While the Chicago Cubs have said they are going to have at least four candidates for their leadoff spot, it appears Ian Happ is the leading candidate at the moment. It should be pointed out that it's still quite early, when talking about anyone winning the job. Having said that, the lineup for Sunday's contest against the San Francisco Giants is out this Sunday morning and Happ is leading off the lineup for the Cubs for the second time in three games. The real question now is whether manager Joe Maddon is tipping his hand, or whether this is simply part of the audition process that any Cubs' player that wants to leadoff is going to have to go through.

Chicago Cubs youngster would be an interesting option

One of the reasons that Ian Happ would be an interesting choice for the Cubs at leadoff is because he's certainly not what you consider the usual Leadoff Hitter. Chicago doesn't really have the luxury of picking a player that is indeed a prototypical leadoff hitter, because such an animal does not exist on the current roster.

For the second straight offseason, the Cubs knew they had a bit of a hole in the lineup. For the second straight year they didn't focus on fixing it from the outside, instead hoping that someone on the current roster can fill the bill. If Happ could indeed fill that bill, it would make the Cubs offense that much more potent.

While there was quite a bit of attention to the fact that Happ struggled down the stretch, his rookie season overall was quite impressive. Slugging .514, the utility man who came up as a second baseman bashed 24 homers. He also drove in 68 runs. Where people might be surprised, is that Happ has more speed than he was given credit for when he was coming up through the minors.

Last season, he stole eight bases and could be looking for more of that in 2018.

He's got enough speed and the ability to get on base, where he could be a decent leadoff hitter. The problem most people are going to have with this choice at the top of the order is that he strikes out a lot. Like more than most people would be comfortable with.

Too early to know Cubs plans for certain

While Happ's 111 strikeouts is more than most baseball fans are willing to accept from leadoff hitters, there is still the issue of not having any other great options. Ben Zobrist has been sidelined with a bad back (not a great sign from an aging player) and Albert Almora is still someone Maddon doesn't trust against Righties. Happ went 0-2 in his first game of the Spring as the leadoff hitter.