Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Flaherty: A 2014 Sleeper

After all the mayhem and craziness of the holiday season is winding down and people begin to take down their holiday decorations, Orioles fans become more and more eager for baseball season to get underway. And with less than 14 weeks until the Orioles’ first game, 94 days to be exact, Dan Duquette has less and less time to get the players he needs to pick up in order for the O’s to play competitive baseball. The team still needs another consistent hitter on the roster and some pitching, both starting and relieving.

One position that most Orioles fans think Duquette needs to fill is at second base. However, the O’s have someone on their roster that, I believe, will do as good of a job, if not better than Brian Roberts could have done this year. That man’s name is Ryan Flaherty.

This will be Flaherty’s third season with the Orioles and in the Majors. In his time with the team, he has played almost every position. First, second, shortstop, third, left field and right field. This guy can literally play anywhere you put him. He saw the most playing time at second base this past year.

And no matter how much you want to argue about his hitting, his fielding ability is incredible. With a .997 fielding percentage and only two errors this past season, Flaherty is a solid fielder who you can rely on to get an out if the ball is hit his way.

You can also rely on him to get you out of a pinch, as well, with runners on base as he turned 52 double plays in 2013.

Something Flaherty has, that does not show up on the stat sheet, is his quick step off the ball. At second base, you need to have quick reflexes. Flaherty has this and then some. His first step off the ball is very quick and he always puts his body in the best position when making a difficult catch or play on the ball.

His fielding qualifications are superb. The problem Buck Showalter had with him last year was his consistency to get hits for the team. He started off the year going 0-17, which led to him being sent down to the minors in May. Shortly upon returning however, Flaherty’s bat came alive.

In the month of June, he had a .297 batting average with 22 hits, 10 RBIs, and four homeruns.

Despite this, Roberts’ return to the diamond in July limited Flaherty’s game appearances. Undeterred, when he got plate appearances, he made the most of them. His solid .269 average in his last ten games of the year was a sign of what could be for his 2014 campaign.

And now that Roberts is off to New York, Flaherty is currently at the top of the depth chart for the second base position. I believe this young guy has earned the job. He has proven what he can do with his glove and he also shows promise of consistency inside the batter’s box.

A personal fan of underdogs, Flaherty has all the promise to be a sleeper for the 2014 season with the Baltimore Orioles.



Tags: Baltimore Orioles Brian Roberts Ryan Flaherty

  • Jerian Grant

    Michael! Good to hear from ya again, hope your Christmas was full of jolly and cheer. I, myself, haven’t had the best couple of weeks– choking away the Ohio State game and kind of, maybe, possibly cheating on a final exam. But it’s NBD, Tom Knight said he’d pick up the scoring for me until I come back.. Anyways, great article once again; I myself haven’t ever heard of Ryan Flaherty but you seem to think he can do the job. Time will tell!! Well, I’ve gtg, just got a job at the McDonalds by campus working the drive-thru window. Stop on by and I’ll hook you up with some apple pies and small mcflurys! RIP to Paul Blair, the tremendous CF from the beginning Oriole Magic days. And gooooooo Terps this afternoon #HammertheHerd #WeAreMaryland

    • Mike Franz

      Thank you for the comment Jerian. Appreciate your input!!

  • Dave Gruber

    I couldn’t agree more about Flaherty. I think with B-Rob gone now that there won’t be any pressure on him to perform which will relax him and make him a more confident player. One thing about Flaherty also is that he has some pop. I would not be surprised at all that if he stays healthy he will hit more than 20 HRs. He also has proven to be a very good teammate with his ability to play wherever needed. I don’t know what the future holds for Jonathan Schoop but I’m confident Flaherty can do a very good job.

    • Mike Franz

      He certainly can hit the long ball Dave. He always seemed to hit a homerun right when people were talking about releasing him or sending him down to the minors. Also thanks for the feedback.

  • Mark Zamp

    Hey Mike, I like Flaherty,but i’m not sure if he’s our solution to the second base problem. I’m not to upset about Brob leaving. No doubt he’ll be injured next year for the Stankee’s . He does have a little pop in his bat,not sure about 20 dinggers but we can sure hope. were going to need them. I’ve been an O’s fan my entire life 50 years. It’s tough being an O’s fan living in Connecticut. My son is your age and is an O’s fan. Thank god for the web; before that I couldn’t get half the info I get now. My brother and Father are Stankee fans. I wouldn’t mind seeing Burnett join the team. I watched him when he was with the Stankees, he couldn’t handle the pressure of NY.He seems to do well in a small market. It would be worth a chance.

    • Mike Franz

      I’d definitely love to see Burnett join the squad as well. He certainly would help out Chen, Tillman and the other starters in the rotation. Personally I’d love to see the O’s sign a reliever soon especially with Patton being suspended early. Thanks for your comment. What do you think about the possibility of Nelson Cruz joining the team?

      • Mark Zamp

        I read that. I’m not sure on him. Not sure if he can put up the numbers off the juice. Not sure what kind of clubhouse guy he is too? We sure could use a bat if/when Davis leaves.Pitching is key though. Look at the Red Sox. Can never have enough pitching. Bring back Jim Palmer.

        • Mike Franz

          I’d love to have #22 back on the mound! Maybe we can bring back Tippy Martinez to take over the closer position as well!

          • Mark Zamp

            Now you’re talking. As far as that bat we need we could ask Eddie to fill in for a bit.

          • Mike Franz

            Sounds good to me!!! Heck let’s just rebuild Memorial Stadium and bring back the original Oriole Magic