Grizzlies Alumni Report: Joe Nathan

Who: Joe Nathan
When He Was a Grizzly: Joe played with Fresno for four seasons from 1999-2002. Despite his less than stellar numbers as a Grizzly, the San Francisco Giants 1995 sixth round went on to an All-Star career as a Major Leaguer.  
Fresno Highlights:
? Throughout the four seasons with Fresno, Nathan compiled just a 12-23 record with a 5.59 ERA.
? The right-hander put up his best numbers with the Grizzlies in his first season, winning six games against four losses in 13 starts. He finished the 1999 season with a 4.46 ERA. 
? Joe’s 2002 campaign with the club was also the first in which he saw time out of the bullpen. In 31 games, the Texas native made six relief appearances.

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Where He Went From Here: After making his Major League debut with the Giants in 1999, Nathan saw time with the Grizzlies’ parent club in 2000 and 2002 before pitching the entire 2003 season in San Francisco. All 78 appearances with the Giants that year were out of the ‘pen, and he compiled a 12-4 record with a 2.96 ERA in 79.0 innings. 
Where He Is Now:
Nathan was traded in mid-November of 2003, along with former Grizzly Boof Bonser and Francisco Liriano to the Minnesota Twins for catcher A.J. Pierzynski and cash. The right-handed reliever made his mark as one of baseballs top closers with the Twins since 2004, adding four All-Star appearances and two top-5 finishes in the AL Cy Young Award voting. In six seasons as a Twin, Nathan has gone 22-12-361 in 412 games, while yielding a minuscule 1.87 ERA. 
Career Highlights:
? Set a Minnesota Twins single season record with 47 saves in 2009.
? Went 7-0 with a 1.58 ERA, and a 0.79 WHIP in 2006.
? Tallied a career high 95 strikeouts in 2006, averaging 12.5 K’s per nine innings.
? At the plate, Nathan accumulated five hits with the Giants in 2000, four of which were for extra bases. Two of the four extra base hits were his only two career home runs in the Majors.

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