Why you should appreciate Ryan Flaherty

Coming into Friday, the Orioles had three non-tender candidates, with Ryan Flaherty being one of them. Flaherty was expected to receive a contract, and by the early hours of the evening, a contract had been offered. The terms are not yet known, however, MLBTradeRumors projects him to make $1.7 million this coming season in his continued super-utility role.

That’s just it. Ryan Flaherty is indeed a super-utility player.

You may not get huge power production from him, and barring injury, he’s probably not going to land any starting roles, but he will give you an ultimate bench player who can pinch hit for anyone in the lineup, and can play any position in the field.

Flaherty, 30, is entering his sixth season with the Orioles, and over the past five years, he’s hit .216 in 1,227 plate appearances, 35 HR’s, and drove in 124 runs. He’s also hit 43 doubles, and five triples, and has gone six-for-six in stolen base attempts. He has a career .284 OBP, and a .359 slugging percentage.

Last season, Flaherty finished with a .217 (34-157) batting average, while hitting three HR’s, and seven doubles while driving in 15 runs in 176 plate appearances. His OBP last season was .291, and against LHP, Flaherty hit .263/.391/.263 in 23 chances. He also played 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, and he made one pitching appearance.

Diving deeper into sabermetrics, over his career, Flaherty has played every position on the diamond, except catcher. He has 5 DRS (best at 3B with 8), a 4.11 RF per 9 (range factor per nine innings), a 1.6 dWAR, and a 1.8 overall WAR.

Last season Flaherty had a 0.6 dWAR, and a 0.4 WAR.

Let’s look at how Flaherty’s counterparts performed last season in the American League:

Ryan Goins (L), Toronto Blue Jays:
34-183 (.186/.228/.306) in 196 plate appearances
3 HR, 12 RBI, 9 2B’s, 2 3B’s, 1-2 (SB-Attempts)
Vs. RHP .190/.237/.333 in 159 appearances
Played P, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, DH
0.5 dWAR, -0.6 WAR

Rob Refsnyder (R), New York Yankees:
38-152 (.250/.328/.309) in 175 plate appearances
0 HR, 12 RBI, 9 2B’s, 0 3B’s, 2-3 (SB-Attempts)
vs. LHP .274/.370/.355 in 73 appearances
Played 1B, 2B, 3B, LF, RF
-0.2 dWAR, -0.1 WAR

Nick Franklin (S), Tampa Bay Rays:
47-174 (.270/.328/.443) in 191 plate appearances
6 HR, 26 RBI, 10 2B’s, 1 3B, 6-7 (SB-Attempts)
Vs. RHP .285/.347/.482 in 152 appearances
Vs. LHP .216/.256/.297 in 37 appearances
Played 1B, 2B, SS, LF, RF, DH
-0.9 dWAR, 0.2 WAR

Andrew Romine (S), Detroit Tigers:
41-174 (.236/.304/.322) in 194 plate appearances
2 HR, 16 RBI, 5 2B’s, 2 3B’s, 8-8 (SB-Attempts)
Vs. RHP .226/.299/.331 in 150 appearances
Vs. LHP .268/.318/.293 in 44 appearances
Played 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, DH
0.0 dWAR, 0.3 WAR

Mike Aviles (R), Detroit Tigers
35-167 (.210/.258/.269) in 181 plate appearances
1 HR, 6 RBI, 5 2B’s, 1 3B’s, 2-4 (SB-Attempts)
Vs. LHP .203/.261/.219 in 71 appearances
Played 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, DH
-0.7 dWAR, -1.3 WAR

Cliff Pennington (S), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:
36-172 (.209/.265/.308) in 188 plate appearances
3 HR, 10 RBI, 4 2B’s, 2 3B’s, 1-1 (SB-Attempts)
Vs. RHP .225/.287/.338 in 165 appearances
Vs. LHP .095/.095/.095 in 23 appearances
Played 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, DH
0.7 dWAR, 0.4 WAR

Chris Coghlan (L), Oakland Athletics: (Stats reflect time in Oakland.. Traded to CHC on 6/9)
23-158 (.146/.215/.272) in 172 plate appearances
5 HR, 14 RBI, 5 2B’s, 0 3B’s, 1-2 (SB-Attempts)
Vs. RHP .195/.293/.335 in 270 appearances (Entire 2016)
Played 2B, 3B, LF, RF, DH
-0.8 dWAR, -1.5 WAR

Players from the Red Sox, Indians, Royals, White Sox, Twins, Rangers, Astros, and Mariners did not qualify based on plate appearances, and positions played criteria.

So even though Ryan Flaherty doesn’t impress everyone out there in social media land, it should be noted that he is one of the best in the league at what he does. Not to mention the fact that the Orioles have been able to keep him on the roster for under $1.5MM on a yearly basis.

Not too shabby.






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