Ian Happ named National League Player of the Week following red-hot stretch to close the regular season

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It’s no secret that the closing weeks of the 2019 season were, let’s say tumultuous, for the Cubs. And, for the most part, the team’s offense symbolized the greater club’s maddening (‘Maddoning’? Eh?) inconsistency more than any other unit. Their lineup oscillated between looking potent and powerful to seeming completely lost at the plate on almost a game-to-game basis.

One of the constants, though, was Ian Happ, who slashed .311/.348/.672 (1.021 OPS) with six home runs and 17 RBI in the month of September. On Monday, Happ’s scalding-hot stretch to close the year was acknowledged by way of him being named National League Player of the Week for the final week of the season.

Those numbers (.455, four home runs, 10 RBI, 1.636 OPS in six games) came across the Cubs’ final two series of the year against the Pirates and Cardinals, respectively, after the Cubs had all but played themselves out of contention for a Wild Card spot. (He was quite literally a man on fire in St. Louis, going 6-for-10 with three home runs, two doubles and six RBI in the Cubs' wins in their first two games against the Cards.)

Even outside of the context of the playoff race, the accolade is notable for Happ, who spent much of 2019 in Triple-A Iowa making adjustments to just about every facet of his game. Happ was recalled in late July and entering the month of September, was only batting .228 (he ends 2019 with a .264 average in 140 at-bats). His torrid final month should alleviate at least some of the concerns surrounding his offensive game entering the offseason.

With this offseason likely to bring a lot of change on the North Side, it's also worth mentioning that Happ's value is higher now than it was a month or even a week ago—regardless of what Theo Epstein and Co.'s plans for him might be. And it doesn't hurt that he now has a little bit of hardware to prove it. 

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