Tuesday, February 6, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #21 DJ Snelten

DJ Snelten, LHP.  DOB:  5/29/1992.  6'7", 245 lbs.  Drafted 2013 Round 9.

AA:  4-1, 1.66, 21.2 IP, 5 BB, 28 K, GO/AO= 3.63.
AAA:  4-0, 2.42, 52 IP, 18 BB, 43 K, GO/AO= 2.05.

DJ Snelten is an interesting prospect.  He's a tall lanky lefty who has filled out his frame since being drafted in 2013.  He struggled for a couple of years as a SP, but blossomed last year as a reliever in both AA and more significantly after a promotion to AAA Sacramento.  He has both solid K and BB numbers but an extreme groundball tendency that held up in the PCL where sinkers don't sink so much.  In a Q/A with Conner Penfold of Giant Potential, DJ said he does not throw a typical 2-seam sinker.   What he does is throw his 4 seamer over the top and used his height to drive the ball down in the zone and create a steep downward plane that get hitters to make contact with the upper half of the ball producing all the groundballs.  It will be interesting to see if that approach works at the MLB level, but the results in the PCL where you might expect it to be not so successful are encouraging.  Snelten is a lefty reliever who can go more than 1 inning at a time and face both L and R handed batters.  He should get a chance to prove out in MLB sometime this season.


  1. Snelton is a ST invitee. Hope he'll give the O-men some competition for LH reliever.
    Did you leave Tyler Cyr off your Top 50?

    1. On the 40-man roster, Snelton isn't an "invitee"!

  2. Statistically, Kyle Crick (SSS) was SF's most reliable reliever last year in a very non-contending bullpen.
    Somewhere, somehow the 'pen has to get a whole lot better without Crick and Kontos, both gone to Pittsburgh.
    Smith back should help, and let's hope he, Dyson, and Melancon will firm up the back end.
    Short starts will be a disaster with only Gearin, Okert, and Blach (in limited number of relief appearances) being barely acceptable last year. Perhaps Stratton, too, but he and Blach are possible starters.
    Strickland, Osich, and Law were, as a minimum, disappointing.
    There are slots to fill so the competition should be keen.
    Bluntly, the season depends on improving the relief corps, may well be more than a CFer!
    Opportunity for Beede, Moronta, Snelton, Cyr, Rogers, Fernandez (young), Gomez, Herb, the Johnsons, and ???
    What do you think the make-up will be after Bum, Cueto, and Shark before Smith, Melancon, and Dyson?

    1. The bullpen is greatly improved as long as Melancon and Smith can return at least close to what they did before, Smith being the huge improvement because we had no trustworthy loogy last season, and hopefully Smith can be more of a Affeldt type who can handle both RHH as well as LHH. If we get expected performances from Melancon, Dyson, Smith, Strickland, Gearrin, the bullpen would be significantly improved, as that would be a 3-ish ERA bullpen, whereas overall it was closer to 4.5 ERA in 2017, if I remember right.

      And Gearrin had one of the best pitches in baseball by spin rate in 2017, so it was not like he was all bad, I thought he did a lot of good pitching.

  3. After reading your description, I'm more excited about Snelten. Perhaps he can be the loogy we were searching for last season, that would certainly boost our bullpen if we can have another LHP to get out LHH beyond Smith.

    I would like to know what you think would happen if this happens: suppose Fernandez and Snelten gets chances during the season and does really really well, do the Giants trade off Strickland or Gearrin to open up space to keep both of them on the 25-man? Of course, would love to have this problem, but that's the thought that crossed my mind after reading your Fernanez and Snelten profiles.