it be baseball, basketball, football, hockey, etc., for every hour of actual game is played, around 3 hours of preparation are applied to every hour of real time. This may come from film, scouting, hitting, or going over plays. Players are prepared to face their opponents in all levels of professional athletics. Rookies come as a nuisance to preparation because they often never show up on a scouting report. They are often the guys that no one prepared for, the men that simply “showed up” on the roster come game-day. These players do not statistically hit better than the average pro, they perform well due to the fact that they are professional athletes who were not prepared for.
Jeremy Lin rode the bench behind three other point guards, he clearly was not on any scouting report, and when he was called upon, no NBA opponent knew his game. They didn’t know his tendencies, they couldn’t predict he would pull up from three or pass low at any given time. However, after his initial burst of talent, he hasn’t shown anything out of the ordinary. He averages below 10.0 points per game, and his assists per game numbers are crucially falling in recent years. Lin is not the star the “Linsanity” craze predicted he would be, he has become a typical backup NBA point guard. This is due in large part to NBA teams being fully prepared for his skillset in recent times.
Ian Happ is predicted to be a very good player. By all means fans have reason to believe he could be the next Chicago Cub all-star. His outstanding debut week however, should not be used as a determinant for his potential. The Cubs front office should send Happ back to the minors, in order to get everyday at bats, and bring him up once more as a designated hitter during the Cubs long cross-league trip. He will perform well again there, it is predicted. The first time that fans will get to see the true, authentic performance of Happ is the playoffs. By then, teams will be very aware of every player on the Cubs, and all their secret weapons and tendencies.
Happ looks to be the next Cub’s budding prospect, but he is not an all-star just yet, time will tell to determine his future in the MLB.