Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Born: March 15, 1991
The 2012 draft class is weak when it comes to power bats and corner infielders. Clemson slugger Richie Shaffer fills both quotas nicely and as a result, should come off the board early on day one of the draft.
After a star-studded career at Providence High (home of right-hander Ty Buttrey), Shaffer turned down a 25th-round offer from the Dodgers in favor of attending Clemson. As a freshman, Shaffer hit .323 with 11 doubles, seven homers and 36 RBI en route to making his first appearance in the College World Series.
He took his game up another notch in 2011, hitting .315/.438/.577 with 15 doubles, 13 homers and 55 RBI. He was named to the All-ACC First Team and earned a spot in the prestigious Cape Cod League for the summer. He performed incredibly well, slugging six homers and driving in 22 runs in 36 games. He also joined the exclusive ranks of players who have hit for the cycle, a feat he accomplished on June 17th.
In addition to being named to the Cape Cod League All-Star game, Shaffer also took home top honors in the home run derby that took place at Fenway Park.
This season, Shaffer has done nothing but improve his stock, setting career marks in average (.344), doubles (18), and walks (51). He’s getting close in homers and RBI too. Once again he was named to the All-ACC First Team.
Defensively, Shaffer has made great strides during his time at Clemson. He started out as a first baseman, and excelled. He’s seen plenty of time at third base over the past year and a half, and has improved his play there as well. He’s gotten so good in fact that many seem to think he could stick there as a professional. Without a doubt his value would be much higher there than at first.
Wherever he plays, he seems a safe bet to be picked in the top half of the first-round.