From the stands to the mound: Brewers sign viral sensation to minor league deal

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The Brewers' newest prospect didn’t play college baseball and he wasn’t drafted out of high school either. Nathan Patterson ran a landscaping business, then started a career in sales. Until he went to a Rockies game as a fan, hit 96 miles per hour on one of those radar gun booths and his brother posted it on Twitter.

“But I actually told him, I was like 'dude don’t post that that. I don’t want to be that guy.’”

Posting the video was the right call. Two days later it had millions of views and Oakland A’s called to sign Nathan.

“It’s amazing the power of social media and how it’s changed the course of my life and the opportunities it has given me. It’s pretty unreal how Twitter has singlehandedly has gotten me into professional baseball.”

So almost five years after his last organized baseball game, he signed a minor league deal.

“I just said ‘screw it why not.’ I knew I’d have regrets later in life if I didn’t.”

Nathan pitched in a handful of game with the A’s rookie league team, but the dream took a detour last year. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, organizations trimmed their rosters and Nathan was released. He kept working out and posting videos of his progress on social media until a Brewers scout reached out, through a direct message on Twitter of course.

“I definitely had that itch that it would be cool to get back into it and play again. But I never thought it would actually happen. Now here I am and I’m a professional baseball player, which is crazy to say out loud”

Because Nathan hasn’t thrown many professional, or even college innings, teams don’t know what to expect, but the raw talent is clearly there and so is the will. The 25-year-old tells me the Crew is getting a power arm who is ready to learn and improve, and that the sky is the limit. 

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