Former Diamondback Catches On With Milwaukee

One of the feel good stories of the 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks season was the promotion of Reno Aces outfielder Trent Oeltjen to the major league club. Oeltjen immediately became a fan favorite with his contagious smile and his eager attitude.

Oeltjen from Sydney Australia appeared in 24 games for the Diamondbacks hitting .243 with three home runs and four RBIs. Nicknamed the “Thunder from Down Under” he had a loyal following of Diamondbacks fans who cheered whenever he appeared in the dugout or on the field.

Given the current log jam in the Diamondbacks outfield it was fairly clear that Oeltjen did not fit into the Diamondbacks plans for 2010 or beyond. Shortly after the season ended he was reassigned to Triple-A Reno.

Oeltjen could either accept the assignment or become a free agent. He chose the later and said farewell to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Minnesota Twins Oeltjen made his way through the Twins farm system before becoming a free agent after the 2007 season.

Arizona signed him to a minor league contract and invited him to Spring Training 2008. He was assigned to the then Tucson Sidewinders. Oeltjen has speed and has a tendency to be a contact hitter. Unfortunately his power and plate patience allowed him to struggle.

Although the Diamondbacks did not retain him, Oeltjen has the talent to play at the major league level especially if he can develop a more patient approach at the plate.

In a rather quiet transaction that came across the wire was a simple one line statement, “The Milwaukee Brewers sign outfielder Trent Oeltjen of the Arizona Diamondbacks to a minor league contract.”

It’s funny, with that simple statement someone’s dream is allowed to remain alive. The signing included an invitation to Spring Training with an opportunity to make the Brewers roster. When players report in February, Oeltjen will find himself once again in Arizona.

Instead of Tucson Electric Park he will make his way to Maryvale with the other Brewers players. There will undoubtedly be a small band of fans who will make their way to a Cactus League game to cheer for the “Thunder from Down Under”


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