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Trent Oeltjen

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2003 Bowman Heritage #249 Trent Oeltjen

Trent Carl Wayne Oeltjen

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 190 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Trent Oeltjen was signed by the Minnesota Twins organization in 2001. The 18-year-old hit .321/.387/.418 for the GCL Twins that year, with 10 steals in 13 tries and .233/.226/.267 in 9 games for the Elizabethton Twins. He would have been fourth in the Gulf Coast League in batting average had he played enough to qualify. In '02, Trent hit .298/.363/.391 for Elizabethton but only .240/.321/.280 in 10 games with the Quad City River Bandits.

Oeltjen was a bright spot for a last-place River Bandits team in 2003. He hit .298/.371/.384 and led the Midwest League with 20 times hit by pitch. He was 8th in the league in batting average and stole 29, but was caught 14 times. In '04, the Aussie hit .278/.352/.337 and stole 25 of 33 for the Fort Myers Miracle. He missed time when he represented his home country of Australia in the 2004 Olympics.

At age 22, the outfielder hit .287/.369/.396 in a return engagement with Fort Myers and was hit by another 20 pitches. He batted .235/.278/.471 for Australia in the 2005 Baseball World Cup. He also played for Australia in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and went 0 for 6 with three strikeouts and a walk. Leading off for the World team in the 2006 Futures Game, he was 0 for 2. He batted .299/.378/.411 for the New Britain Rock Cats that year, with 10 triples and 23 steals in 34 attempts. He was four triples behind Eastern League leader Vic Buttler and finished third in batting average behind Michel Abreu and fellow Aussie Brett Roneberg.

Oeltjen struggled in his AAA debut, hitting .238/.303/.340 for the 2007 Rochester Red Wings in 97 games and stealing 14 bases in 21 tries. In the 2007 Baseball World Cup, though, Oeltjen was one of the brightest stars. He hit .523/.580/.614 with 7 steals in 9 tries and 12 runs in 10 games. He led the tournament in average, runs and stolen bases. He joined Frederich Cepeda and Colby Rasmus in the Cup All-Star outfield. He drove in Brad Harman in the 7th inning against the Cuban national team for a 2-1 lead before Cuba rallied to win in the 10th. He scored one, drove in two and was a homer short of a cycle in a 4-3 win over the Dutch national team. He scored three runs in a 7-6 win over Team Canada. Oeltjen was involved in a dispute with members of the Mexican national team. Taking offense after being hit by a David Dominguez pitch, Oeltjen stole second despite a nice Australian lead late in the game. After he was picked off, the Mexican fielders and Oeltjen began to argue and both benches cleared to join the conflict. It was the lone dark spot in an excellent tournament for the center fielder.

Trent moved to the Arizona Diamondbacks system for 2008 and hit .317/.357/.466 with 10 triples and 15 steals (in 22 tries) for the Tucson Sidewinders. He had 10 outfield assists. He just missed the top 10 in the Pacific Coast League in batting average and tied Nate Schierholtz and Andres Torres for second in triples, 3 behind Tim Raines Jr.

Oeltjen was with Australia for the 2009 World Baseball Classic and remained one of their top performers. He went 6 for 12 with a double, RBI, walk and 2 steals in 2 tries. He led the team in hits and was second to Brett Roneberg in average. He was especially sharp against the Mexican national team, getting 4 hits in 5 AB; he had two hits off Oliver Perez and one off both Francisco Campos and David Cortes.

Oeltjen remained strong in early 2009, hitting .300/.358/.505 with a PCL-high 14 triples and 19 steals (in 27 tries) in 106 games for the Reno Aces.

Trent Oeltjen was called up to the majors August 6, 2009 when Justin Upton was injured. That night, Oeltjen recorded his first major league hit against Pittsburgh Pirates' pitcher Kevin Hart. Oeltjen then proceeded to steal his first major league base. He added a home run later in the day to finish 2-for-6 in his big league debut. In his first five major league games, Oeltjen was 12 for 24 with 3 home runs and 25 total bases. He had six runs in that span.

Sources: 2002-2006 Baseball Almanacs, Minorleaguebaseball.com, Worldbaseballclassic.com, 2005 Baseball World Cup website, IBAF site

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