Richie ShafferThe Rays didn’t add any bats at the trade deadline because they didn’t think there were any glaring holes in what has been one of the worst offenses in baseball this season. And yet that won’t stop the Rays from promoting one of their top hitting prospects on Monday.

The Rays are expected to promote third baseman Richie Shaffer on Monday according to Marc Topkin.

Shaffer was selected 25th overall in the 2012 draft out of Clemson. Shaffer has been used almost exclusively as a third baseman. He also has played 10 games at first base this season, his first action there since the 2013 Arizona Fall League. He played sparingly in the outfield in the 2012 Arizona Fall League, but hasn’t been outside of the infield since.

The move is a bit unexpected for a hitter who was not even considered one of the top 17 prospects in the system before the season where he started at double-A. However, after hitting just .222 with a .318 OBP and 19 home runs in 2014, Shaffer has taken off this season, hitting .261 with a .357 OBP and a solid 23 home runs including 16 in just 54 games since being promoted to triple-A.

MLB.com has since moved Shaffer to No. 11 on their list of top Rays prospects.

What’s curious about Shaffer’s sudden surge at the plate this season is that his command of the strike zone hasn’t improved, something typically seen in young hitters who suddenly figure things out. Shaffer had 2.1 strikeouts per walk last year and this year it is actually up to 2.3 strikeouts per walk.

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5 Comments

  1. zenny says:

    This move reeks of desperation. Hope I'm wrong.

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  2. Starmand says:

    Valencia is a no-brainer. That W-L record has to be good for something.

    Butler, in the meantime, can definitely use a break to sort things out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=RDxHYI3NQtC2A&v=vW6ZXHWvaGc

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  3. monte says:

    I like the move, especially since it included sending Moore down to Durham to work on his head and form. I'd much rather see him work through his struggles in the minors than in Tampa Bay where he hurts the team's chances.

    I'm not very excited about Shaffer. To me his average is not high enough and he has that seemingly common deficiency of striking out too much.

    Here's hoping he can keep up the HR production and gain enough confidence at the majors level to improve his average.

    My guess is he will swap off at third and DH.

    What's Mahtook doing up here? He was hitting a mere ,236 at Durham. When Jennings (whom I don't particularly care for) returns, I'm also for sending Souza Jr. down to Durham to learn where the strike zone is.

    Looks to me like the Rays have a lot of young talent that is consistently inconsistent. Hot and cold and hot and cold is the only way they are consistent at the plate.

    I'm baffled by the sloppy defense. Doesn't that betray a lack of self-confidence in this team? I sure hope so because that could change quickly.

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  4. Steve says:

    Great move. Shaffer will be one of the top three or four hitters on this team

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    • Rob says:

      Not sure that's much of an accomplishment. I will say I think it's a good move though, if nothing else than to get him some playing time as the Rays begin to look to next year and evaluate what they have.

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