|2012 Dodgers Player Profiles|
|This continues our series of 2012 player profiles, where we will analyze one player per day, between now and the end of spring training. This is also the spot for our community projections, so be sure to give us your predictions for each player for this season in the comments section.|
After beginning his minor-league career by signing with the Minnesota Twins as an 18-year old free agent, the left-hand hitting outfielder spent time in the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers organizations, including 74 plate appearances in his major-league debut season with the 2009 Arizona club. Technically the Dodgers have signed Oeltjen as a free agent twice, once after his release from the Brewers in 2010, and again this past off-season after non-tendering him.
Last year the Dodgers purchased Oeltjen's contract on June 9th and he managed to finish out the year on the 25-man roster, but only accumulating 91 plate appearances in the process, less than the number of games we was on the roster (96). Not surprising for the man who led the Dodgers in appearances as a pinch-hitter in 2011, however, hit only .167/.286/.208 in that capacity.
Oeltjen won a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics as a member of the Australian baseball team. However that wasn't his first Olympic experience: in the 2000 Sydney Summery Olympics he was a batboy, including working for the U.S. team managed by Tommy Lasorda in the gold-medal game against Cuba.
The lefty hit an inside-the-park home run last season in Colorado.
He is the fourth Australian native to play for the Dodgers, following in the footsteps of Craig Shipley, Luke Prokopec, and Jeff Williams.
Per the True Blue LA Dodgers Payroll Worksheet (big props to Eric), Oeltjen will make around the major-league minimum if he is on the 25-man roster as he is currently on a minor league deal. He is out of options.
Previous Dodgers Player Profiles:
2011: Although we wrote 49 profiles last year and Oeltjen was in camp, his wasn't one of them.
|2012 Projections - Age 29 Season|
|(AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)|
Although he is out of options, Oeltjen is still a longshot to make the opening-day roster for a team that has four outfielders definitely ahead of him on the depth chart - Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Juan Rivera, Tony Gwynn Jr., - and another competent, experienced outfielder in utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. on the bench. My prediction is that Oeltjen doesn't make the opening-day roster, accepts an assignment to Albuquerque, hits reasonably well there, then has his contract purchased by the Dodgers on August 1 after a deadline deal sends Andre Ethier to Boston.
What is your prediction for Trent Oeltjen in 2012? Be sure to guess BA/OBP/SLG, and anything else you wish to guess.