Everyone has that one friend who is really good at the speed pitch game that pops up at ballparks and fairs and stuff like that. That friend is usually capable of getting into, oh, the 70s or something in that area. If someone is friends with Nathan Patterson, however, he is capable of throwing some serious heat, to the extent that he was able to parlay his nuclear arm into a job with the Oakland Athletics.
Patterson and his brother, Christian, went to a Rockies game back on July 15. The team had a speed pitch game set up, so Patterson stepped in and showed off his fastball. After hitting 90 with what looked to be his first throw, he turned up the dial and got into the mid-90s, topping out with a 96 mile an hour fastball.
— Christian Patterson (@cpatterson_7) July 15, 2019
Two weeks later, Patterson, who is 23 and told MLB.com that he began pitching as a senior in high school but “didn’t really have a good arm then,” put pen to paper on a contract from the Oakland Athletics.
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“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!
This was not the first time that Patterson has both turned heads on social media with his arm and put on a show at a baseball game. Back in January, he showed off his arm as he announced his entry into the MLB Draft, all while he had a cast on his left arm.
Before that, though, Patterson hit 96 at a triple-A baseball game last August, which inspired him to get back into playing shape and see if anything could come of it. Via MLB.com:
His journey began last August at a Nashville Sounds game (they were the A’s Triple-A affiliate at the time). He hit 96 on the radar gun at a speed pitch, which surprised him because he hadn’t thrown “for a few years before that.”
Inspired by that outing, he began training a couple months later, but was then hit by a car and had surgery on his non-throwing wrist in December (hence the cast mentioned above).
He began talking with the A’s in February 2019, kept training, throwing and joined a men’s league to stay fresh. Then that trip to the Rockies game came about and, “a few days later the A’s gave me a call.”
The moral of the story is that if you can throw a baseball in the mid-90s, start posting videos of yourself to the internet, because the Oakland Athletics very well might end up adding you to their rotation.