2012 MLB Draft Profile: Richie Shaffer, 1B/3B, Clemson

Summary

Richie Shaffer's bio is littered with statements like, "Best defensive first baseman in Clemson history and "has committed only three errors through 2011." Naturally, what one does with a defensive wizard at first base is...move him to third base. Where he has committed 11 errors in 59 games, for a FPCT of .935. It is not clear whether Shaffer will be drafted as a first or third baseman. He would have much more value as a third baseman because he displays some of the best power and patience in the NCAA. At first base, he could be "just another" excellent power-hittier. At third, he could be very special.

During his college career, he has hit .326/.446/.565, with a home run every 25 plate appearances. Some project even more power, and name him the second best power prospect in the 2012 draft. Best of all, he projects to be a patient hitter, as he's drawn a walk every 6 plate appearances in college.

In all, Shaffer has one of the best bats in the draft, with defensive upside to be a very complete player in professional ball.

Floor

Shaffer's floor projects to be in the major leagues - no Quad-A for him! Injury or freak occurrence aside, he should at least be a 1B or corner outfield starter on a second division team.

Ceiling

Shaffer's combination of power and patience, plus a good defensive reputation at first base (and upside at third) means that his ceiling could be occasional All-Star. Even if he never reaches 30 home runs (he might) or hits .300 (he could) in the majors, he has the tools to be a significant contributor to a contending baseball club.

Conclusion

Richie Shaffer has one of the best bats in the 2012 draft and defensive upside at corner infield positions. As such, he has put himself into first-round consideration. As such, it is unlikely he will fall to the Astros in the supplemental round at pick 41. Most mock drafts show him being drafted in the low "teens".

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