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Bader, Flaherty named Minor Leaguers of Year

Bader wins Cards Player of Year honors, while Flaherty is Pitcher of Year
MLB.com @JoeTrezz

In 2017, Jack Flaherty and Harrison Bader flashed the potential that made them top Major League prospects, and they'll get some new hardware for their efforts.

Bader and Flaherty were named Cardinals Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, on Thursday, for their accomplishments in the Minors. They will be presented their awards at the St. Louis Baseball Writers' Association of America Awards Dinner on Jan. 14.

In 2017, Jack Flaherty and Harrison Bader flashed the potential that made them top Major League prospects, and they'll get some new hardware for their efforts.

Bader and Flaherty were named Cardinals Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, on Thursday, for their accomplishments in the Minors. They will be presented their awards at the St. Louis Baseball Writers' Association of America Awards Dinner on Jan. 14.

Tweet from @Cardinals: Congratulations to @aybaybader & @Jack9Flaherty for their selections as the #STLCards 2017 Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year! pic.twitter.com/zcbwncznGq

A third-round Draft pick out of Florida in 2015, Bader shot up the Cardinals' Minor League system in '17, earning a promotion to Triple-A during his second professional season and debuting in the Majors on July 25 at age 23. He spent most of this season at Triple-A Memphis, where he excelled, routinely showing five-tool talent over two separate stints with the club. A strong, speedy center fielder, Bader hit .283/.347/.469 with 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases in 123 games at Triple-A.

Video: Flaherty named Cardinals' Pipeline Pitcher of 2017

Flaherty struggled during his first Major League stint at age 21 (six appearances), but he was dominant at two Minor League levels in 2017, going 14-4 with a 2.18 ERA over 25 starts. The hard-throwing righty began the year at Double-A Springfield before earning a promotion to Memphis on June 1. He went 7-2 with a 2.74 ERA in 15 starts for the Redbirds and participated in the MLB All-Star Futures Game.

Together, Flaherty and Bader headline an emerging young core that could make a big impact in St. Louis in 2018 and beyond. Hader will have a chance to earn a spot as a versatile backup outfield option next season, while Flaherty, a former first-round Draft pick, could provide high-upside depth at the back end of the rotation.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

 

St. Louis Cardinals, Harrison Bader, Jack Flaherty