Donald Snelten was the fourth of five collegiate pitchers taken in the first 10 rounds by the San Francisco Giants in 2013, and the first left-hander. Snelten, who goes by "DJ", had just finished his junior season at the University of Minnesota when the Giants selected him in the ninth round, 282nd overall. A starter as a Gopher, Snelten had his best season as a junior, going 5-2 with a 2.15 ERA in eight starts.
Standing at 6'6", Snelten is a presence on the mound, though he's far more athletic than he appears. He featured three pitches — fastball, changeup, curveball — during his outing in a minor league spring training intrasquad game. The fastball was a low-90s offering, while the changeup and curve were both high-70s to low-80s. He made Rafael Rodriguez looks pretty bad in a three-pitch strikeout (video below), but other than that, Snelten's control was average at best.
He projects to be a starting pitcher at the minor league level, though he's been used as a starter and a reliever, both last season with the AZL rookie team and in spring training. Snelten appeared in 14 games in Arizona, starting six of those contests. He had slightly better numbers as a reliever, though he threw 10.1 innings in that role and 24.1 in a starting role. Most notably, he held hitters to a .088 batting average in his eight relief appearances, compared to his .250 opposing batting average as a starter.
With his experience at the college level, paired with an impressive AZL campaign, Snelten should find himself on a full-season roster when the minor league season begins. Augusta is the most likely home for Snelten to start 2014, but the question will be whether the GreenJackets will choose to operate a six-man rotation or not. My guess is, if they go with the extra starter, Snelten will be that guy. Otherwise, the Illinois native could serve as the long-man until a spot opens for him behind guys like Chase Johnson, Pat Young, Keury Mella, and Luis Ysla.