Showcase | Story | 6/14/2013

‘That’s just how he plays baseball’

Matt Rodriguez        
Photo: Perfect Game

MINNEAPOLIS -- A California kid who likes the slow-pace style of life, baseball doesn’t seem to be any different for the talented Jack Flaherty. The easy-going infielder is comfortable in the spotlight, and maybe that’s because he’s constantly in it.

The Perfect Game National Showcase is just the first of many events Flaherty hopes to be a part of this summer. “I’m going to the Tournament of Stars (after this) and then we’ll see what happens,” said Flaherty. “Hopefully I’ll make this (Perfect Game) All-American game.”

Cool and collected, Flaherty looks at this event as just another opportunity to do what he loves.

I’m just trying to go and have fun,” Flaherty added of his experience playing in the Metrodome. “I’m not trying to put too much pressure on myself. I’m just gonna do my best, (and) whatever happens, happens. It definitely makes me raise my game. It makes me play to the best of my ability playing with some of the other top guys.”

Playing with the best of the best is just what Flaherty does. During the Game 3 of the first day of the event on Thursday, Flaherty showed just what he can do when he drilled a ground-rule double to center field that hopped right over the 408 ft. mark. That was the highlight of a great all-around game for Flaherty.

One PG scouting report read:

Flaherty showed soft hands while charging in on a ball and make the throw across the diamond all in one action. He also showed very good bat speed and power, driving a ball to right-center field for a ground rule double.”

He also ran the second fastest 60-yard dash yesterday, clocked at 6.37 seconds.

Flaherty is a member of the Harvard-Westlake varsity team, which finished its season ranked No. 1 in the nation of Perfect Game’s High School Team Rankings. Flaherty (31-for-86, .360 AVG) was a regular starter for the nation’s best high school team, playing third base.

He is also a member of the travel team, SGV (San Gabriel Valley) Arsenal. “There’s a bunch of guys there that are going places,” Flaherty said. “It’s a great program. Those guys out there do a great job.”

Flaherty will continue to play the game on baseball’s biggest stages long after high school. PG's No. 10 prospect in the 2014 high school class has verbally committed to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. That is, of course, if he doesn’t go pro out of high school.

My sophomore year we went out there (North Carolina) to play in Cary and we had the opportunity to practice on their field (UNC),” Flaherty of his decision to commit to the Tar Heels. “From the moment I stepped on that field I kind of felt like I belong there.”

Eileen Flaherty, his mom, found it somewhat funny that Jack felt so comfortable on the other side of the country.

He’s just really happy in the state of North Carolina. (He) really loved the coaches, loved the philosophy, loved the pace of the South.”

Flaherty has been going through the process of finding his future home on the diamond since the start of his sophomore year. It has been quite a journey for him and his family. Traveling to Minneapolis this week with Jack, Eileen is proud to see her son take the field in the Metrodome for the PG National Showcase.

Honestly, there are times that I look up and I’m thinking, ‘Is this really happening to our family and to Jack?’,” Flaherty's mother added. “We feel really lucky to be part of PG and for Jack to be recognized. I think he’s worked really hard to be at this point and at the end of the day he’s a really great kid and that’s what’s really important to me.

One of the things I said to him when he was young was, ‘Create opportunities for yourself so that you can make choices versus having choices made for you.’”

Flaherty must have taken that advice to heart. He has paved his own path through his hard work and dedication and has cemented himself as one of the best players in the country for the class of 2014. Flaherty’s approach to the game will have him playing at high levels for years to come.

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