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Jun 29

Player Profiles: Ryan Flaherty

500px-Ryan_Flaherty_on_April_24,_2012Every team needs a super utility player that can play just about every position well.  That is what Ryan Flaherty is for the Baltimore Orioles, Flaherty is the Orioles super utility guy.

The Chicago Cubs selected Flaherty with the 41st overall pick in the 2008 MLB draft.  The Orioles picked Flaherty up in the 2011 Rule-5 draft.

Flaherty is nicknamed “Flash” but is not a fan favorite.  Fans have been tough in Flaherty for his inconsistent bat.  Fans need to remember that Flaherty was rushed to the Majors because he was a Rule-5 draft pick and never got consistent playing time to learn the league.  Remember Rule-5 draft picks must stay with in the Majors unless their is an injury or they go back to their original team.

Flaherty can play just about every position, except catcher, even though he is the Orioles emergency catcher.  As a fielder, Flaherty provides near Gold Glove worthy defense just about where ever he plays.

In the minors Flaherty was actually known more as a hitter.  The bat is why the Orioles selected him in the Rule-5 draft.  The Orioles wanted to keep Flaherty and loved his defense so they kept him on the 25-man roster as the utility player.  Flaherty in truth was a triple-A player and lost valuable at bats while playing as a utility player, even then Flaherty’s defense shined.  Flaherty made it though his rookie year with the Orioles and the Orioles maintained control of him but in turn he lost a lot of experience that he would have gained in triple-A  Triple-A is where a lot of players learn to really hit the off-speed pitches because a lot of veteran pitchers pitch at the triple-A level, Flaherty never got that experience.

Flaherty has a lot of power, which he showed in 2013 when he belted 10 home runs in only 246 at bats.  Flaherty got really hot for a time, which shows me that he has a lot of potential and could just be a slow starter.  I have no doubt that if he played everyday Flaherty would figure things out and hit 20 to 30 home runs in a season.

When batting the off-speed pitches still seem to give Flaherty a lot of trouble, which most young hitters seem to have.  Off-speed pitches are especially hard to hit and see when a player does not play everyday, and as I mentioned Flaherty missed out of his triple-A time.

In the locker room Flaherty is well liked and really close friends with Nick Markakis.   Flaherty trains with Markakis in the off season, which is very good.

I personally like Flaherty as a player and while he can seem lost when batting some times, I can forgive him knowing his history.  When Flaherty actually gets a chance to play and hit everyday he has shown to eventually get on fire.

Flaherty is simply too young and inexperienced at the Major League level to be able to step in and put up huge numbers.  Flaherty missed his triple-A year and never got to play a full season in the Majors.

Flaherty is a really good utility player but being down in triple-A for some time would do him good.  The Orioles sent Flaherty down in 2013 for a short time and when he came back his bat was on fire. I still think Flaherty has a high upside with the bat and huge power potential.

Here are Flaherty’s stats.

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