Last summer, Patterson threw 96 mph on a pitch-speed challenge at a Nashville Sounds game (they are the Triple-A affiliate of the A’s). Last week, he again turned the trick, this time before a Colorado Rockies game, where his sister recorded him consistently throwing his fastball in the mid-90s.
Check out the video above to see Patterson in action!
Friday, Patterson signed a minor league contract with the Athletics, and shared an Instagram post with a lengthy message about his journey.
The post - which starts out with a quote that Brad Pitt said in the 2011 film Moneyball, where he played Billy Beane, who is now the Atheltics executive vice president of baseball operations - read as follows:
“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 @athleticsorganization 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!”
It’s hard to pinpoint what the most interesting part of Patterson’s journey is. Even beyond how he was discovered, the 23-year-old never pitched an inning of college baseball. He told Cut 4 that he “played competitively up until his senior year of high school” but acknowledged that he didn’t think he was particularly good then.
Longtime ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian often talks about how he believes baseball is the best sport because it’s the most difficult to be consistently great at - someone can be an All-Star one year and out of the league four years later. Patterson would seem to be the opposite of that, a player that wasn’t even a standout at the varsity level and has found his way into a contract with the A’s oranization.