Nathan Patterson went to a Colorado Rockies game July 15 and tossed a few four-seam fastballs at the Coors Field radar booth. Now he’s a prospect in the Oakland Athletics’ farm system.

Patterson, 23, hit 96 mph on the radar gun multiple times that afternoon in Colorado while watching the Rockies get walloped by San Francisco.

“A few days later, the A’s gave me a call,” he told MLB.com. And this week, he signed with the Major League Baseball franchise.

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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!

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His pro baseball journey is almost a year in the making. Attending a minor league game in Nashville last August, he hit 96 mph on the radar gun, too. It surprised him, he told MLB.com, because though Patterson pitched in high school, he didn’t pursue the game in college. It had been years since he pitched seriously.

Inspired by the newfound velocity and rested arm, he started training, joined a men’s recreational league to stay sharp and heard from the A’s in February.

As he continued to train, he posted his pitching videos on social media, tagging MLB pitching evaluator Rob Friedman and his online prospect showcase “Flatground” to show off his progress. He developed a slider in the 80-mph range. His fastball consistently hovered in the low 90s.

Friedman, known as the “Pitching Ninja,” who between his three baseball-related Twitter accounts has roughly 192,000 followers and whose thoughts appear regularly on ESPN national baseball broadcasts, likens Patterson to Oakland all-star closer Blake Treinen. He told The Washington Post that he sees similarities in the pitchers’ smooth arm action and easy velocity.

Patterson could be a valuable prospect for the A’s because his arm is so fresh, Friedman added. He didn’t log three or four years of college baseball to potentially sap the life out of his pitches.

Oakland has yet to assign Patterson to a minor league team. He tweeted Friday that his new goal is to develop and make the big league roster.

“The stories have been incredible and I hope to inspire others,” he wrote. “I have been given an incredible opportunity.”

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