Soon to be former Clemson third baseman Richie Shaffer joined us on SportsTalk First Edition this afternoon to talk about the thrill of being selected in the first round of the MLB draft and the disappointment of not advancing in the NCAA Regional last week.
Shaffer was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays with the 25th pick of the first round Monday night. He is expected to sign sometime in the near future. It will end a stellar three year career at Clemson.
Getting drafted in the first round was everything Shaffer dreamed it would be.
“I had a whole bunch of people over and we were huddled around the TV watching,” Shaffer said. When I heard my name picked it was a pretty awesome moment. There were a lot of yelling and screaming and crying from my mom and stuff. It was a pretty cool moment.”
This season Shaffer hit.336 with 10 home runs and 46 RBI. The Rays expect his power to increase and could move him over to first base in to expedite his move to the Major League club.
As for how his career ended at Clemson, Shaffer said he is still mulling over the four or five plays he could have made to perhaps change the outcome in Columbia. He also said that despite the heated rivalry, he has nothing but respect for USC. Shaffer lost four postseason games to the Gamecocks during his career, which obviously stings, but he still expects the rivalry to swing back into the Tigers favor eventually.
“They will continue to have their success and eventually the tide will shift and we’ll have some success and streaks. That is just how it is. I am sure it will go back and forth, and back and forth, because both programs are such high caliber and much up so evenly. …They have a first rate program and so do we.”
Shaffer is easily one of the classier guys you will ever meet in baseball. Take a listen to the full interview below. AUDIO: Richie Shaffer SportsTalk interview [11:15]