Blogs > Minor Matters

Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Top 10 Players for 2012 - No. 10: Preston Claiborne

Bio: Claiborne was the Yankees' 17th-round selection in 2010, out of Tulane University. He's a right-hander who checks in at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, and he'll be 24 when the season starts in April. Along with Chase Whitley, Claiborne was one of two college relievers from the 2010 class whom the Yankees chose to pass over Low-A Charleston.

2010 was the second time he was drafted. The first was in 2006, when the Pirates selected him in the 23rd round out of Newman Smith High School, in Carrollton, Tex.

Last year: After 31 innings between Staten Island and Tampa in 2010, the Yankees ramped up Claiborne's workload in 2011. He tossed 81 frames out of the T-Yanks' bullpen, as well as another dozen for the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League.

Overall, he finished with a 3-9 record between the teams, allowed 84 hits (eight longballs) over 93 innings, and worked to a WHIP of 1.26 (I removed four intentional walks from his total).

A scout who saw him with Tampa was not impressed. He noted a fastball that sat between 89 and 92 miles per hour that was delivered with little deception and a long, stabbing arm action in rendering his judgment.

What's Next: Claiborne will probably be part of a host of interesting arms toward the back of the Thunder's bullpen in 2012. If he can clean up his delivery, perhaps he can raise his stock as a prospect.

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