With the ninth overall pick in the draft, the Cubs have selected Cincinnati outfielder Ian Happ. Before the draft, the consensus among mock boards was that Happ would go somewhere in the middle of the first round, as MLB.com had him 14th overall to the Braves, while Keith Law had him 15th to the Brewers, and Baseball America ranked him lowest at 17th to the Indians. According to MLB.com's scouting profile, Happ was one of, if not the best college bat in the Cape Cod League for both summers that he participated in it.
Happ is the fifth-straight position player to be selected by the Cubs in the first round, joining an impressive stable of talent that includes Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora. The Cubs would have been likely to take a top pitcher if a better arm had fallen to the ninth spot, but instead took Happ, who was considered the most advanced bat on the board at the time.
Happ is a switch hitter with deceptive power, and grades out at a 60 in terms of pure hitting ability. He played infield in high school, but seems destined for a corner outfield spot as he lacks "smooth infield actions". He's an all-around good athlete, and has a good feel for the strike zone. Happ projects to hit for a high average, with enough power to make him a legitimate threat to put him near the middle of the lineup.