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Trent Oeltjen

Trent Oeltjen - OF
Hometown: Sydney, NSW
Debut: 6 August 2009
Final Game: still active
Teams played for: Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers

Over the past decade and a half, baseball fans in four different countries have had their tongues twisted by the last name of Sydneysider and Major League outfielder Trent Oeltjen.

Born in Sydney, Oeltjen attended school northwest of the city in Castle Hill. He signed with the Minnesota Twins as an amateur free agent in 2001 and debuted professionally for the GCL Twins that year. Oeltjen hit .305 that season with two of the Twins' Rookie-level affiliates.

After his first professional season, Oeltjen's hitting cooled down a bit as he slowly worked his way up in the Twins' system. The outfielder's progress was slowed by his determination to take time off to play for Team Australia in several international tournaments that came up during his time in the Minors. Oeltjen won a silver medal while wearing the green and gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics, and also played for the Southern Thunder in the 2005 Baseball World Cup and the 2006 World Baseball Classic.

In 2006, Oeltjen hit .299 for Double-A New Britain, but his batting average slipped the next season at the next level, when he hit .238 in 97 games for Triple-A Rochester. Nevertheless, Oeltjen had the hot bat in the 2007 Baseball World Cup, hitting .523 in the tournament and leading Team Australia to a 6-1 record. The Arizona Diamondbacks signed him to a free agent contract in the 2007 offseason, and he responded to the confidence of a new organisation by hitting .317 with 60 RBIs at Triple-A.

After participating in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Oeltjen began the 2009 season once again at Triple-A but earned his long-awaited Major League callup at the beginning of August. He made his MLB debut on 6 August, hitting a home run in his second big league at-bat and played regularly for the rest of August. The Diamondbacks returned him to the Minors at the end of the month but recalled him less than two weeks later, and he finished the season in The Show. In 70 MLB at-bats in 2009, Oeltjen hit three home runs and stole three bases, while finishing his Triple-A season hitting .303 with 64 RBIs.

Oeltjen signed with the Milwaukee Brewers that offseason, and spent the first half of the 2010 season with their Triple-A team in Nashville. In the middle of the season the Brewers granted him his release, allowing him to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After hitting a whopping .347 in Triple-A in the Los Angeles system, the Dodgers called him up at the beginning of September where he hit .217 in 14 big league games.

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 Sox that year. He rejoined the Dodgers' system for the 2011 MLB season, but despite hitting .339 at Triple-A, he struggled in limited Major League action. Oeltjen spent the next few seasons with the Triple-A affiliates of several different teams, and in 2014 played in 13 games for the Reno Aces in the D-backs' system before being released. He played out the rest of the 2014 season in Mexico and Italy.

Oeltjen returned to the ABL in the 2013/14 season and hit a blistering .435/.491/.848 in 13 games with Sydney. He'll return to the Blue Sox in 2014/15.

View Trent Oeltjen's career statistics from Baseball Reference

(Photo at right: Oeltjen readies for an at-bat while with the Blue Sox during the 2013/14 ABL season. Credit: SMP Images/ABL Media)