Back home at the hot corner

CLEMSON - Richie Shaffer will move back across the diamond to the position that made him one of the most highly touted high school players in the country three years ago.

Over his first two seasons as the first baseman at Clemson, Shaffer's hit .318 with 20 home runs, 91 RBI and eight stolen bases.

"I'm getting a chance to go back home," he said. "That's where I was at high school. The past couple of years, the team needed me over at first, so that's what I had to do. You've got to do whatever's in the team's best interest…that‘s my natural position."

A 25th round draft pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of Charlotte's Providence High School, Shaffer admitted he's had to knock off some of the rust.

"It's just kind of the everyday decisions. The instincts kind of thing. After not playing there for a little bit -- the split second decisions," Shaffer said. "Do I dive after this ball or try to get in front of it? Where do I position myself? All those small things. With more reps comes more experience and more comfort."

Clemson head coach Jack Leggett said Shaffer's worked hard to make the move as seamless as possible.

"He [has] really come along well there, has wanted to play third base since he got here, I think, but has needed to help the team at first base," Leggett said.

Shaffer played some at third in the Cape Code League where he hit .263 with six homeruns and 22 RBI in 137 at-bats. He also won the home run derby at Fenway Park.

"It was great competition. It was the best of the best you're facing out there," he said.

Over the last two years at Clemson, Shaffer's been one of the best in the ACC. Baseball America recently named him the No. 13 junior in all of college baseball.

Said Leggett: "He's been a really good player for us, offensively and defensively."

CUTigers.com Top Stories