Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
’Out of nowhere’: Twins add undrafted 24-year-old
First Published Jul 30 2014 10:35 am • Last Updated Jul 30 2014 05:38 pm

San Francisco • In one of their craziest scouting experiences, the Minnesota Twins have reached a deal with a 24-year-old pitching prospect who has thrown 100 mph fastballs but never has been drafted.

Brandon Poulson was pitching earlier this month for the Healdsburg Prune Packers in a collegiate summer league. His manager was Joey Gomes, the brother of big leaguer Jonny Gomes.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Now the Twins are about to give him $250,000.

"It’s a great story," Twins West Coast scouting supervisor Sean Johnson said Tuesday. "This kid came out of nowhere."

The Twins knew about Poulson from his recent season with Academy of Art University, where he had an 8.38 ERA for the San Francisco school.

Poulson played there after taking a couple of years off to work in his father’s business — John’s Excavating — with the thought he’d take it over someday and leave athletics behind for good.

The 6-foot-6 right-hander previously played baseball, but he chose football at Santa Rosa Junior College. The Twins think Poulson’s story could make a great movie.

"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 didn’t make his high school baseball team as a freshman.

The Twins are giving him about 10 times more than an undrafted player typically would receive as a bonus. Poulson will begin as a reliever.

Poulson traveled to Minneapolis last week to undergo a physical at Target Field before returning to Northern California, then he was cleared Tuesday. He is set to travel Wednesday to the Twins’ rookie club in the Appalachian League in Elizabethton, Tennessee.


story continues below
story continues below

Poulson will sign his contract once he reports. He could pitch in a game as soon as this weekend.

Until last fall, Poulson was operating heavy machinery — driving 18-wheelers, front-loaders and backhoes. All the while, he played baseball in a Sunday night men’s league, fittingly called the Wine Country league.

"I went to work with my father and didn’t want to gamble with sports anymore," Poulson said.

He later changed his mind and decided to give baseball one last chance, spending months retooling his delivery with Prune Packers pitching coach Caleb Balbuena.

Poulson’s stats this summer: 31 strikeouts and six hits in 12 1/3 innings with four saves in 12 appearances.

The Twins consider him among the best athletes they have pursued. Poulson, a health nut, weighs 240 pounds and ran a 6.6-second 60-yard dash. He has a 40-inch vertical leap.

The San Francisco Giants wanted to sign Poulson, who also drew interest from the Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners and Philadelphia Phillies. Those teams didn’t have enough money remaining in their draft pool to match Minnesota.

"He’s a physical specimen. He’s got the best pure arm strength I’ve ever seen," Twins scout Elliott Strankman said.

Strankman is the only member of the organization who watched Poulson pitch. It took all of 18 throws to convince him.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.