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The Minnesota Twins signed Brandon Poulson, an undrafted 24-year-old pitching prospect, to a deal worth $250,000. Poulson has clocked in at 100 miles per hour with his fastball.
Earlier in July, Poulson pitched for the Healdsburg Prune Packers in a collegiate summer league, according to the Associated Press. Standing at 6-foot-6, the right-hander gave up on baseball after deciding to pursue football at Santa Rose Junior College.
"It's a great story," Twins West Coast scouting supervisor Sean Johnson said Tuesday. "This kid came out of nowhere."
Before playing for the Packers, Poulson played with the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where he posted an 8.38 ERA. Poulson returned to baseball after a couple years of working for his father’s business, which he believed he would one day take over.
"I played for the Prune Packers summer of '13 but missed nearly three-fourths of the games because I was busy working," said Poulson, who failed to make his high school baseball team as a freshman.
Poulson will receive 10 times the usual amount an undrafted player would receive as a bonus according to the AP. Poulson had 31 strikeouts and six hits in 12 1/3 innings, with four saves in 12 appearances this summer.
"He's a freak athlete," Twins scout Elliott Strankman told the Twins' site. He later explained, "He has to pick up on some of the nuisances of pitching, but in terms of being athletic and big and having a big arm, he has all that."