Major League Baseball is really, really difficult - the Ryan Flaherty story - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

Major League Baseball is really, really difficult — the Ryan Flaherty story

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

This is a rather odd column topic, I’ll admit. It’s one that probably can be easily criticized. I’ll accept that, too.

It’s something I’ve thought about for years and have discussed from time to time when people who aren’t associated with Major League Baseball ask what strikes me most about the sport.

In those instances, I often bring up the name of Ryan Flaherty, who spent six years as the Orioles’ utility infielder before signing a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies this week. Because watching Flaherty over the years always drives home a point for me: Baseball at the major league level is ludicrously difficult.

Flaherty is one of the nicest guys I have ever covered. He’s not the greatest interview in the world – he has often referred to himself as “boring” – but he’s polite and engaging and intelligent and the kind of guy you’d want as your teammate in a long season.

Here’s the other thing you must know about Flaherty: He is an elite athlete. A tremendously gifted baseball player.

Let that sink in for a second. I’ll wait as you laugh or call me a moron.

Flaherty is a career .215 major league hitter. He’s played six seasons in the majors and never had more than 312 plate appearances in a year, never hit more than 10 homers, never drove in more than 32 runs, never hit higher than .224 and never started more than 60 games at one position in one season in the majors.

Sounds like the typical, below-average journeyman; nothing close to a tremendously gifted baseball player.

Flaherty, for one, quickly will tell you he’s not an accomplished big leaguer.

A couple years ago when I was routinely doing book signings, I would ask readers about their favorite all-time Oriole, and, if I had a chapter in my book dedicated to that player, I would mention it in the inscription. One time, I asked the question and a guy said, “Ryan Flaherty. I just like the way he plays.”

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I later relayed the story to Flaherty, joking that I’d have to consider adding a chapter on him if his popularity continued to grow.

Flaherty’s response?

“You should have told the guy to pick a better favorite player.”

Self-deprecating jokes aside, when the news broke Wednesday that Flaherty had signed a deal with the Phillies, the reception on social media wasn’t particularly kind. The Twitter and Facebook responses I received ranged from “It’s about time” to “This guy was a waste of roster space” to “He couldn’t hit his weight.”

I didn’t snap back. But here’s what I could have said: “Ryan Flaherty is better at baseball than you are at anything you do.” I’m pretty confident in that statement without knowing a shred about the commenters.

Flaherty is a prime example of just how incredibly difficult baseball is to play at the highest level. It’s so, so much harder than anyone at home realizes – so much harder than even all of us in the press box fully understand.

Consider this: Flaherty was raised on baseball. He grew up in Maine as the son of one of the most revered instructors in college history, Ed Flaherty, the University of Southern Maine head coach and American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer.

The younger Flaherty was a three-sport athlete in high school, but really excelled at baseball. He was named Maine’s player of the year as a high school senior. Let that sink in, too. He was the best baseball player in a state in a given year.

Now, we can joke that it was in Maine; not exactly a baseball hotbed; some would say barely a state.

But Maine must not have been much of a joke to talent evaluators. Flaherty was ranked by Baseball America as one of the Top 150 amateurs at the time. Instead of going pro, he joined one of the best Division 1 baseball programs in the country, Vanderbilt University, where he started at shortstop and often batted cleanup, protecting a more heralded player in the No. 3 spot. A guy you may have heard of named Pedro Alvarez.

Flaherty was a second-team All-American at Vandy and was selected by the Chicago Cubs as a supplemental first-rounder – 41st overall – in the 2008 amateur draft.

He’s a .281 career minor league hitter with an .817 on-base-plus slugging percentage.

Let me put Flaherty’s talent and pedigree in further perspective: Think about the best high school athlete you ever played with, the kid who was an amazing ballplayer and you were sure he’d be a big leaguer one day.

In most instances, Flaherty is better than that guy. Probably much better. Flaherty has excelled at every level.

Except in the majors.

Now, the boys he plays with and against – who have come to the majors from all over the world — are even better. Flaherty works his tail off every season, but he’s just not as fast or strong or gifted as MLB’s elite.

But he’s still exceptionally gifted; don’t forget that.

Doing what he does, sitting on the bench for days and weeks at a time and then being thrust into different positions, often in key moments, and not falling on his face, is a skill in itself.

Flaherty has rarely hurt the Orioles over the years and he’s had some highlight moments, including two homers in the postseason – one in Yankee Stadium as a rookie.

I’m not writing this to inflate Flaherty’s worth. I’m not his PR rep. I’m not on his payroll. Flaherty has been very fortunate to have played six seasons for a team that understood his skills set. And he was paid handsomely for it. He made $1.8 million last year to hit .211 and get to the plate just 43 times in an injury-riddled season. He has a chance to make more than $2 million in 2018. I know, that seems ridiculous.

Flaherty isn’t the only player in this situation, of course. Major League Baseball has had plenty of these players who were outstanding during the ride to the majors, and then simply became just another guy.

And, we, as baseball observers, focus on what they did in the majors and decide their value based on that: The guy was a bum, overrated, overpaid, a choke artist, couldn’t throw strikes, couldn’t hit his weight.

When the reality is just to reach the majors is one hell of an accomplishment. To stick there for six years is extraordinary.

We may think, “I could ride the bench in the majors and not hit my weight just as easily as a Flaherty.”

That’s not the case at all, of course. Playing baseball as a kid or in high school or in college or in some men’s league isn’t anywhere near the same ballpark, as it were.

I was reminded of that Wednesday, when Flaherty switched teams and the social media all-stars pounded him.

It’s a fair point that Flaherty hasn’t been a particularly good major leaguer. I get it.

But he, like anyone who makes The Show, is an elite baseball player. Among the 1,000 best in the world in a high-profile, high-pressure profession.

That’s something worth remembering on occasion, too.

56 Comments

56 Comments

  1. ClyOs

    February 9, 2018 at 8:01 am

    My cousin and I go to several games a year, and on one occasion we were watching the Orioles get killed by the Astros. It was one of those stretches were the starters were just horrible and the bullpen was being over used. The game was out of reach by the 7th inning, so Flaherty was asked to pitch the 9th inning and close out the game.I remember him giving up a moon shot to the first batter, but didn’t do a bad job after the home run. In fact I remember us joking that Flaherty should join the rotation, because he pitches better than Jiménez.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 9, 2018 at 8:52 am

      It was the first time Flaherty had pitched since he was a kid. He was hilarious afterwards. He even joked this winter that he was thinking about trying to get a contract as a pitcher because he wasn’t having a lot of luck as an infielder.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    February 9, 2018 at 8:05 am

    I’m with you Dan. I always loved this guy, and frankly I couldn’t understand when the O’s handed the 2nd base job to Schoop so quickly instead of giving Flash his chance. (of course .. what do I know?)

    I always thought he could hit if simply given more at bats.

    Gonna miss him. Good luck Mr. Flaherty.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 9, 2018 at 8:54 am

      He probably could have held his own a little more. That’s for sure.

  3. douglasmintz

    February 9, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Dan,

    Flaherty aside — this is an eloquent tribute to how hard it is to be excellent (and in a sustained way) at anything! Baseball, baseball writing, business, teaching, lawyer whatever. It takes years and years of hard work. Hats off to you and Ryan for all your respective accomplishments!

    • Dan Connolly

      February 9, 2018 at 8:54 am

      Thanks Doug. Much appreciated.

      • mlbbirdfan

        February 9, 2018 at 4:51 pm

        Dan: Thanks, this is a great column and an eloquently stated truth. I strongly recommend a book: “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s the story of success. It explains how people with somewhat ordinary talents can raise their skill set to a level that makes them extraordinary. Ryan Flaherty is an Outlier. It is the highest compliment I can pay to a worker who I respect.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 10, 2018 at 11:27 am

      I’ll check it out.

  4. Dblack2508

    February 9, 2018 at 9:09 am

    I saw Ryan play 40 plus games a year, Kathleen who sits next to me is Ryan’s biggest fan. I watched him take batting practice and was surprised with his power. if he could only hit a breaking ball , his average would be a different story. It will be hard to find another player with his versatility.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 9, 2018 at 9:18 am

      That versatility is key. Even though he wasn’t used a ton, his spot on the bench allowed Showalter to often take another pitcher because Flaherty could sub in at 8 (even 9, once) spots.

  5. garyintheloo

    February 9, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Despite my personal baseball fantasies and hoped for glory the reality of being Flare-dog wouldn’t be so bad. Except for the movie you did better on the field than Moonlight Graham. In the 2014 playoffs the announcer pointed out he had a .442 average on the first pitch which he then laced for a double.Thank you for the insight and some good memories.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 9, 2018 at 10:11 am

      Thanks for commenting, Gary.

  6. phildell

    February 9, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Great topic Dan! I love guys like Ryan Flaherty. Guys who excelled at everything they did…until they hit the big time. And yet they continue to fight and claw for a spot on the roster. And when given the opportunity, play hard and within their abilities. Ryan Flaherty was very valuable to this team, and he’s going to be missed because he sat and waited…and waited. And when he was called upon, he did his job very effectively. He played infield and outfield. He was the emergency catcher. And he never complained.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 9, 2018 at 10:15 am

      Great point, Phil. Waiting — and then performing adequately on the biggest stage while never complaining. That is a separator.

  7. beisbol

    February 9, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Great piece Dan. People have no idea how hard it is to hit a 95 mile per hour fastball, nonetheless having to worry about a major league caliber breaking ball. I think the Orioles should add this as an interactive activity at Fan Fest. Set up a batting cage with a pitching machine throwing 95 and see how many people:
    A.) See just how fast it really is up close and don’t want any part of it, and
    B.) Decide to get in the cage and can’t even muster a foul tip
    I think it could be a great attraction, where guys like Flaherty and Joseph could sit there and heckle the fans!
    Back to Flaherty, there isn’t a classier guy around and all of the people that booed him would love to have their daughter bring home a guy like him. He never made excuses for anything. He was a National League player trapped in the AL because his manager knows how valuable he is to the team/roster. Hopefully being in the National League will help him show off his versatility even more. I’m convinced he would have hit for a higher average if he had more consistent at-bats, but coming in to the organization as a longtime fan favorite (Roberts) was on his way out and having Schoop hit his way into the big leagues never really gave Flaherty a chance to get those at bats. That one of the game’s great managers trusted him enough to start him as a rookie in the ’12 Wild Card game says a lot too.
    The O’s made the playoffs three times in a five year span (2012-2016) and only seven position players were on all of those teams: Jones, Manny, Davis, Hardy, Wieters, Pearce and Flaherty. While he doesn’t put up the same numbers as those other guys, he is a winning player. Nothing but R3SPECT for Flaherty and his contribution to the organization.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 9, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Thanks Beis. Some great thoughts. I can’t even imagine the insurance implications that would go along with 95 mph fastballs at Fanfest

  8. AlanRBaltimore

    February 9, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Dan, This piece suggests the genesis of your next book. A book about both current and retired roll players in MLB.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 9, 2018 at 10:43 am

      That’s a great idea. I wonder if people would read a book on role players. I’d have fun writing it

  9. maglorio2000

    February 9, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Well said Dan… a good story to be told. As sports fans we all fall into the trap of not appreciating how good these elite ballplayers actually are.

  10. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    February 9, 2018 at 10:21 am

    My favorite Flaherty story in the diving stop and dp againt Detriot’s Caberra in the 2014 Divisional Series. It was an incredible athletic play. I thought it was the turning point in the game and series. I wish Ryan the best.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 9, 2018 at 10:44 am

      That was a huge play. Defense often gets forgotten in our mind’s eye. But that was huge.

  11. GSISDANNO

    February 9, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Very fair points. Baseball fans sometimes forget how hard it is to play baseball. It looks easy from the stands. Plus, the talent level in the majors is so close. In addition, playing once or twice per week makes it even harder. I hope Ryan Flaherty gets a chance to play some more baseball.

  12. Creatively_19

    February 9, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Me and a friend always loved how Flaherty came to play every day, despite usually riding the bench. Sometimes he’d disappear from the lineup for weeks on end and we’d joke that he must be in jail, but that Buck would eventually bail him out because he loves him like his son. Flaherty wasn’t ever the best guy on the team, but he was a great Oriole in that he embodied the Oriole Way. Always giving it his best and ready to help out at whatever position was needed. Now he’s a victim of the business of Orioles baseball, being that the O’s value guys who have options to fill out their flexible MLB roster, and Flaherty’s are all used up. I wish him nothing but the best of luck in Philly, and he will be missed.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 9, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      Lack of minor league options is always tough in this organization. I think everyone competing for the 2018 utility job has multiple options.

      • Creatively_19

        February 9, 2018 at 3:44 pm

        It’s an interesting way to manage an organization. O’s have had a bit of success with it, but I don’t think it helps bring people to the ballpark. Fans would rather see big name free agents then guys who ride the Norfolk shuttle.

        • thebookdoc

          February 10, 2018 at 12:34 pm

          Creatively, I completely disagree. I am sick of big contract failures — and that’s what almost all of them end up being. Give me youth, excitement and passion for the sport any day.

  13. Jim P.

    February 9, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Good article. I’m reminded of the book “Where Nobody Knows Your Name” by John Feinstein, all about the minor leagues. I think about all of those great high school and college athletes that hit a wall even before the Majors. Ryan seems to be a guy that, without his defensive versatility, may have topped out at AAA.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 9, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      He hit in the minors, so I’m sure he would have gotten a shot at most places. Don’t know the extent tho.

  14. Birdman

    February 9, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    I certainly respect and appreciate the extraordinary level of talent which it takes to become a professional in baseball or any other sport. As you note, of the millions of kids who start out playing little league baseball, only a minuscule percentage ever reach the skill level necessary for the major leagues.

    That said, we also know that remarkable athletic talent doesn’t necessarily equate to being an admirable person. To his credit, Flaherty sounds like a genuinely good guy, in addition to being an exceptional athlete.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 9, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      He’s definitely well-respected and liked throughout the game.

  15. DutchDinger

    February 9, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    I still think you sell him short Dan. Flash was the backup guy at almost all of the 2-9 positions. There was never a question if someone got injured or needed a day off Flash would be your guy. Do you know how hard it is to play ALL of those positions well and be a backup catcher and pitcher too? The guys in Philadelphia know his value and are not gonna let him go. We will miss him, we just don’t know it yet.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 9, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      I’m not selling him short. I think he was exceptionally valuable to a team. No question.

  16. ATCguy

    February 9, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    Hey Dan… even though I’ve been reading each day, I’ve been quiet most of the winter, as there hasn’t been much to say. But just wanted to chirp in before I head out this evening so say I think this is an excellent piece.

    Just like Kim, Flaherty is a guy I came to like easily. I hadn’t heard he signed with Philly, so that bit of news is disappointing to me, though it became obvious after the O’s acquired Beckham that he was expendable unless another infielder went down by injury.

    Flash is truly what this casual fan would call a “ball player”. Not a star, or someone who was only good at one thing… but someone who could be plugged in to nearly any position, and give a decent showing. I always hoped his bat would light up enough so that Buck would almost be forced to pencil him into the lineup somewhere, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. And, of course, as he was regulated to less playing time… it’s gotta be hard to gain any type of rhythm or consistency when you’re only pinch-hitting once a week, or playing an inning or 2 at the end of a game that’s usually already been decided.

    More I could type regarding your excellent points on the difficulty of not only getting to ‘the show’, but of consistently doing well after arrival (something we all hope our “new” 3rd-baseman can do)… but I’m already late. Keep the great info coming, and feel free to add more general baseball op-ed pieces to the site. I enjoy reading your thoughts.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 9, 2018 at 8:58 pm

      Thanks ATC. Much appreciated.

  17. willmiranda

    February 9, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    I don’t do social media, so I was dismayed to learn that people took it on themselves to trash Flaherty. I will confess some understanding of people criticizing celebrities, including athletes, who are boastful, rude, and greedy, as well as contemptuous of opponents and the public, all the while slack in their own professionalism. But Ryan Flaherty? Just going about his business, willing to sign a minor league contract to extend his career at a job he loves and serves well? Unbelievable! Second point: I find it easy to be cynical about people who claim to be concerned only with doing what’s best for the team, what gives us the best chance to win, etc. But I think Flaherty is someone who did exactly that with the O’s. And when the team thought it best not to bring him back, he quietly accepted it, and went about his business. Godspeed.

  18. Eddiemo

    February 9, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Great article, Dan. Flash will be missed tremendously. He has been one of my favorite players since joining the Orioles. Reading his parting comments to Baltimore, nothing but a class act. Best wishes for success, Ryan!

  19. cowhand214

    February 9, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    I think I mentioned on Twitter how much I enjoyed this post but I thought I’d reiterate it here. Really enjoyable piece, Dan.

    I’m often fascinated by people like Flaherty or Caleb Joseph who know they’re never likely to make the big time (as in MLB stardom or even, truly, security) but are able to accept and even thrive in positions as a role player. That’s a mental state that I think is very difficult to stay in as you watch others walk around with big money or lots of playing time or both. Leaving aside your skills as a player I think to be able to do that you must be truly comfortable in yourself as a person and that can be its own separator for players sticking in that role even before skills come into play.

    It’s also an important reminder that we fans see only outcomes but an outcome is no indicator of that amount of training, work, and desire that any player puts in.

    Anyway, someone above mentioned doing a book on role players. I know I’d happily read it, Dan. Just a thought.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 10, 2018 at 11:24 am

      It’s an interesting thought. And it does take a certain mindset. You were always among the best on your team and now you are being minimized at the highest level. That’s not easy to swallow and turn into a positive.

  20. BillB

    February 10, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Great article Dan.
    I once asked a former professional tennis player to give me his best serve. Forgedaboutit. And then he added a curve…
    In any given year the percentage of players who only make their MLB debut compared to the number of high school senior baseball players is 1/4 of 1%. I once heard Dave Rosenfield (former GM of AAA Norfolk Tides) say that only 1 in 1,000 players ever make it out of the minor leagues.
    I need to remind myself of those numbers the next time Dan Duquette makes a deal that doesn’t pan out or Buck doesn’t make that pitching change when I think he ought to. They live in another world from those of us who call them “bums.”

    • Dan Connolly

      February 10, 2018 at 11:27 am

      People are fans for reasons. A familiarity with the sport is always helpful. And fans drive all pro sports. That’s essential. But to think that athletic experience equates to the highest of all levels doesn’t work. It’s interesting to me.

  21. thebookdoc

    February 10, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    I’ve never been a big Flaherty fan, but I’ve never had anything against him either. I liked what I saw and how he kept his mind in the game on every pitch. I’ve played all 9 positions and there’s a lot to be said for knowing what to do on every pitch in every situation. This is part of why I DON’T see a problem with Beckham at third…He’s athletic and no dope and he’s got enough ball under his belt to know where the players to either side are supposed to be.

    Anyway,nice article about possibly an unjustified underdog — that is, maybe if he got more atbats he’d have surprised a few people. Whomever mentioned doing a book on underdogs…that’s a nice idea. I used to love things like unusual baseball stories…haven’t read one in a while.

    In any case, nice article. You took the right slant. I’m surprised you thought there’d be backlash.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 10, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks. And didn’t expect there to be backlash here. Facebook is a different animal. I’m sorta jaded with that.

  22. Ezrine Tire Award

    February 10, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    Danno Flash surpassed Chico Salmon, Billy Smith and the guy with the French name who killed the Mariners (Rambaud?) or was he a poet? Anyway great, well thought out blog with an angle.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 11, 2018 at 10:07 am

      Jeff Reboulet. Wore out Randy Johnson. Somehow.

  23. The Wedge

    February 11, 2018 at 11:24 am

    What a wonderful story; thanks for sharing it, DC.

    You know, I’d seen some snarky, snide remarks on social media when Flash signed with Philly like “Thank goodness” and “good riddance” and “finally”…you get the idea. I’d love to give each of those folks a virtual smack upside the head. Ever consider that he lasted as long as he did on this team for a (very good) reason(s)? Buck doesn’t keep JV types on his roster.

    Anyway, I’m hoping the Phillies will be (typically, at least as of recent years) shortsighted and release Flash at some point this season, so he can come back home.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 11, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      He does reportedly have an opt-out in March.

  24. wildbillhagy

    February 11, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    We as Oriole fans have a pretty rich history compared to other fan bases of platoon and role players who have a flair for dramatics, especially offensively. I always appreciated Rene Gonzales, but as far as a hitter…well there wasn’t much to appreciate. Very good take on today’s baseball player and I appreciate the shoutout for one of our VandyBoys.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 12, 2018 at 9:41 am

      It’s a role that definitely has had importance over the years.

  25. JParsley

    February 12, 2018 at 11:44 am

    at least we have someone to throw the ball. I guess

  26. GParkins

    February 13, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    Mr. Connolly,

    I stumbled across this piece in my Facebook feed, and would like to thank you for spending some time on a story that won’t ever get a lot of clicks or impressions. I spend my evenings, weekends, and vacation days sitting behind the backstop of one amateur baseball game after another. I see good kids and great kids; spoiled kids and hungry kids. I also had the singular experience of watching career minor-leaguer Ed Lucas (he did have two seasons where he didn’t carry his own luggage) sit down with my son for an hour-long back-and-forth discussion about the pros and cons of playing college ball for Dartmouth.

    In the 367 games and over 130,000 plays I’ve scored from behind really nice and really crappy backstops all over Florida, I’ve heard pretty much all of the travel baseball parent horror stories that I care to. I’ve also spent time with some really great kids and their parents. The one thing that I see that consistently separates the standouts and the also-rans is the same thing that you seem to see in Ryan Flaherty, and that is the drive to be a part of the game for as long as possible.

    I’m only a Baltimore fan because it was the only game in town in 1980’s Northern Virginia, and my Dodgers were only a small box, buried in the daily roundup in the back pages of the Post’s sports section. Years passed, and the Marlins are my team these days. For every Cal Ripken, Boog Powell, Frank Robinson, Steve Garvey, Sandy Koufax, and Ron Cey, there is an Ed Lucas, a Derek Dietrich, and a Juan Pierre.

    There must be a pretty big temptation to minimize the accomplishments of a man that has the rare opportunity to step onto the field of a big-league ballpark with a crowd of 20,000, because I see so many keyboard warriors succumb to it. I suggest that they find archived footage of Bryce Harper’s MLB debut at Dodger stadium from a few years back. He trotted out to left field, and the cameras were on him. You could really see the little kid inside him, and it was a wonderful thing to watch.

    My hat is off to the Ryan Flahertys, the Derek Wallaces, and the David Aardsmas of baseball. They are the pros, and so very few people ever get a chance to see the unholy talent that they possess, and the relentless work that they put in to find a way to stick to the game they love so much.

  27. FlashsTeammate

    February 14, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    Flash was my high school short stop back in the glory days. I was in the class below him and even then he was everything you have mentioned him to be; a tremendous athlete, a great influence, and one hell of a teammate.

    Like every kid I had dreams that maybe I would be the one to eventually rise to the bigs, to play in the show. However, those dreams died when I was a freshman and I started to really watch Flaherty play. Even then it was clear how much better he was than the rest of us. A true phenom in every sense of the word. It was fun to watch him play. I’ve cheered him on every step of the way since and was thrilled when Buck found value in his skill set and ability to play so many different roles.

    Your point about how hard the game is and how elite of a player you have to be to thrive at the MLB level is well said. I have a new found awe in the major league “superstars” because the hands down best hitter I’ve ever seen play the game… has a career .212 average.

    Best of luck in Philly Flash

    • cowhand214

      February 15, 2018 at 11:12 pm

      Thanks for the insight. That’s very interesting.

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