Clemsons Shaffer selected 25th overall in MLB draft; prized South Carolina and Clemson commitments also drafted in first round
CLEMSON ó After being eliminated from the Columbia Regional on Sunday evening, Clemson third baseman Richie Shaffer received embraces from teammates, signed autographs for fans, and appeared to be battling emotion when meeting with the media.
The junior knew he had likely played his last college game.
Shaffer was selected 25th overall by the Tampa Bay Rays in the first round of Major League Baseballís draft Monday night. Shaffer is expected to forego his senior year at Clemson as the signing bonus slot budget for the 25th overall pick is $1.725 million.
The first-team All-ACC selection led Clemson in most major offensive categories including batting average (.336), home runs (10), walks (63) and on-base percentage (.480).
Shaffer became the 15th Tiger selected in the first round of the MLB draft and the first since 2010 when Kyle Parker was selected 26th overall by Colorado.
While Shaffer played third base this season at Clemson, All-Star Evan Longoriaís presence at third in Tampa Bay means a position switch is likely in order for Shaffer.
Shaffer was the only in-state college player taken in the first round, though both Clemson and South Carolina had the top prospects from their incoming recruiting classes selected.
South Carolina commitment Corey Seager was taken 18th overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The slot budget for the pick is $1.9 million.
The prize of Clemsonís recruiting class, Georgia pitcher Lucas Sims, was selected by the Atlanta Braves, 21st overall.
Both will likely turn pro.
Rounds 2-15 will be shown only on MLB.com, today, starting at noon. The draft concludes with rounds 16-40 on Wednesday.
Two other Clemson underclassmen rank in Perfectgame.comís top 250 prospects in Kevin Brady (150th overall) and Scott Firth (180th) and are expected to be take at some point during the three-day, 40-round draft, and could turn pro. Brady briefly considered turning pro after being selected in the 17th round by the Cleveland Indians last year.
USCís top draft pick almost certainly will be its best hitter, junior first baseman Christian Walker, who was picked in the 49th round out of high school
Two other USC juniors are expected to get drafted and turn pro, along with Walker: center fielder Evan Marzilli (undrafted out of high school) and closer Matt Price (a sixth-round pick by Arizona last year).
Price was a third-year sophomore in 2011, so he was eligible for the draft.
Darryl Slater contributed to this report