Todd Van Steensel
Todd Bertram Van Steensel
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 190 lb.
Todd Van Steensel has pitched in the US, Australia and the Netherlands.
Van Steensel's parents were both born in India but he was born and raised in Australia. He was signed by Philadelphia Phillies scout Kevin Hooker in January 2008. He was 2-1 with a 5.83 ERA for the 2009 GCL Phillies. He was 1-0 with a 6.48 ERA for New South Wales in the Claxton Shield. Released the next spring, he worked out more in Australia, then signed with the Minnesota Twins. The scout was Howard Norsetter. He was 0-1 with a 7.94 ERA and .348 opponent average for the Sydney Blue Sox in the 2010-2011 Australian Baseball League. He was 5-2 with a 5.68 ERA for the 2011 Elizabethton Twins. He tied for fifth in the Appalachian League in wins and tied for 9th with 58 strikeouts.
Todd was the youngest member of the Australian national team in the 2011 Baseball World Cup. He was also their least-used player, only appearing once in the team's 12 games. Used to close out a blowout 14-0 loss to Cuba, he surrendered four runs in 1 1/3 IP, allowing four hits in seven at-bats. He had a 3.32 ERA in 11 games for the 2011-2012 Blue Sox, fanning 25 in 21 2/3 IP. Released by Minnesota, he signed with Corendon Kinheim in the Netherlands. He allowed 3 runs in 9 2/3 IP, giving up 10 hits and a walk while striking out nine. His season was cut short when he dislocated his shoulder playing basketball with Luke Wilkins, a Sydney teammate who was playing in Belgium that summer and visiting the Netherlands at the time.
In 2012-2013, he was 2-3 with a 3.50 ERA for Sydney, striking out 23 in 18 innings. He put up nearly identical numbers in 2013-2014 with another 3.50 ERA and 18 innings, striking out one fewer. He was 0-1 with a save. The Twins signed him, giving him his third shot in the minors. This time, he did much better: 8 Sv, 1.30 ERA, .92 WHIP and 45 K in 34 2/3 IP for the Cedar Rapids Kernels and 1-0, Sv, 1.52, 26 K in 23 2/3 IP for the Fort Myers Miracle.
Van Steensel saw limited work for Sydney in 2014-2015 (2 Sv, 2 R, 10 K in 8 UP). With Fort Myers in 2015, he was 2-4 with 13 saves and a 2.32 ERA, striking out 81 in 66 innings, though his control was worse than 2014 (32 BB). He tied Akeel Morris and Montana DuRapau for 5th in the Florida State League in saves and tied Ulises Joaquin and Evan Mitchell for 3rd with 46 games pitched. Among Twins farmhands, he was 5th in saves and second in pitching appearances (two shy of J.T. Chargois). With the Blue Sox in 2015-2016, he struggled (5 Sv, 6.35 ERA, 8 BB, but 17 K in 11 1/3 IP). He tied fellow Hoofdklasse veteran Loek van Mil for 6th in the loop in saves.
Despite his struggles in the winter, he was picked for Australia in the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. He was one of seven Twins farmhands in the Sydney qualifier; no other MLB team had more than two representatives (the other Twins were fellow Aussies James Beresford, Sam Gibbons, Logan Wade and Aaron Whitefield and South Africans Rowan Ebersohn and Callan Pearce). In his lone outing, he relieved Ryan Rowland-Smith in the 7th against South Africa with a 4-1 lead. He struck out Brandon Bouillon, got Rowan Ebersohn on a grounder and K'd Allan Randall. In the 8th, he retired Gift Ngoepe, Anthony Phillips and Jonathan Phillips in order. Ryan Searle relieved in the 9th.