Shaffer makes most of limited AFL time

No. 9 Rays prospect collects two hits, plates run for Salt River

Richie Shaffer has reached base in nine of his past 10 AFL game. (Regina Campos/AFL)

By Kelsie Heneghan / | November 7, 2013 8:44 PM ET

Richie Shaffer doesn't play in every game for Salt River, but when he does, he makes his presence known.

In his past seven outings, the No. 9 Rays prospect has contributed to his team's success, whether it is by getting on base or bringing in a Rafters run. And Thursday was no exception.

Shaffer went 2-for-3 with an RBI as Salt River beat Scottsdale, 4-2, in Arizona Fall League action.

"In this environment, you don't play every day," the third baseman said. "But learning on the bench and learning in the game is crucial."

From the bench, Shaffer learned the importance of confidence and patience. He's watched players such as Andy Burns (Toronto) and Kyle Parker (Rockies) help the Rafters offensively. Burns scored twice while the Colorado's No. 9 prospect reached base three times and knocked in half of the Rafters' runs.

Shaffer has played in 10 of Salt River's last 18 games, delivering nine hits and 13 walks in that span.

"I really tried to work on my two-strike approach and get back some of the things that made me successful in college," said the infield prospect, who had 125 walks in his three years at Clemson.

In his full season debut earlier this year with Class A Advanced Charlotte, Shaffer tied for fourth in the Florida State League with 33 doubles and ranked fifth with 73 RBIs. He hit .254 with 11 home runs, playing in more games than any of his Charlotte teammates.

As for the final week of the AFL, Shaffer doesn't know how often he will play. But regardless of what is written on the lineup card, he will be ready.

"My goal is to stay with what I've been doing and keep working hard, keep being the best competitor I can be on the field," he said.

Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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