Harrison Bader and Jack Flaherty Named Cardinals Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year for 2017

BOTH PLAYERS MADE MLB DEBUT THIS PAST SEASON

          ST. LOUIS,Mo., December 21, 2017– The St. Louis Cardinals announced today their 2017 Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year selections, honoring outfielder Harrison Bader and right-handed pitcher Jack Flaherty for their accomplishments on the field.  Both Bader and Flaherty made their Major League debuts in 2017.

Bader, 23, batted .283 with 20 home runs and 55 RBI in 123 games played at Memphis (AAA).  His 20 homers ranked third on the team, and his 55 RBI were T3rd among his teammates.  During the course of the season, the speedy outfielder stole 15 bases, 2nd-most for Memphis.  The right-handed hitting Bader was named Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month in July, batting .317 (32-for-101) over 21 games with six home runs and 12 RBI while going 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts.  Bader played the majority of his games in centerfield for the Redbirds, starting 108 games at that position.

Bader’s contract was first purchased by St. Louis on July 25, and he made his Major League debut that night starting in centerfield and scoring the game-winning run on a walk-off sac-fly in the bottom of the 9th.  He started six games for St. Louis before an option on July 31, and then was recalled on September 1 for the remainder of the season.  He started 20 of his 27 games played for St. Louis, 17 in center, two in left-field and one in right-field.

“Harrison highlighted an outstanding season in Memphis with his first Major League promotion in July,” said Gary LaRocque, Cardinals Director of Player Development.  “He returned to Triple-A to lead Memphis to the Pacific Coast League playoffs before a September call-up to St. Louis, earning him the 2017 Organization Player of the Year.”

Flaherty, 22, went a combined 14-4 with a 2.18 ERA in his fourth professional season.  He began his 2017 season starting 10 games at Springfield (7-2, 1.42 ERA) where he allowed just 10 earned runs in 63.1 innings pitched.  He was named Pitcher of the Week for April 17-23 after making two scoreless starts, spanning 13.2 innings and striking out 14 between the two.  He was then named Texas League Player of the Month by Minor League Baseball for his 4-0 April (five starts) in which he had a stellar 0.56 ERA, leading the league in innings pitched (32.1) with 28 strikeouts and holding the opposition to a .191 average.

Flaherty was promoted to Memphis on June 1, and went 7-2, 2.74 ERA in 15 starts for the Redbirds.  The    6’ 4”, 225-pound righty was named to the MLB All-Star Futures Game and pitched one inning.  He was named the Pacific Coast League pitcher of the Month for August after five starts, posting a 4-1 record along with a 1.97 ERA, with 29 strikeouts during the month.

Flaherty made his Major League debut on September 1 at San Francisco in one of his five starts for the Major League club during the month of September (also one relief appearance).  He was named a Post-Season All-Star for the Texas League and selected to Baseball America’s 2017 Minor League All-Star Team.

“Jack started 2017 in Springfield with a promotion to Memphis, June 1,” commented LaRocque.  “He started 25 games at the double-A and triple-A levels, and made his Major League debut in September, earning the selection as the Organization Pitcher of the Year.”

Bader was the Cardinals third-round selection (100th player overall) in the June 2015 First-Year Player Draft, while Flaherty was a first-round pick (34th overall) in 2014. Both players will be presented with their awards at the 2018 St. Louis Baseball Writers Association of America Awards Dinner on Sunday, January 14.

                   CARDINALS MINOR LEAGUE AWARD WINNERS

PLAYER OF THE YEAR                           PITCHER OF THE YEAR

YEAR   NAME                          TEAM(S)                              NAME                              TEAM(S)

1995    Mike Gulan, 3B            Louisville/Arkansas               Mike Busby, RHP             Louisville/Arkansas

1996    Dmitri Young, INF         Louisville                              Britt Reames, RHP           Peoria

1997    Brent Butler, INF          Peoria                                  Cliff Politte, RHP               Prince Wm./Arkansas

1998    Pablo Ozuna, INF        Peoria                                  Rick Ankiel, LHP               Peoria/Prince Wm.

1999    Adam Kennedy, INF     Memphis                              Rick Ankiel, LHP               Arkansas/Memphis

2000    Albert Pujols, 3B          Peoria/Potomac                   Bud Smith, LHP               Arkansas/Memphis

2001    Covelli Crisp, OF           Potomac                              Jimmy Journell, RHP         Potomac/New Haven

2002    John Gall, 1B               New Haven                          Tyler Johnson, LHP          Peoria

2003    John Gall, 1B               Tennessee/Memphis            Dan Haren, RHP              Tennessee/Memphis

2004    Reid Gorecki, OF          Palm Beach/Tenn.               Anthony Reyes, RHP       Palm Beach/Tenn.

2005    Travis Hanson, 3B        Springfield                            Mark Worrell, RHP            Palm Beach

2006    Colby Rasmus, OF       Quad Cities/Palm Beach                 Blake Hawksworth, RHP   Palm Beach/Springfield

2007    Colby Rasmus, OF       Springfield                            P.J. Walters, RHP                    QC/Palm Beach/Spfd.

2008    Daryl Jones, OF           Palm Beach/Springfield                  Jess Todd, RHP                      PB/Spfd./Mem.

2009       Allen Craig, OF                    Memphis                                  Lance Lynn, RHP                     PB/Spfd./Mem.

2010       Matt Carpenter, 3B                Palm Beach/Springfield                  Shelby Miller, RHP                   Quad Cities

2011       Matt Adams, 1B                   Springfield                                Shelby Miller, RHP                   Palm Beach/Springfield

2012       Oscar Tavares, OF                Springfield                                Seth Maness, RHP                   Palm Beach/Springfield

2013       Kolten Wong, 2B                  Memphis                                  Zach Petrick, RHP                    Peoria/PB/Spfd.

2014       Magneuris Sierra, OF             GCL Cardinals                            Marco Gonzales, LHP                 PB/Spfd./Mem./St. Louis

2015       Stephen Piscotty, OF             Memphis                                  Austin Gomber, LHP*                 Peoria

Alex Reyes, RHP*                    Palm Beach/GCL/Spfld.

2016       Carson Kelly, C                   Spfld./Mem./St. Louis                     Luke Weaver, RHP                   Spfd./Mem./St. Louis

2017       Harrison Bader, OF                Memphis/St. Louis                        Jack Flaherty, RHP                   Spfd./Mem./St. Louis

*Co-winners

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