Just a few weeks after lighting up the radar gun at a Coors Field speed pitch cage during a Colorado Rockies game, 23-year-old Nathan Patterson is getting his shot to play for a major league team.
The Oakland Athletics, who had been keeping track of the right-hander for some time, recently signed Patterson to a minor league contract.
Patterson went viral after video of him throwing well into the 90s at the cage in Coors Field hit social media. Last summer, he hit 96 mph under the same circumstances at a Triple-A Nashville Sounds game.
View this post on Instagram
"How can you not be romantic about baseball" -Billy Beane Words cannot describe this feeling and I cannot thank everyone enough who has been part of this journey so far! My family has given me nothing but constant love and support throughout the last 9 months as I pursue a dream of mine that I've had since I was a little kid. It's been a roller coaster to get here with many challenges and overcoming adversity. I'm grateful for all the trainers, coaches, friends, @rsrbaseball and everyone else who has supported me thus far! And for those who tell you that you can't achieve your dreams, use that as fuel to work even harder. Because those people are the ones that settle. I'm grateful for the @athletics organization for giving me this opportunity! This story is not over. It is not the beginning. I am writing the next chapters and excited for this journey! Time to focus even more, work even harder, and it all starts with your mindset. Go after your dreams and make them a reality!
The Athletics began talking with Patterson in January. He was training at that point and, after healing from a wrist injury, played in a men's league to stay on top of his game.
When he tried his hand in the speed pitch cage in Denver and the result circulated on social media, the A's took notice again.
"A few days later the A's gave me a call," Patterson said, according to MLB.com.
Patterson has been assigned to Oakland's rookie team in the Arizona League.
"While we understand that this is a great story, we want to let Nathan settle in to the organization and focus on his development as a baseball player," a team spokesman said.