The Baltimore Orioles selected former Cubs first round pick Ryan Flaherty in the Rule 5 draft a few weeks ago. Flaherty has a chance to not only make the Orioles opening day roster but he could be a contributor. Flaherty is a fairly advanced hitter after being drafted out of college and reaching Triple-A last season. The 25 year old was unimpressive in his short Triple-A stint but he did post 14 home runs, 66 RBI, and .907 OPS in 83 games for Double-A Tennessee.
The Orioles infield is a mess. Barring a surprise trade or free agent signing the team is expected to hold an open competition during the Spring at both second and third base. Flaherty has played both positions in his pro career.
The Orioles plans at second base are clouded by two consecutive injury marred seasons for former All Star Brian Roberts. If Roberts is unable to play Flaherty will battle with Robert Andino, Matt Antonelli and Ryan Adams. That’s not exactly murderer’s row. Flaherty could stand a puncher’s chance in that battle.
If Flaherty is outplayed at second base he could stick as an option at third base for the Orioles. With Mark Reynolds shifting to first base the Orioles have limited options at third. Flaherty will battle the defensively challenged Chris Davis, as well as Andino and Antonelli for time at third. As a lefty swinger Flaherty could fit as part of a platoon at either position.