Lakes graduate Snelten relishes his time in Major League Baseball
D.J. Snelten hopes he hasn’t seen the last of his Major League Baseball experience.
The 2010 Lakes graduate recently made his big league debut, appearing in four games for the San Francisco Giants before returning to their Sacramento Class AAA team and more recently being designated for assignment.
It’s an experience Snelten admits not many forecasted for him, which is part of why he treasures it the way he seems to.
“It means so much to me for multiple reasons,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “As a younger kid, I grew up on the heavier side. I had signs of being able to be a decent baseball player, but I wasn’t quite as far developed as everyone else. I got cut from some teams I tried out for and my dad (Don) always pushed me to want it, to be good and get better at the game.”
Snelten came to heed those words, leading to the call not many ever thought he’d be on the other end of.
“To be able to go from the kid who could barely make the team when he was 13 to getting his first major league call-up 12 years later is a huge accomplishment,” he told the Tribune. “It shows that if you do want something bad enough, you can find a way to make it happen. You’ll never know if you don’t try.”
During his brief, but lasting stay, the 25-year-old lefty appeared in four games as a reliever, allowing five earned runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out four and had three walks.
Snelten pitched two seasons for Lakes, and was named honorable mention all-state as a senior. He was drafted in the 30th round by San Diego, but decided to play college baseball at Minnesota. The Giants tabbed him in the ninth-round in the 2013 draft.
No matter what, Snelten said he’ll always have the memories. He made his big-league debut in the eighth inning of a close game against the rival L.A. Dodgers, where he retired the first batter he faced, All-Star Corey Seager, on a groundout.
“It happened so quickly,” Snelten told the Tribune. “I was focused on getting the job done. My adrenaline was through the roof.”