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Oakland A's Sign Pitcher After He Throws 96 MPH At A Ballpark Speed Test

Nathan Patterson hasn’t played high-level baseball since his senior year of high school, but after an impressive round at the speed pitch challenge at a Rockies game, where he hit 96 mph on the radar gun, the 23-year-old now has a signed contract with the Oakland A’s.

There’s a bit more to it than just that fairytale moment, but as Patterson tells it to, his showing on the radar gun in Colorado was the final push that got him a gig in the A’s organization, after nearly a year of training and working through adversity.


Patterson’s story starts with a different speed pitch challenge, from last August at a Nashville Sounds game (then the Athletics’ Triple-A team). According to MLB, he hit 96 in the pitching cage there, even though he hadn’t thrown “for a few years before that.”

Patterson began training in earnest not long after, but in December, he was hit by a car and had to have surgery on his left (non-throwing) wrist. Based on this video, however, the cast only slowed him down a few miles per hour, tops.

Patterson says the A’s had been talking to him since February, while he was pitching in a men’s league, but it was a couple weeks ago that he went to a Rockies game and fired off multiple throws in the mid-90s. The A’s, he says, called him a few days later.


On Thursday, Patterson officially signed his contract with the team:


Patterson will likely start at the lowest levels of the minor-league system, but you never know, maybe this is only the beginning of a much wilder journey to come. I mean, eight games back of the Astros, and last in the league in strikeouts, the Oakland A’s need all the help they can get.


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