2012 MLB Draft: Tampa Bay Rays Select Third Baseman Richie Shaffer

Richie Shaffer, 3B, Clemson University: Shaffer is one of the best college bats available, featuring above-average power and sound plate discipline, hitting to all fields and getting the most out of his 6-3, 210-pound frame. He has a strong arm, but not everyone is sold on his ability to stay at third base, although his defensive stats are fine this year. Many scouts think he’ll end up at first base, or perhaps right field since he runs well for a big guy. Shaffer is hitting .338/.483/.579 with 10 homers and 63 walks through 228 at-bats. His strike-zone judgment is very impressive, and he wasn’t impacted by the switch in bats last year. He handles fastballs well, and has learned to lay off breaking pitches that he can’t handle. Shaffer would have gone sooner in the round if teams were more certain about his long-term defensive position, but then again the Rays already have a pretty good third baseman. He’s a good value here.

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