Prospect Smackdown: Ryan Flaherty v. D. J. LeMahieu

This thread is to compare/contrast 2 very similar Cub prospects. Many in the community seem to be on the Flaherty ban wagon and to some extent I can understand it. Coming into this year I was very much of the mind that Flaherty was a much better prospect then LeMahieu but I have since flipped sides. I'm going to try and keep this as neutral as possible.

AGE/LEVEL/BATS- Flaherty is 23 about to be 24 on July 27th, a lefty, who is currently at High A Daytona after a demotion from AA. LeMahieu is 21 about to be 22 on July 13th, a righty who is also curently at High A Daytona.


BODY/-Athleticism- Flaherty stands a very solid 6'3 200 with average athleticism at best and not much in the way of projection at this point in physical matuarity.  LeMhieu's frame, 6'4 185, leaves some room to fill out as he matures.

EDGE: Currently Flaherty. LeMahieu may have the potential to have a better body but at this point it's all conjecture. While LeMahieu offers some projection he would need to show a whole lot to take this category.

HIT TOOL: LeMahieu may have the 2nd best stroke and best hit tool of any Cub farm hand. I've looked at video and have some 1st hand accounts of some ppl's opinion that I value and they are throughly impressed by his ability to keep the bat in the zone and drive the ball to the opposite field, a trait that goes for the most part unnoticed. When I say unnoticed I mean that many players don't realize that the ability to got he other way is almost a forgotten art. I will admit that most players who understand this skill have little present power (which D.J. fits). Flaherty has a polished left handed bat and stays inside the ball turning on some inside pitches. He has a decent hit tool which may lead to some success in the ML.

EDGE: LeMahieu. I could see some arguments for Flaherty based on stats but I'm taking into account video, 1st hand thoughts, and age/level.

EYE: Both do solid job of controling the strike zone and draw some walks.

EDGE:  DRAW. Flaherty draws walks at a slightly better % and LeMahieu has slightly less K  rate.

POWER: This is by far the biggest difference between the 2. Flaherty easily sports the better power, turning on pitches and driving them out. D.J. has very little current power but has shown the potential (recently) to turn on some pitches but still sports only gap power.

EDGE: Flaherty and it's not close.

DEFENSE: Both are limited and project as UTL players at this point. It's earily similar how there defensive profiles are.

EDGE: Draw

OVERVIEW: For the most part both players are almost identical except Flaherty offers more current power. The problem with him imho is he is 24 and still in High A and while yes his 20 HR last year was very impressive understand that as a 23 year old in Low A it takes a bit off the shine. For those of you who don't understand age appropriate a player in Low A who is considered a "true" prospect  sits normally 18-20 w/ some just drafted college players getting theier feet wet at 21-22. Flaherty was 22/23 w/ 219 abs already in pro ball. I see the argument for Ryan and I may be proved wrong in the long run but as Toons said

I'll be honest Dan

I’ve got Flaherty far ahead of LeMahieu. While ARL matters, I just don’t see that much with DJ’s bat right now, whereas Flaherty at least looks like a possible bench guy that can play multiple positions and offer some pop.


I find this statement to be a bit on the farside. I'm not calling Toons out by any means, I respect his opinion more then most, I just find it to be a bit skewed. LeMahieu imho offers a bat that is solid as is and IF he can continue to turn on some pitches he probably offers the better bat. I'll concede Flaherty may have a better bat currently but w/ LaMahieu's current hit tool as well as learning to hit and turn on pitches I'm going with him. This honslty could go either way depending on so many variables but I'll stick by my opinion.


I'll probably post atleast 1 more prospect smackdown. Looking forward to any thoughts from anyone  aorund the community.


This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Al Yellon, managing editor (unless it's a FanPost posted by Al). FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans.

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