Jack Flaherty

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Jack Rafe Flaherty

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Jack Flaherty was taken by the St. Louis Cardinals and scout Mike Dibiase as the 34th overall pick in the 2014 amateur draft. He had gone 23-0 with a 0.63 ERA his last two years in high school and won Gatorade Player of the Year for California as a senior. He was 1-0 with a 4.35 ERA for Team USA when they won the 2013 World Junior Championship, beating Italy but struggling against Venezuela. He was 2 for 11 with a walk and a run, playing the corner infield as well.

He was a compensation pick for the New York Yankees signing outfielder Carlos Beltran.

Flaherty was 1-1 with a 1.59 ERA in 22 2/3 innings for the GCL Cardinals his first year, posting a 0.971 WHIP while striking out 28 batters. In 2015, he was 9-3 with a 2.94 mark for the Peoria Chiefs, again averaging more than a strikeout per inning. He began 2016 with the High A Palm Beach Cardinals. He was a member of the United States team in the 2017 Futures Game.

Agfter making his debut with the Cardinals when rosters expanded in September of 2017, he recorded his first career win on May 20, 2018, 5-1 over the Philadelphia Phillies. He struck out 13 batters in that game. He went 8-9 with a solid 3.34 ERA in 28 starts for the Cardinals, giving him a solid rookie season to build upon. He started slowly in 2019 as he was just 4-6, 4.64 in 18 first-half starts, but he was outstanding in the second half. In August, he went 4-1 with an 0.71 ERA in 6 starts while striking out 47 batters in 38 innings to be named the National League Pitcher of the Month. He won the award for a second time in September, when he was 3-1, 0.82 in 6 starts. His outstanding pitching down the stretch was one of the main reasons the Cards were able to pull off a division title. He finished the season at 11-8, 2.75 in 33 starts, with 231 strikeouts in 196 1/3 innings. He led the league in both WHIP (0.968) and fewest hits per 9 innings (6.2). He got his first taste of the postseason that year, winning a game against the Atlanta Braves in the Division Series, although he was charged with a loss in his two other starts.

In 2020, he was limited to 9 starts in the Coronavirus-shortened season, going 4-3, 4.91. His peripheral numbers were much better than that, however, as he gave up just 33 hits in 40 1/3 innings, while striking out 49 batters. He returned to the postseason and pitched well in his only start, which came against the San Diego Padres in Game 3 of the Wild Card Series on October 2nd. He gave up just 1 run in 6 innings, while striking out 8 batters, but his teammates were unable to generate any offense against a parade of 9 Padres pitchers and he was charged with a 4-0 loss. He then started the 2021 season red hot. On May 7th, he pitched 7 scoreless innings and hit his first career homer in a 5-0 win over the Colorado Rockies. That improved his record on the year to 6-0 after 7 starts, with an ERA of 2.83. On May 19th, he improved to 8-0 with an 8-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. He joined Bob Gibson in 1965 as the only two pitchers in Cardinals history to win 8 times in their first 9 starts of a season.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 1 (2019)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bob Nightengale: "Jack Flaherty, baseball's hottest pitcher, leads Cardinals into NLDS against Braves", USA Today, October 2, 2019. [1]
  • Andrew Simon: "Where does Flaherty's insane 2nd half rank? Cardinals righty has 0.76 ERA since break", mlb.com, September 12, 2019. [2]

Related Sites[edit]