The Tampa Bay Rays selected Richie Shaffer from Clemson University with the
No. 25 overall pick in the first round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He joins Evan Longoria as the only third basemen drafted in the first round by the Rays.
Shaffer, 21, was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 21 overall prospect in the draft, No. 2 third baseman, No. 1 out of the state of South Carolina and No. 13 among college juniors. As a junior this season, he finished with a .336 batting average (78-for-232), 10 home runs, 46 RBI, 63 walks, a .573 slugging percentage and a .480 on-base percentage. He ranked 11th in the ACC in batting average, fifth in slugging percentage, tied for first in walks, third in on-base percentage and tied for seventh in home runs.
He becomes the 15th first-round draft pick out of Clemson and the first ever taken by the Rays. He played predominantly first base during his first two years at Clemson (2010-11) before moving to third base for the 2012 season. He was the first in Tigers history to be named First-Team All-ACC at two different infield positions during his career. In 2011, he was named Second Team All-Atlantic Region by the American Baseball Coaches Association and a First Team All-ACC selection.
The Flemington, N.J., native becomes the eighth New Jersey-born player drafted by the Rays. He was previously drafted in the 25th round (No. 757 overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009. The three-time All-State selection at Providence Senior High School (N.C.) was named an AFLAC All-American as a junior in 2008 and played for the USA National team in 2007.
Shaffer was the co-captain of the Tigers this season. He is a Marketing major at Clemson and a two-time All-ACC Academic selection (2010-11).