Flaherty Ending Season on Strong Note

PEORIA — Ryan "Flash" Flaherty started the season slow but has picked up the pace since, ending the regular season on a good note at Class-A Peoria.

When InsideTheIvy.com spoke to the Cubs' first-round supplemental pick from 2008 in mid-June, he was struggling to hit with consistency. Flaherty had hit eight home runs, but his .238 batting average was not as high as he expected. So he kept a consistent approach at the plate and finished the regular season batting .276, driving in 81 runs, and leading the team with 20 home runs.

"I think I got off to a slow start," Flaherty said. "But the second half has gone well and I'm trying to finish strong. The playoffs [have started] and that's when you hope to be at your best. The team that's going to catch fire here is going to win."

Team chemistry has not been a problem with the Chiefs this season. Manager Marty Pevey has continually praised his team by boasting that they are a terrific group of guys on and off the field.

Flaherty echoed his skipper's comments.

"Right now, our team is really close," Flaherty said. "I think that shows in the way we play in the field and that is going to give us a great chance in the post-season. Like I said before, it's going to be who gets hot at the right time (that) is going to win it all."

The Chiefs finished the regular season at the top of almost every offensive statistical category in the Midwest League, including home runs (111) and average (.278).

Through the ups and downs of the regular season, Flaherty was able to learn about himself as a player and grow from his experiences.

"I think you learn a lot when you are struggling," Flaherty said. "It's when you learn a lot about yourself. This is my first full season and I had to figure out the grind. Other than that, my body feels great health wise and from a hitting point, I am happy."

The month of August was a dream month for Flaherty, who hit a torrid .358, cranked out six long balls, and soared his on-base percentage for the month to .429. In the last 10 games of the regular season, Flaherty kept his hot streak at the plate going as he hit .314 while remaining patient, walking eight times.

Around the clubhouse, Flaherty is one of the more visible players. He can be found around the clubhouse television, watching the Cubs game, eating an after-game dinner, or chatting with other players.

As for how he earned the nickname of "Flash," maybe it's because of his outgoing personality.

"People started calling me that when I was 10 years old," Flaherty said. "It stuck all the way through college and my roommate (David Macias, in college and on the Chiefs) brought it to the clubhouse. People call me Flare, Flash, whatever."

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