4 1/3 IP, 10.38 ERA, 6 R, 4 K, 3 BB
If there were a Sporcle quiz asking you to name all the players that appeared with the Giants in 2018, D.J. Snelten is the one you would miss. He appeared in just four games between April 28 and May 7 before the Giants designated him for assignment, and the Orioles claimed him off waivers. In case you’re wondering if the Giants miss him: No. No they do not.
He never cracked Baltimore’s big-league roster. In fact, the Orioles also designated him for assignment on June 15, a mere nine days after they claimed him. The Orioles! The Orioles lost 115 games, and DJ Snelten wasn’t good enough for them. In 29 1/3 innings with AAA Norfolk, Snelten struck out 30 (which is good!) and walked 17 (which is not good!) and gave up 24 runs (which is bad!).
Snelten is a three-pitch pitcher. His fastball averages 90 MPH, but it has some downward movement. His slider doesn’t have a lot of horizontal movement, but his changeup is decent. The stuff doesn’t exactly excite, hence his forgettable stint with the Giants. But he made it this far via the one thing that’s memorable about him: his funkiness.
The way that he rocks back and forth on his feet makes me seasick. He looks like a vase that’s wobbling and about to fall over. Once he begins, he never stops moving. The way he reaches back is reminiscent of Alex Wood. It’s just too bad he pitches like Wood pitched in the playoffs. Still, it’s gotta be hard as a hitter to time his delivery, so it’s not surprising he can get as many strikeouts as he does with subpar command and unimpressive stuff.
Role on the 2018 Team
Before Will Smith came back, the Giants needed someone to throw baseballs when it was the other team’s turn to bat. Snelten was that someone.
Role on the 2019 Team
DJ Snelten still has a job with the Orioles, but he’s deep down the depth chart behind the likes of Yefry Ramirez, Jhan Marinez, and Jimmy Yacabonis.
Final Grade: F
Snelten got a little more than a cup of coffee in the bigs, and for that, he should be proud. I’ve been grading players based off of their personal projections and expectations, so his appearance on the 25-man could have netted him an A or a B. But getting DFA’d by the Orioles is an automatic fail. That’s like taking a math test and where you’re supposed to write your name, you instead write a synopsis of Kangaroo Jack.