Shaffer enjoys draft with family, excited about opportunity with Rays

by - Senior Writer -

Clemson third baseman Richie ShafferRichie Shaffer
Jr. 3rd Base
#8 6-3, 205
Charlotte, NC

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drove home to Charlotte Monday night so he could be around family and friends for what would turn out to be the biggest night of his life. Tuesday, he was driving back to Clemson so he could be with his teammates on what, for some of them, could also be a big day.

Shaffer was chosen in the first round of the Major League draft Monday night, selected by the Tampa Bay Rays with the 25th overall pick, becoming the 15th first round pick in Clemson baseball history. He told TigerNet Monday morning that watching the draft unfold was the experience of a lifetime.

“I drove back to Charlotte last night, and was with my friends, my family and my girlfriend,” Shaffer said. “We were all there, in the basement of my house, watching the television. It was pretty fun. A great experience, that’s for sure.”

Shaffer said he had no clue which team would call his name.

“I didn’t really know, even though I heard whispers here and there of who would select me,” he said. “But I honestly didn’t have a clue. I had my hopes here and there, and then when they called my name, I was just happy to be where I was. I am just excited about everything.”

Shaffer said he actually missed the part where his name was called, and didn’t receive any sort of call from the Rays that he was about to be picked.

“I found out just when everyone else did,” he said. “I didn’t even hear him say my name. I look up because I hear everybody shouting and screaming, and I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ Then I realized I had just gotten picked.”

Shaffer said he then received a call from Rays General Manager Andrew Friedman.

“I heard from the general manager pretty much right away,” he said. “They were saying welcome to the organization, and that they were excited about having me. I told them I was excited about the opportunity as well. It was just a kind of quick introduction. I am sure there will be more important stuff later on. That was just a conversation-first type of dialogue.”

He said that Tuesday he plans on watching the draft with his teammates at Clemson.

“I just want to take a step back and think about things,” he said. “I am driving back to Clemson, and I am going to spend a couple of days hanging out with buddies, watching the draft and supporting them and being there if their name gets called. I will be enjoying some last times together with my buddies, and just try and soak all of it in.”

He has, however, allowed himself the pleasure of thinking about one day playing in the American League East and under Rays manager Joe Maddon.

“I thought about all of that right when I got picked,” he said. “I thought about how amazing it was to get that opportunity. But at the same time, I am not looking ahead because I understand I have a lot of work ahead of me. I am looking forward to growing as a player.”

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