For the fourth year in a row, the Cubs selected a position player with their first pick, tabbing University of Cincinnati utility player Ian Happ with the 9th overall pick on Monday night. The junior was named the American Athletic Conference Player of the year and a Golden Spikes semi-finalist. Happ was recommended by area scout Daniel Carte.
"Ian has proved to be one of the better performers in college baseball over the past couple of seasons," said Jason McLeod, Cubs Senior Vice President of Scouting and Player Development. "He's a switch-hitter who hits for average and power while showing advanced plate discipline. We feel he's athletic enough to play the infield or outfield."
The 20-year-old hit .369/.492/.672 with 18 2B, 14 HR, 44 RBI, 48 BB, 47 R this season and led the conference in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, total bases and walks.
On the 50th anniversary of the MLB draft, Happ became the 50th Cincinnati Bearcat drafted and the highest draft pick in Cincinnati history. The Pittsburgh native isn’t the first Bearcat with ties to the Cubs as 2008 picks Josh Harrison (6th round) and Tony Campana (13th round) both played for Cincinnati, and alum Kevin Youkilis, an 8th round pick by Red Sox in 2001, is the Cubs Scouting and Player Development consultant.
A 2015 First-team Academic All-American, Happ was also named a to the All-America Second Team by Louisville Slugger and hit .338/.463/.552 i with 120 runs, 44 doubles, two triples, 25 home runs and 107 RBI in three seasons at Cincinnati. A two-time first-team all-conference performer, the graduate of Mt. Lebanon High School in Pennsylvania, also earned all-star honors twice in the Cape Cod League for the Harwich Mariners.