With the 25th pick of the first round in this year’s draft, the Rays selected Richie Shaffer, a third baseman from Clemson.
With the new rules in place that restricts spending on the draft, we wondered aloud if the Rays might draft more college players this year, especially on the offensive side of the ball. And not necessarily players with huge upside, but rather a player that projects to be a good everyday player.
And that is exactly what happened (read ESPN.com’s analysis below).
Here is a scouting video of Shaffer from Baseball America…
Shaffer shot up draft boards this spring with his combination of bat speed and raw power that’s unparalleled among this year’s crop of college bats (which I admit is a low standard)…He accelerates his hands very quickly and stays pretty balanced overall at the plate, starting to drift but arresting it once he gets his hands started; he can keep his hands inside the ball well to go the other way, but you can see where he’d be able to drive the ball if he got his arms extended. He hasn’t had trouble squaring up better velocity but can adjust to off-speed stuff as well. He’s an agile defender with at least a 60 arm (perhaps a 65) who plays with tremendous energy, so there’s little doubt he can stay at third barring injury…I don’t see a star, but I see a high-probability big-league regular with above-average upside, 20-plus homers with a strong batting average and a few runs a year saved on defense.