As promised I will be profiling a different Dodger from Australia in this new series about Dodgers from the land down under. Our first Aussie is a current Dodger. Outfielder Trent Oeltjen is still on the Dodger’s 40 man roster. I almost forgot about Oeltjen, but I’m glad I remembered he was still with the team. So let’s talk about Trent Oeltjen for a few minutes…..
Trent Carl Wayne Oeltjen, is 28 years old and was born in Sydney, New South Whales, Australia in 1983. Oeltjen bast and throws left handed, and is 6’1 and 190 pounds. Oeltjen has been playing professional Baseball since 2001. Trent was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Twins in 2001. Trent played very well during his minor league career, while advancing quickly up the organizational ladder. However he didn’t reach the big leagues until 2009 with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Oeltjen batted .321 for the Gulf Coast League Twins, and was promoted Elizabethton Twins before the next season. Trent next was promoted to the Quad City River Bandits, which is a class-A team. He batted around .300 for the Quad City River Bandits, and was promoted next to the Fort Myers Miracle for the 2004 season. Oeltjen played in the 2004 Athens Olympics on the Australian National Baseball Team. Oeltjen also played for the Australian team in the 2005 World Baseball Cup, and the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
Oeltjen batted .300 with the double-AA New Britain Rock Cats in 2006. He was also picked as an all-star futures game selection the same year. In 2007 Trent was promoted to the triple-AA Rochester Red Wings, where he had a poor season, but played very well in the 2007 Baseball World Cup. He hit for a .523 average, while leading in stolen bases (7), runs scored with (9), and was picked to the Cup all-star team.
Oeltjen signed with Arizona in 2008 as a free agent. He played for the Tuscon Sidewinders that year, and batted .317 with six home runs, in 127 games. Oeltjen played in the world Baseball classic once again in 2009, and again played very well. Trent went 6 for 12 in the tournament. 2009 would finally see Trent called up to the majors, but not before he played solid ball in the minors. Oeltjen batted .303 with 10 home runs, in 114 games for triple-AAA Reno, of the PCL. On August 6, of 2009, Justin Upton got injured, and Oeltjen was called up to the big club to replace him on the roster.
On that day in Trent’s first MLB game, he homered, stole a base, and drove in a run going 2 for 6. He got his first hit off of the Pirates pitcher Kevin Hart, and hit his first major league home run off Pirates pitcher Jesse Chavez in the 8th inning. What do you know? Oeltjen got hot over the next couple of weeks, and set an MLB record. In his third game he hit a lead-off homer against the Nationals, and homered again in his fourth game against the Mets. That’s three home runs in his first 20 MLB at-bats. Oeltjen had a four hit game on August 11th, coming just one hit short of the cycle. He became just the fifth MLB player since 1961 to have twelve hits in his first five MLB games. Unfortunately for Oeltjen his ht streak ended, and after going 5 for his last 55 at-bats, he was optioned back down to Reno on August 29.
In 2010, Oeltjen signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. He played for their triple-AAA affiliate Nashville. In 70 games he hit .301 with 8 home runs and 38 RBI. He exercised his out clause in his contract and was released from Milwaukee on July 1 of 2010.
On July 6 of 2010, Oeltjen signed a contract with the Dodgers, and was assigned to the Albuquerque Isotopes. For the Isotopes he hit .349 with five home runs in 49 games that year. The Dodgers called up Oeltjen to the big club on September 7, 2010. In 14 games with the Dodgers that season, Trent found his way to the plate, 23 times, batting .217 with no home runs, and five hits. On December 3, 2010, the Dodgers non-tendered him making him a free agent. A few days later, the Dodgers resigned Oeltjen, and re-assigned him to Albuquerque. That winter he was named to the Australian Baseball League’s Sydney Blue Sox’s roster for the Australian summer but never played.
Oeltjen played in 56 games for the Isotopes in 2011. He batted .339 with 8 home runs, and 34 RBI. On June 9, 2011 Oeltjen was called back up to the Dodgers. In 2011 Trent played in 61 games, recording 71 at-bats, while hitting .197, with two home runs, and six runs driven in. two games in particular stand out in my memory last year. On June 28, Oeltjen had a four hit game against his old team the Twins. He went 4 for 4 that game, with a home run, three runs scored, and two runs driven in, as the Dodgers won 15-0 on a 25-hit attack. The second great Oeltjen game came on August 20, at Colorado. In a 13 inning Dodger loss, Oeltjen smacked an inside the park home run.
Oeltjen is a decent outfielder, and has had experience at all three outfield positions. Oeltjen has hit 55 career minor league home runs, and five career major league home runs. He’s a career .299 hitter in the minors, and has a .220 mark in the majors. Trent Oeltjen should provide some outfield depth for the Dodgers in 2012. As Vinny would say G’day Mate! Check in later for more Dodgers from the land down under. (I promise you, I won’t sing the 80’s song)