St. Louis Cardinals first round draft pick Jack Flaherty, a product of Harvard-Westlake School in California, recently joined Redbird Rants for an interview.
Daniel Solzman: Thanks for joining Redbird Rants today. How are things treating you out west in California?
Jack Flaherty: Things are going well. I’m getting some time to relax right now. Just enjoying myself.
Daniel Solzman: Can you describe what it felt like when you heard your name called on Thursday night during the compensation round of the draft?
Jack Flaherty: It was a shock and excitement. Hearing my name called was an unbelievable feeling. But right when it happened, I was kind of in shock. A few seconds after, I was just so excited and I just didn’t really know how to feel. It was just an unbelievable moment.
Daniel Solzman: When did you find out that the Cardinals were interested in you?
Jack Flaherty: Right before the draft, I found out there was a little bit of interest but it wasn’t enough to where I wasn’t shocked when my name was called. I heard a little bit but by the time that pick came around, I still didn’t really expect anything to happen. Hearing my name called was a shock to me.
Daniel Solzman: What’s the reaction been like on Twitter and social media since the draft?
Jack Flaherty: Everybody’s just been congratulating me. It’s been a bunch of people that I know. Just a bunch of congratulations. Even people I don’t know giving me a lot of congratulations. Everybody kind of wishing me luck. I’m sure it’s been about the same for every guy. It’s been a lot of congratulations and good luck.
Daniel Solzman: How honored were you to have been named the Gatorade State Player of the Year in baseball for the state of California?
Jack Flaherty: I was incredibly honored. Out in California, where, personally, I think the best baseball comes from, to have been named the State Player of the Year, it’s an honor. Seeing all the guys come out of California every year and for me to be named Player of the Year was an honor.
Daniel Solzman: How has Harvard-Westlake coach Matt LaCour helped get you ready for the next level?
Jack Flaherty: He’s helped me to stay disciplined and keep working hard. He’s never let me get dissatisfied with myself. He’s always one to keep pushing myself to get better and working hard each and every day. He’s really kept me disciplined in everything that I do.
Daniel Solzman: You committed to play baseball at North Carolina. What is your decision process going to be like as you decide between college and professional baseball?
Jack Flaherty: It’s going to be my family and I just kind of looking at both options and seeing which opportunity we feel is right for this time.
North Carolina is an unbelievable program and unbelievable school. I love a lot of things about it. Getting drafted by the Cardinals is an unbelievable feeling and unbelievable moment. My mom and I are going to talk about it and figure out what we feel is best.
Daniel Solzman: Who was your favorite player growing up?
Jack Flaherty: Growing up, it was Derek Jeter. I always loved watching him.
Daniel Solzman: What is something that Cardinals fans should know about you?
Jack Flaherty: I love the game of baseball and work hard each and every day to get better. I don’t take things off. I’m going to do whatever it takes.
Daniel Solzman: Thanks again for joining us and best of luck as your make your decision.
Jack Flaherty: Thank you.