Randy Dobnak is the latest example of how, sometimes, a player just needs a shot.
In 2015, Dobnak was in the Valley League, pitching for the Front Royal Cardinals. He was quite good; in the regular sason he went 1-3, 2.45 in 33 innings, and then was even better in the playoffs, going 1-0, 0.77, while allowing only one run in 11 2/3 innings pitched.
He went to Alderson-Broaddus in 2016 and 2017, a Division-II school in Philippi, West Virginia. In his last year there, 2017, he went 6-4, 2.69, with 62 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings pitched. He was not drafted, but the Minnesota Twins came along and signed him as an undrafted free agent on August 1st, 2017, and assigned him to Elizabethton in the Appalachian League.
He split 2017 between Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids (Midwest League), and then spent all of 2018 in Cedar Rapids. He was fine, not great, going 10-5, 3.14, while allowing 138 hits in 129 innings.
But he really took off this season. Starting in High-A Fort Myers, he ripped through four starts, going 3-0, 0.40. The Twins moved him up to Pensacola, in the Double-A Southern League. He threw in 11 games there, ten of them starts, and went 4-2, 2.57, with an incredible six walks against 61 strikeouts. Next stop: Triple-A Rochester, where he went 4-2, 2.00, with 27 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched.
Now, almost exactly two years after being signed as an undrafted Division-II player, Dobnak made his major league debut last night for the Twins against the Cleveland Indians.
Dobnak entered the game in the fifth inning with the Twins down, 6-1, and pitched all the way to the end of the game. In four total innings, he allowed six hits, zero runs, zero walks, and struck out three. The Twins still lost the game, but Randy Dobnak is now a major league baseball player!