Ex-Pelican Happ gets call; Cubs’ top prospect to MB

pel-happFormer Myrtle Beach Pelicans infielder/outfielder Ian Happ has been promoted to the Chicago Cubs and will make his major league debut on Saturday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Happ will be the 149th former Pelican to reach The Show, including the fourth this season and the first from Myrtle Beach’s 2016 championship team.

Rated by MLB.com as the No. 2 prospect in the Chicago’s organization and the 23rd in all of baseball, Happ is slated to bat second and play right field in the Cubs’ 4:05 p.m. ET Saturday game at the St. Louis Cardinals.

The ninth overall pick by Chicago out of the University of Cincinnati in 2015, Happ batted .296/.410/.475 with 16 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 42 RBIs in 69 games last season with the Pelicans. The Pittsburgh native was named a Carolina League All-Star, twice earning the circuit’s Player of the Week honors. He received a promotion on June 23 to Double-A Tennessee, where he hit .262/.318/.415 with eight homers and 31 RBIs in 65 games.

A switch-hitting infielder and outfielder, Happ began the 2017 campaign with Triple-A Iowa, slashing .298/.362/.615 with six doubles, nine home runs and 25 RBIs in 26 games. The nine home runs rank in a tie for fifth in all of Minor League Baseball.

Happ is the fourth Myrtle Beach alumnus to reach The Show for the first time in 2017, and the first from the Pelicans’ 2016 title squad. He joins infielder/outfielders Drew Robinson (Texas) and Chris Bostick (Pittsburgh), and left-handed pitcher Chad Bell (Detroit) in making their major league debuts this season. Both Bostick (May 8) and Bell (May 10) made their first big league appearance this week.

* Outfielder  Eloy Jimenez has been assigned to Myrtle Beach from Extended Spring Training.

Ranked as the top prospect in the Cubs’ organization and the 10th-best in all of baseball by MLB.com, Jimenez played with the Pelicans during the Mills Cup Championship Series in 2016, helping the Birds win their second straight Carolina League title. Prior to that, he spent the rest of the 2016 campaign with Low-A South Bend, where he led the Midwest League with 40 doubles and a .532 slugging percentage to earn the circuit’s MVP honors. Jimenez was also named the Chicago Cubs Minor League Player of the Year.

Originally signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2013, Jimenez batted .329/.369/.532 with 14 home runs and 81 RBIs with South Bend. In 2015, he was named a Northwest League All-Star with Short Season Class A Eugene, where he hit .284/.328/.418 with seven homers and 33 RBIs in 57 games.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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