Oeltjen with the Los Angeles Dodgers
|Brisbane Bandits – No. 10|
28 February 1983 |
Sydney, New South Wales
|6 August, 2009, for the Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Last MLB appearance|
|28 September, 2011, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Runs batted in||11|
|Career highlights and awards|
|2004 Athens||National team|
|Haarlem Baseball Week|
|2016 Haarlem||National team|
Trent Carl Wayne Oeltjen (/ /; born 28 February 1983 in Sydney, Australia) is an Australian former professional baseball outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is 6'1" (185 cm) tall and weighs 190 pounds (86 kg). In 2004, he was part of the Australian national baseball team, who achieved a Silver Medal in the baseball tournament at the Athens Olympics.
Oeltjen was signed by the Minnesota Twins organization in 2001. He hit at a .321/.387/.418 clip in his debut year for the GCL Twins and was quickly promoted to the Elizabethton Twins before the end of the season. The following year, Trent continued to excel and was promoted to the Class A Quad City River Bandits. He continued to improve and by the end of 2003 he was batting just under .300 in 123 games for Quad City and was promoted to the Fort Myers Miracle for the '04 season where he missed games to play for the Australia national baseball team in the 2004 Athens Olympics. Oeltjen would go on to represent Australia at the 2005 Baseball World Cup and 2006 World Baseball Classic.
Trent was impressing critics as he continued to rise through the ranks, batting at .300 with the AA team New Britain Rock Cats in 2006 and was picked for the World team in the 2006 All-Star Futures Game. Following this success, he was promoted to AAA in 2007 for the Rochester Red Wings and although struggled in the regular season, he was perhaps the most outstanding individual player in the 2007 Baseball World Cup where he hit at a 523/.580/.614 clip to lead averages, steals (7) and runs (9) and was picked in the Cup All-Star team.
In 2008, he signed as a free agent with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He hit .317/.357/.466 for the Tucson Sidewinders. His consistent performances continued when Oeltjen was with Australia for the 2009 World Baseball Classic and batted 6 for 12 in the tournament. In the 2009 season he was batting over .300 and slugging .505 for the Reno Aces. He was called up to the majors on 6 August 2009, when Justin Upton was injured.
On 6 August 2009, Oeltjen recorded his first major league hit against Pittsburgh Pirates' pitcher Kevin Hart. Oeltjen then proceeded to steal his first major league base. He then hit his first major league home run off Pittsburgh Pirates' pitcher Jesse Chavez in the top of the 8th inning, a blast over the right field wall. Oeltjen finished the game 2 for 6 with an RBI and two stolen bases.
In his third game, he hit a lead-off home run against the Washington Nationals, as well as one against the New York Mets in his fourth game. Oeltjen hit his three home runs in his first 20 at bats. He also came one hit shy of the cycle in a four hit game on 11 August. The four hits meant that he became the fifth player in the "expansion era" since 1961 to have twelve hits in the first five major league games played.
On 29 August Oeltjen was optioned back to Reno for Chris Young as he had only 5 hits in his last 55 at-bats. He was recalled only 10 days later, and on 10 September as a pinch runner, was the winning run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a base-on-balls walk-off.
Oeltjen signed a minor league contract which included an invitation to spring training with the Milwaukee Brewers on 4 December 2009. On 1 July 2010, he exercised an out clause in his contract and was granted his release from the Brewers.
Los Angeles Dodgers
On 6 July 2010, Oeltjen signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and was assigned to AAA Albuquerque Isotopes. He hit .347 in 49 games for the Isotopes. He was called up to the Dodgers on 7 September 2010. He appeared in 14 games with the Dodgers, getting 5 hits in 23 at-bats for a .217 average. On 3 December 2010, he was non-tendered, making him a free agent. He was re-signed by the Dodgers to a minor league contract on 7 December. He was named on the roster for the Australian Baseball League franchise Sydney Blue Sox in the offseason However, he never played during the Australian summer and was assigned to AAA Albuquerque for 2011. With the Isotopes, Oeltjen was hitting .339 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs in 56 games. He was called back up to the Dodgers on 9 June and remained with the club the rest of the season as a reserve outfielder. He hit .197 in 61 games with 2 home runs and stole 6 bases.
Oeltjen was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on May 14, 2012, but remained with the Isotopes, where he hit .294 in 112 games. On October 6, 2012 Oeltjen elected free agency.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Arizona Diamondbacks (second stint)
On March 31, 2014, the Diamondbacks signed Oeltjen to a minor league contract. He briefly returned to the Reno Aces, the Diamondbacks' AAA affiliate, before being loaned to the Toros de Tijuana of the Mexican Baseball League. Oeltjen appeared in 10 games for the Toros before being returned to the Aces, where he played in 13 games before being released on May 19, 2014.
Australian Baseball League
Leading up to the inaugural season of the new ABL in 2010/11, Oeltjen was named to the Sydney Blue Sox roster and saw action in two games for the Blue Sox that year. After spending 2011 and 2012 with the Dodgers, he returned for the 2013/14 and 2014/15 ABL seasons with the Blue Sox, seeing positive returns and his role expanded each year.
Oeltjen would not return for the 2015/16 season, but signed with the defending champion Brisbane Bandits for the 2016/17 season. Oeltjen contributed a key two-run double in the Preliminary final series against the Adelaide Bite. The Bandits would go on to defend their title, defeating the Melbourne Aces in two games.
During the summer of 2016, Oeltjen briefly joined the Pittsburg Diamonds of the Pacific Association independent baseball league. Oeltjen appeared in only two games, going 3-for-7 (.429) with a home run.
In February 2016, Oeltjen played right field for the Australia national baseball team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic – Qualifier 1. Australia defeated the Philippines and South Africa twice to advance in the tournament. He appeared in all three games, going 5-for-9 with two walks, three runs, and four RBI.
In July 2016, Oeltjen played for Australia during 2016 Haarlem Baseball Week, splitting time between right field and DH. Over seven games, Oeltjen went 8-for-28 (.286) with a solo home run off of the Netherlands' Jim Ploeger. Oeltjen was named Most Popular Player in the tournament. Australia placed third overall.
Oeltjen returned to the World Baseball Classic in 2017 to compete with Australia. Australia was eliminated in the first round, losing to both Japan and Cuba. Oeltjen appeared in two games, both times as the designated hitter, going 1-for-7, with three strikeouts and a walk. His lone hit was a solo home run off of Cuba's Vladimir García.
Oeltjen and pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith co-founded NxtGen Baseball, a training camp for young baseball players.
- Trent Oeltjen profile. Australian Baseball Federation
- Trent Oeltjen selected in World Team to play in All-Stars Futures Game. Australian Baseball Federation
- Trent Oeltjen makes his Major League debut, Baseball Queensland. 7 August 2009.
- Sedgman, Cassandra (10 August 2009). "Good Day for Aussies in Major League". Gold Coast, QLD Australia: Australian Baseball Federation. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- Nageshwar, Pranesh (11 August 2009). "Trent Oeltjen Makes Dream Debut". Castle Hill, NSW Australia: Hills Shire Times. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- Haller, Doug (12 August 2009). "Notes: Garland makes no excuses". Phoenix, AZ United States: AZCentral. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
- Singer, Tom (29 August 2009). "Young returns to Majors". MLB.com. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
- Gilbert, Steve (8 September 2009). "D-backs recall pair from Triple-A Reno". MLB.com. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
- Gilbert, Steve (10 September 2009). "D-backs walk off ninth over Dodgers". MLB.com. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
- "Gregg Zaun agrees to deal with Brewers". Associated Press. USA Today. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
- Trent Oeltjen - Albuquerque
- "LA story: Oeltjen gets another crack at big time". The Sydney Morning Herald. 9 September 2010.
- "Sydney Blue Sox Roster - Season 2010/11" (PDF). Sydney Blue Sox. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
- "Trent Oeltjen to retire as a Blue Sox". abl.com. January 20, 2015.