Richie ShafferESPN has released their list of the 25 best prospects who will make an impact this season, and Rays rookie Richie Schaffer comes in at No. 15.

With just 88 at bats last season, Shaffer carries over his rookie status to the 2016 season. The big question is figuring out where Shaffer will play, something that may have limited where Shaffer ended up on this list.

Here is what ESPN says about Shaffer:

Shaffer’s natural position is third base, but he’s blocked there by Evan Longoria, who has missed only four games in the past three years after a couple of seasons wrecked by injuries. So barring a DL stint for Longoria, Shaffer’s best shot to play is on the other three corners, where the Rays are far from set. He could platoon with Corey Dickerson in left field or James Loney at first base, or he could seize the right-field job from Steven Souza Jr. If Shaffer plays, he’ll offer a lot of what you saw from him after his call-up last year: a low average with lots of walks, homers and strikeouts.

The idea of platooning Shaffer in the outfield or at first base sounds nice until you look at the Rays’ depth chart.

In right field and left field, the Rays already have Desmond Jennings, Steven Souza, Mikie Mahtook, Corey Dickerson, and Brandon Guyer. At first base, the Rays have James Loney, Steve Pearce, and Logan Morrison. Even if we include the DH spot, that is eight players for four spots and five of those guys bat right-handed.

In other words, Shaffer’s best hope to make an impact in 2016 is an Evan Longoria injury and nobody wants that.

Let’s see how Shaffer feels about that:

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1 Comment

  1. Joe Dunn says:

    Got a feeling he WILL . . . .be . . .really . . . .good

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