Its hard to imagine that there are 34 prospects better than Flaherty but he is the #35 prospect according to Bleacher Reports list of the top 50 Prospects out today.
35. RHP Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals (Previous: 38)
Nothing left to prove in the minors after going 14-4 with a 2.18 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 147 strikeouts in 148.2 innings in the upper levels last year. Profiles more as a middle-of-the-rotation workhorse than a future ace but plenty of value in that. Great command of four-pitch mix despite no elite offering.
Does it matter whether he is deemed ready by outside observers or not? The rotation needs him, and he is the best option available, so he is here.
FWIW, I felt he was not ready last year, but the same basic situation occurred. He did not dominate, but held his own.
P.S. Assuming Reyes is also on the cited list and there is roughly an equal mix of pitchers and hitters, having two of the top 18 pitching prospects across the 30 organizations looks pretty good to me. I guess it is an individual perspective.
Flaherty needs to be more economical with his pitches, but if he can do that he will be a fine #2-3 type starter for a while. He looked good against the Twins, just ran out of gas his last inning.
A starting 5 of Martinez-Reyes-Flaherty-Mikolas-Weaver sounds pretty solid for the next several years. Of course we still have Wacha and guys like Hudson, Gant, maybe even Hicks in the mix too. If we had a top lefty it would be great but the rotation is far from this team’s issue and won’t be for a while unless there’s a big run of injuries.
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