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Anthony Claggett
Anthony Claggett

Anthony Claggett - Alumnus

It has been written that minor league baseball players are "good enough to dream." Former Palm Springs Indian student-athlete Anthony Claggett has joined those ranks.

Drafted as a college junior in the eleventh round of Major League Baseball's 2005 amateur draft by the Detroit Tigers, Claggett spent this past summer in Oneonta, New York playing in the short-season class A New York-Penn League. Claggett put together a solid performance in his first year as a professional. He led his team in appearances and saves while compiling more strikeouts than innings pitched. "Getting drafted was a dream come true, but really the hard work is in front of me," the six feet-three inch, 195 pound right-hander said by phone recently.

Claggett played two varsity sports at Palm Springs High School, and was what most people would call a late bloomer. During his senior season as a basketball player he was listed as a 5-11 forward. As a three-year starter on the baseball team, Claggett played mostly shortstop. He pitched a total of thirty-one innings in that period. He was able to earn a scholarship to NCAA Division I UC Riverside as a middle infielder. It wasn't until his sophomore year that the Highlanders' pitching coach Andrew Checketts tried Claggett as a pitcher. By the end of his junior season he had grown to his present height, had his fastball clocked at 94 mph, and attracted the attention of every professional baseball organization.

Claggett recalls his time a Palm Springs High as special. "I mostly remember the people I hung out with. But, I also found out a lot about myself. The coaches constantly challenged us to get better," he said. His contract with the Tigers pays for his final year at UC Riverside. He plans to take one quarter each off-season until he earns his BA in Business. "Palm Springs gave me the foundation I needed to be successful in college," he added.

The keys to advancing to the major leagues, according to Claggett, are improving his change-up into a "plus" pitch and his control "within the strike zone." "I loved my first year in pro-ball, but these guys...some of them are incredible. I've got a lot to work on," said the twenty-one year old. With that improvement Claggett might just go from "good enough to dream," to good enough to make it to the big leagues.