Knowing that it could take $2 million to alter the 18-year-old’s trajectory did not deter the St. Louis Cardinals. The organization selected Flaherty with their second first-round selection, 34th overall. It was a compensatory pick awarded to the Cardinals for the loss of free agent Carlos Beltran.
Flaherty signed quickly and reported to the Cardinals’ lowest-level US rookie squad in the Gulf Coast League. While he was eased into work, the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder was impressive, striking out 28 and walking just four in 22 innings. The main photo offers an example of what the hitter sees as Flaherty’s windup progresses. In the most recent Cardinals system prospect rankings from The Cardinal Nation, Flaherty has pitched his way into the top 10.
In the following interview, held during the Cardinals instructional league camp, Flaherty discusses his first-year journey from high school to the professional ranks, his workload, four-pitch offerings and more.
The Cardinal Nation’s extensive series of player and coach interviews from Cardinals instructional league camp in Jupiter will continue in the upcoming days. They will include Mike Shildt, Derrick May, Tim Leveque, Oscar Mercado, Malik Collymore, Carson Kelly, Mason Katz, Alex Reyes, Ronnie Williams, Bryan Dobzanski, Rowan Wick, Chris Rivera, Andrew Morales and Jery Then.
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