Today’s prospect watch is about the Cardinals second best prospect in their farm system. Jack Flaherty is the man to keep eyes on, as he battles in high Single-A. He has been up and down this year, but the team has not challenged other teams this year, as they are ending games more on the losing end. Flaherty’s 2016 campaign has not been what he would like to see after having a dominant 2015 season in low Single-A. He has pitched this year at high Single-A.
In addition, he has posted a 3.87 ERA in 17 starts with a 2-7 record. What has hurt Flaherty this year is the ability to not make hitters miss at the plate, which they are dead locked on his fastball due to his breaking balls not working like he wants. Hitters are hitting .286 against him and they combined for 97 hits. Now, he has thrown 90.1 innings and punched out 86 batters, but has walked 30 batters, which is okay for a young kid learning how to pitch.
Also, his fastball ranges from 92-95 mph and he could get it to 96 or 97 mph in the future, but his best pitch is his changeup, which is a hard pitch to control and throw for strikes in a pitcher’s early part of their career. Now, when I did watch him throw, he was trying to throw a mix of a slider and curveball, which needs tons of work, as he was missing high and wide. If he can master his third pitch, he will be a solid number three or four in the Cardinals rotation.
Finally, his kid is going to be great. He has all the tools, but has to develop them more, as he was a two-way athlete coming into the 2015 draft, and is more of a feel to pitch pitcher than a pure stuff pitcher. He has untapped potential that will be tapped in a great organization that knows how to develop pitchers.