On Thursday, 25-year old RHP-Anthony Claggett was designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates to make room for Octavio Dotel. Now that he is fresh on the market, does he fit into the present or future of the Kansas City Royals? Let’s take a look to find out.
Anthony Claggett was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 11th round of the 2005 draft. On November 11th he was traded to the Yankees along with Kevin Whalen and Humberto Sanchez in exchange for Gary Sheffield. On September 24th, 2009 the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed him off waivers.
Prior to the 2009 season, Claggett found his way on to an organization’s top-30 prospect list, as ranked by Baseball America, for the first time in his career. He came in at number 26 on the Yankees list after spending most of 2008 pitching for the Double-A Trenton Thunder. The young right-hander finished that season with a 2.19 ERA, 1.395 WHIP, 8.5 SO/9, and 1.93 SO/BB in 61.2 IP. Claggett made one 3 inning appearance with the High-A Tampa Yankees on April 27th before moving up.
After getting 5.0 innings of Triple-A experience back in 2007, Claggett got his first extended taste of the level during 2009. In 82.0 innings with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees he had a 3.07 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 4.7 SO/9, and 1.34 SO/BB. He also made his forgettable major league debut last season appearing in 2 games with New York, one of which came on April 18th and the other on August 6th. His final Yankees line; 2.2 IP, 11 H, 10 ER, 4 BB, and 3 SO was good for a 33.75 ERA and 5.625 WHIP. On October 3rd, he made his only appearance for Pirates after being claimed off waivers and pitched 1 inning allowing 2 hits and 1 earned run.
Anthony Claggett has now spent five seasons in the minor leagues and has a 2.83 ERA, 1.292 WHIP, 6.9 SO/9, and 2.07 SO/BB in 343.2 IP to show for it. The overall line looks okay, but his SO/9 and SO/BB rates dipped well below his minor league averages while facing Triple-A competition and his brief foray in the majors was a bit of a disaster.
Claggett features an average changeup and a decent fastball that sits in the low 90s with some sink to it. His one plus pitch is his slider which he throws in the mid-80s. He has found a way to get guys out at every level in the minors and has consistently allowed less than a hit per inning. In the lower levels of the minors he also showed the ability to get strikeouts but his SO/BB has never topped 2.90 at any level. He’s still young and there is always a chance he can improve his control but there doesn’t appear to be a lot of projection or upside. Anthony Claggett profiles as a low-end to decent major league middle reliever in the future, but probably needs to spend 2010 in AAA to get his SO/BB rate back up to a reasonable rate.
The Royals have handed out a decent number of minor league contracts to relievers that figure to crowd the Triple-A bullpen. Most of these guys have more upside, more major league experience, or both, so when it comes to Anthony Cleggett, the Royals would be better served spending their time looking elsewhere.
UPDATE: Sunday’s Market Fresh, Greg Golson, was acquired by the New York Yankees today. They sent IF-Mitch Hilligoss and cash to the Rangers to complete the deal.