A couple weeks ago, the Oakland Athletics raised eyebrows by signing Nathan Patterson to a minor-league deal. Patterson, a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher, went viral after hitting 96 mph in a Speed Pitch Challenge booth at Coors Field. Here's the video that was posted online by Patterson's brother, Christian, and has received more than 17,000 likes since being uploaded:

As noted by the New York Post, Patterson made his professional debut on Thursday as a member of Oakland's Arizona League squad -- the complex or instructional version, that is, and not the more popular and prospect-heavy Arizona Fall League. Patterson started the game and threw an inning against the Chicago Cubs affiliate, striking out all three batters he faced.

It's worth noting Patterson hadn't played organized ball since his high school days. As such, he's more physically mature than the 19- and 20-year-olds he's pitching against, but perhaps otherwise on par with them from a developmental perspective. 

Patterson isn't the first pitcher to sign a contract after going viral. Back in January, we brought you the story of Chris Nunn, a left-handed pitcher who is currently a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers Triple-A team. Like Patterson, Nunn became a commodity after lighting up a radar gun in a video that went viral. Unlike Patterson, Nunn had ample professional experience. 

Patterson may or may not be on his way to a lengthy professional career. Either way, at least he has a fun story to tell to his future grandchildren.