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Published On: March 3rd, 2023

Woodchucks Legend:

Pat Neshek

Pat played for the Woodchucks in the summer of 2000. Neshek is best known for his unorthodox pitching delivery, with an arm motion that slots about sidearm and an explosive release point. This developed after a baseball struck his forearm in high school. Neshek made his MLB debut for the Minnesota Twins in 2006, playing for them until 2010 (except for 2009, which he missed due to Tommy John surgery). He then went on to play for the San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, Colorado Rockies, and Philadelphia Phillies.

Neshek has been selected to two All-Star Games, one in 2014 and the other in 2017. Right-handed batters have difficulty tracking the path of his pitches, resulting in a .193 batting average, .243 on-base percentage, and a .311 slugging percentage against Neshek in 1,143 career plate appearances, through 2019.

Neshek was originally drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 45th round (1,337th overall) of the 1999 MLB draft, but he did not sign and went on to Butler University. The Twins later drafted him in the sixth round (182nd overall) of the 2002 MLB draft, and he signed with the Twins that year for a $132,500 signing bonus. Neshek spent four years in the minor leagues, leading all Twins minor league players in saves during the 2005 season. In 2006, he was International League Pitcher of the Week on July 2, mid-season All Star, post-season All Star, Baseball America Triple-A All Star, and Triple-A Relief Pitcher of the Year. Neshek has pitched 411+1⁄3 innings in 302 career minor league games with 464 strikeouts, a 31–19 record, and a 2.58 ERA.