With the 25th pick in this year's draft, the Tampa Bay Rays picked Richie Shaffer, a slugging third baseman from Clemson. Rated by many of the top prospect analysts as a top 10-20 pick, Shaffer slid down the draft list a bit and the Rays were able to snag him.
The book on Shaffer seems to be that his bat is legit -- he has tremendous power -- but he carries a bit of risk because teams aren't sure where he'll end up defensively. He plays third at the moment, but it sounds like he could end up at first base or right field. He seems to have the bat for either position, so an eventual move to either position wouldn't necessarily be an issue.
Shaffer won the Cape Cod League All Star Home Run Derby at Fenway last year. Lot of long balls over the Monster. #Rays— Al Skorupa (@alskor) June 5, 2012
Considering how difficult and expensive it can be to acquire power hitters, I'm excited that the Rays have another potential impact bat in the organization. With Josh Sale looking like he might not be dead yet, the Rays could have a handful of mashers in the low minors going forward. With enough luck, maybe one of them will reach the majors.