AARON SHACKELFORD, SECOND BASEMAN
|Born: October 16, 1996
Height: 5′ 10″
Drafted: 14th Round, 424th Overall, 2019
How Acquired: Draft
College: The Masters University
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Shackelford is a college senior from a small school in the NAIA. He showed a lot of offense this past year, hitting for a .415/.519/1.096 line in 188 at-bats, with that massive slugging percentage being a result of 36 home runs. That’s a huge increase over his 2018 totals, when he had a .303/.409/.584 line with 11 homers in 178 at-bats. It’s hard to say how his offense will transfer over to pro ball, since it could be a product of playing against weaker talent while at an advanced age. As a pro, he’s played first, second and third.
Shackelford was the primary third baseman for Bristol. He also started a half dozen games at second. He had a good debut at the plate, finishing tied for third in the league in doubles and seventh in slugging. He had a big platoon split, with an OPS of .881 against RHPs and .656 against LHPs. He was remarkably consistent, with a monthly OPS starting in June of .846, .820 and .828.
Shackelford opened the season at Greensboro in a first base platoon with Jesus Valdez, but took over the job full-time when Valdez moved up to Altoona. He hit for a lot of power early in the season, with 13 home runs in May and June, and OPS figures of .905 and .779, respectively. The power and dead-pull tendencies came with a lot of swing-and-miss, though, and pitchers evidently caught up. Shackelford had a .561 OPS in July and .551 in August. In the two months, he fanned 65 times in just 154 ABs. He rebounded with an .807 OPS in September. Shackelford’s power depended a lot on the ballpark at Greensboro, which played as an extreme home run park in 2021. He had 14 longballs at home and eight on the road. He had more extra base hits on the road, though, 22 to 18, so it’s likely that the home park mostly turned doubles into homers. Shackelford had a reverse platoon split. He started 27 games at second, mainly when Nick Gonzales was hurt. He didn’t commit many errors at either position.
Shackelford had almost exactly the same year as in 2021, although he didn’t have the assistance of the Greensboro ballpark. He hit 15 longballs on the road and 11 at home. He hit well in nearly every month and appeared to be taking a step forward until he slumped in September, with a .502 OPS for the month. He again had a big reverse platoon split. Shackelford started 55 games at first, 21 at second and seven in right.
Shackelford is eligible for the Rule 5 draft now. The Pirates probably won’t add him to the 40-man roster, partly because he’s already 26.
|2023: Minor league contract
MiLB Debut: 2019
MiLB FA Eligible: 2025
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2022
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 5, 2019: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 14th round, 424th overall pick; signed on June 12.|