Cardinals name Bader, Flaherty top minor league player, pitcher

Memphis Redbirds outfielder Harrison Bader signs autographs at AutoZone Park in Memphis in August 2017; Redbirds pitcher Jack Flaherty pitches for Team USA at the MLB Futures Game at Marlins Park in Miami in July 2017.
Yalonda M. James - Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

ST. LOUIS — Outfielder Harrison Bader and pitcher Jack Flaherty made their major league debuts with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017, but it was their work in the minor leagues that earned them recognition Thursday.

Bader was named the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year and Flaherty was tabbed as Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

Bader, 23, batted .283 with 20 home runs, 55 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 123 games at Triple-A Memphis. He started 108 games in center field for the Redbirds.

Bader had a memorable major league debut July 25, starting in center field and scoring the game-winning run on a walk-off sacrifice fly. He started six games for St. Louis before being returned to Memphis on July 31, then was recalled Sept. 1 for the rest of the season. He started 20 of his 27 games played for St. Louis: 17 in center, two in left and one in right.

Flaherty, 22, went a combined 14-4 with a 2.18 ERA in his fourth professional season. He opened the season starting 10 games at Double-A Springfield (7-2, 1.42 ERA), was promoted to Memphis (7-2, 2.74 ERA in 15 starts) on June 1, and made his big-league debut Sept. 1. He made five starts and one relief appearance for the Cardinals, going 0-2 with a 6.33 ERA.