The Chicago Cubs employ several players capable of hitting many home runs. Ian Happ is the youngest of these players, but he helped the storied franchise set a semi-obscure, but still illuminating, record on Wednesday night.
Happ connected on a two-run home run to right field in the third inning and spent a long time posing, perhaps knowing his 20th blast of the season meant something extra. It kind of did. Happ’s home run gives the Cubs a sixth player with at least 20 on the season. That is a Cubs record.
So while Happ did not factor into the World Series and endless celebrations associated with it, the 23-year-old rookie can enjoy being part of this. Because while this is a stat you have to seek out to some degree, it still shows the Cubs are flush with potent power bats.
Ivan Nova gave up the home run — and had to watch the long pose — that put the Pittsburgh Pirates down 5-2.
This blast made Ian Happ the sixth Cubs player to hit 20 homers this year. That's a franchise record. pic.twitter.com/XaBAwMlrMP
— Cubs Talk (@CSNCubs) August 31, 2017
Happ joins Anthony Rizzo (30 home runs), Kris Bryant (24), Kyle Schwarber (22), Willson Contreras (21) and Javier Baez (20) to extend this from a quintet to a sextet. Happ, though, has only been in the majors since mid-May. He now has 20 home runs in 320 plate appearances. If you take into account his work in Triple-A prior to being called up, Happ has 29 blasts this year.
The second base prospect had previously never hit more than 15 in a season, and that came between High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Tennessee last season, so the former first-round pick’s power surge has come at a better time for the organization.
Attempting to secure their third straight playoff berth, the Cubs are 3.5 games in front of the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.