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Ryan Flaherty

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Ryan Edward Flaherty
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Ryan Flaherty was a supplemental first-round pick in the 2008 amateur draft. His father Ed Flaherty has won two NCAA Division III titles as a college coach.

Flaherty helped Deering High to Maine state titles in 2002 and 2003. In 2004, he helped Deering go unbeaten and his team won the American Legion Baseball World Series. He was named the Maine High School Player of the Year in 2005 as per Gatorade. He was rated the #141 pro prospect in the USA by Baseball America.

Flaherty went on to college at Vanderbilt. As a freshman in 2006, he hit .339/.421/.458 as a 1B-SS. He led Vanderbilt in average, beating out Freshman of the Year Pedro Alvarez. In 2007, he set the Vanderbilt record with a 35-game hitting streak. He finished with a .381/.438/.531 batting line with 59 runs and 57 RBI in 67 games. He was at his best in the postseason, going 11 for 29 in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, 13 for 24 in the NCAA Nashville Regional and 5 for 5 in the NCAA tournament. He was .005 behind team batting champ Pedro Alvarez. He was 4th in the SEC in average and trailed Alvarez by one hit for the conference lead, 105-104. He helped Vanderbilt to a #6 rating nationally and was a second-team All-SEC selection. The American Baseball Coaches Association named him as a second-team All-American.

Flaherty joined Team USA for the summer. He hit .270 as the regular second baseman and his 8 steals led the team. In the 2007 Pan American Games, he was the worst position player for the US at the plate, going 2 for 16 with a double and a walk for the Silver Medal winners. In the 2007 World Port Tournament, he batted .308/.308/.385 to finish third on the US in average, trailing Jordan Danks and Jordy Mercer.

Flaherty was taken 41st overall in the 2008 amateur draft, chosen by the Chicago Cubs. The selection was compensation for the loss of Jason Kendall to free agency. He was signed by scout Antonio Grissom and debuted for the Boise Hawks on June 21. He went 0 for 4 with a strikeout against the Eugene Emeralds.

Ryan was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the December 2011 Rule V draft. He made the team out of spring training as a utility player in 2012. On May 10th, he led off the bottom of the 1st with his first major league home run off Colby Lewis in a game against the Texas Rangers. Teammates J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis followed with solo homers of their own as the Orioles became the first team in American League history to begin a game with three long balls (it had been done three times in the National League). On September 28th, he collected a career-high 5 RBI in a 9-1 win over the Boston Red Sox as the Orioles were hanging on to being one-game back of the AL East-leading New York Yankees with a week left to play. He finished the season batting .216/.258/.359 in 77 games, his versatility proving to be his biggest asset, as he saw action at six defensive positions in addition to the DH spot. He started the Wild Card Game at second base against the Rangers and went 1 for 3, his single coming off Yu Darvish in the top of the 7th with one out and the score tied at 1. Robert Andino pinch-ran for him and came in to score what turned out to be the winning run two batters later. he then went 2 for 8 in the ALDS against the Yankees, hitting a home run off Hiroki Kuroda in Game 3.

Flaherty was back with the Orioles in 2013 and inherited the starting second base job when Brian Roberts went down with an injury a few games into the season. He struggled at the plate, though, with his batting average well below the Mendoza Line. On June 23rd, he had the first multi-homer game of his career, connecting off Josh Johnson and Dustin McGowan of the Toronto Blue Jays in a losing cause. The only reason he still had the job by that point was that the only other healthy alternative, Alexi Casilla, had been just as unproductive, and the Orioles were hoping that Roberts would be back by the end of June. Flaherty had another two-homer game on September 25th, this time playing third base in place of the injured Manny Machado in a game also against the Blue Jays. Batting ninth, he hit the first homer in the 3rd off Esmil Rogers and the second in the 8th off Ricky Romero, with rookie Jonathan Schoop, playing his first big league game, on first base both times. He ended the game 2 for 2 with 3 runs and 4 RBI, also reaching base on a walk and a hit-by-pitch as the Orioles won, 9-5.

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