Lucky I just bought hyphens in bulk from Costco. I’m gonna need them for this sleeper. Here goes, Ian Happ is a post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-POST-post-P-O-S-T-p-to-the-ost-postpostpostpost-post-hype sleeper! Ian Happ has burned you in the past. I get that. He’s burned me. Is he a whatcha-talkin-bout-Willis, you-can’t-be-serious, how-deep-is-this-league-where-he’s-even-drafted, you’ve-lost-your-mind, seriously-are-you-ill-in-the-head sleeper? Last year in a Manfred-sticking-Capri-Sun-straws-into-baseballs season, Happ played in 58 games and only hit 11 homers. Good news is he was out of single digits so I didn’t have to spell out his home run number. The bad news, Tommy La Stella out-homered him in three games. For calling Ian Happ a sleeper again, there’s a giant melon sitting on my lady-like shoulders and it’s unclear if there’s anything inside the cantaloupe. Oh, and he hit .264 with only two steals so there’s nothing coming from other categories. Only remarkable thing here is how bleh Happ was. I’m really selling this sleeper hard, huh? Worst sleeper in the history of sleepers. “Or,” Mr. Reversal Question pokes his head in, “…is it?!” So, what can we expect from Ian Happ for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Something I failed to mention in the opening was any reason for optimism, which is 27 homers and 11 steals combining the majors and Triple-A. Two years ago, he had a 33/10 season, combining Triple-A and the majors. Is it possible he’s just a Quad-A player? I guess, but I’d contend (for the super featherweight title) that Joe Maddon was hurting Happ. There was no way for Happ to get any rhythm (and flow, best show on Netflix) going with the way he was being played. He’s been unable to hit lefties in the majors the last two years, but has hit them in the minors (.264 last year, .299 in 2017 — he spent 2018 in the majors not hitting them) and he’s a switch hitter, so you have to think it’s gonna click at some point. I know, he’s not young. He’s the ripe old age of 25. C’mon! Ian Happ needs a break with a starting job, a hot April and he’ll be at the All-Star Game this year. Last year, he had a top 30 barrels per plate appearance with a more-than-enough 15.5 launch angle that shows itself in a 41.6% fly ball rate and career 22.6% HR/FB. If he had 530 at-bats with those peripherals, he’s going to hit 35 homers. Nearly identical fly ball and HR/FB% produced 38 homers for Gleyber Torres last year. For his current price of absolute zero duckets, Ian Happ is a great sleeper. Of course, all of this is contingent on playing time. If he isn’t starting, then I’ll personally send him Brett Lawrie’s email address so they can hang out. (If it goes to his spam folder, it’s not my problem. I’ve fulfilled my obligation.) For 2020, I’ll give Ian Happ projections of 62/24/70/.266/6 in 456 ABs with a chance for much more.