Born: July 15, 1984
Height: 6′ 3″
Weight: 195
Bats: Both
Throws: Right
Drafted: 11th Round, 330th Overall, 2005
How Acquired: Waiver Claim
College: University of Cal-Riverside
Agent: N/A


Claggett went to the Yankees from Detroit as part of the Gary Sheffield deal.  The Detroit connection probably explains the Pirates’ interest in him, as Pirate scouting director Greg Smith was with the Tigers at the time they drafted Claggett.  Baseball America rated Claggett as the 26th best prospect in an overrated Yankees’ system going into 2009.  He throws a low-90s fastball that sinks well enough to give him good GO/AO ratios prior to 2010.  His out pitch is a slider and he worked on a changeup when he was starting games.  He’s had large platoon splits in the minors.  The Pirates claimed Claggett off waivers in late September.  At that point, their bullpen had fallen to pieces, along with the rest of the team, which had pretty much quit in late August.  Whether the Pirates were simply desperate for innings with several of their relievers hurt, or whether they couldn’t pass up the chance to claim Claggett, I don’t know.  It says something, though, that no American League team claimed him.

A-:  0-1-7, 4.03 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 22.1 IP, 4.8 BB/9, 10.1 K/9 

Claggett had a variable debut in short season ball in 2005, pitching entirely in relief.  He had a .271 opponents’ average, but also a very good K rate of 10.1 per nine innings.

A:  7-2-14, 0.91 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 59.1 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 8.8 K/9
AAA:  0-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 9.99 BB/9, 18.00 K/9 

Had an outstanding year, still in relief in low A, putting himself on the prospect map despite not being an early round draft pick.  He fanned a batter an inning and opponents hit only .174 against him.

A+:  9-8-2, 3.69 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 112.1 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 6.1 K/9
AAA:  0-0-0, 5.40 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 5 IP, 1.8 BB/9, 1.8 K/9

The Yankees obtained Claggett in the off-season and he spent much of the season in their rotation in the Florida State League.  The move didn’t go well.  His ERA was 3.69 in a pitching environment, opponents hit .274 against him and his K/9 dropped to 6.1.

A+:  0-0-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 3 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 9.0 K/9
AA:  4-2-9, 2.15 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 58.2 IP, 4.6 BB/9, 8.4 K/9 

Claggett moved back to relief in 2008 in AA.  His ERA was excellent, but he allowed a lot of baserunners.  His K rate went back up and he allowed only one HR.

AAA (NYY):  7-7-4, 3.07 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 82 IP, 3.5 BB/9, 4.7 K/9
MLB (NYY):  0-0-0, 33.75 ERA, 5.63 WHIP, 2.2 IP, 13.5 BB/9, 10.1 K/9
MLB (Pgh):  0-0-0, 9.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 1 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 0.0 K/9 

Prior to being waived, Claggett was generally pitching well in AAA, but his K rate fell sharply to 4.7.  A very brief trial with Yankees resulted in ten earned runs in 2.2 IP.  He pitched in only one game after being claimed by the Pirates.

AA:  0-0-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 15 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 7.8 K/9
AAA:  3-1-1, 6.26 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 54.2 IP, 3.6 BB/9, 7.2 K/9 

The Pirates designated Claggett for assignment when they signed Octavio Dotel.  That meant all three of Yankee rejects whom they acquired in 2009 (Steven Jackson and Eric Hacker being the others) were waived within the space of a few months.  He cleared waivers and was assigned to Indianapolis.  He had an outside chance to make the roster in spring training but ended up in AAA.  He pitched poorly, although his peripherals weren’t as awful as his ERA.  Claggett also spent a little time at Altoona due to some overcrowding in AAA.  It was a missed opportunity for Claggett, as the Pirates needed bodies for the last two months when they traded or released most of their veteran relievers.

AA:  5-5-2, 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 62.1 IP, 4.6 BB/9, 5.2 K/9
AAA:  0-0-0, 1.42 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 6.1 IP, 5.7 BB/9, 7.1 K/9 

Claggett wasn’t yet eligible for minor league free agency and he spent most of the season at Altoona, pitching just four games at Indianapolis.  He had a solid season in AA, but nothing like what you’d expect from a pitcher with his experience.  Hitters batted only .213 against him, but he had control problems and struck out barely more than he walked.  He’s become more of a flyball pitcher in the last couple years and he had mild gopher ball problems, allowing about one HR per nine innings pitching for a team whose home ballpark suppresses HRs.

Claggett will be eligible for free agency in the off-season.  He’s been going in the wrong direction with the Pirates, so it seems very likely he’ll move on.  Hopefully the departures of Claggett and the re-acquired Steve Jackson will signal an end to the team’s efforts to build a bullpen by picking up low-upside Yankees’ castoffs.  A little less fascination with sinkerballers might be good, too.

Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
2012: Minor League Contract
2009: $400,000 in majors, $32,500 in minors
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2005
MLB Debut: 4/18/2009
MiLB FA Eligible: 2011
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2008 (Removed 1/21/2010)
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2009)
MLB Service Time: 0.012
June 7, 2005: Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 11th round, 330th overall pick; signed on June 17.
November 10, 2006: Acquired by the New York Yankees from the Detroit Tigers along with Kevin Whelan and Humberto Sanchez in exchange for Gary Sheffield.
November 20, 2008: Contract purchased by the New York Yankees.
September 24, 2009: Claimed off of waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the New York Yankees.
January 21, 2009: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
January 27, 2009: Outrighted to AAA by the Pittsburgh Pirates.