What’s particularly fun about this signing? Well, I mean, aside from the triple digit potential and enormous pitching frame? Snelten not only grew up a Cubs fan, but he was most recently pitching locally for the independent Chicago Dogs before working with the Rays this past year:
officially signed with the @cubs organization! Having an opportunity to play for the cubs has always been a dream of mine since I was a kid going to Wrigley Field every summer since I can remember! Thanks to @RaysBaseball for an opportunity to compete this past season! #GoCubsGo pic.twitter.com/HmJeGCzjld
— DJ Snelten (@DJSnelten) November 17, 2020
DJ Snelten has gone from low 9’s to high 9’s. He has completely rebuilt his lower half. He sat 97-99 today.
DJ has MLB experience.
— Nick Sanzeri (@SanzeriBaseball) December 4, 2019
Here he is hitting 100 a couple weeks ago: https://t.co/AfwHSvdif5
— Brad (@ballskwok) November 18, 2020
Snelton, 28, rose steadily through the minors after being a 9th rounder in 2013 with the Giants, but his production waned dramatically as he reached the upper levels. He got a cup of coffee with the Giants in 2018, but the results just weren’t there, and he wound up doing the indy ball thing in 2019.
But that’s when he put in the work you see above, remaking himself as a plus-plus velocity guy, and right now, you just take a chance on that. Whether he can harness it enough to be productive remains to be seen, but you don’t have too many guys around who can touch 100 mph, and the Cubs have finally started to load up on them.
Interestingly, Snelten – a long-time reliever – pitched as a starter for the Chicago Dogs in 2019. I tend to think that was more a product of his talent than an affiliated/MLB role (he still probably projects as a reliever), but it’s interesting to see all the same.