MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If the Cleveland Indians are going to make a final run or make the playoffs as a wild card, a local will have a say in it.
Chaska’s Brad Hand is an All-Star closer who is trying to close out another successful season.
He was considered the diamond in the Minnesota rough in 2008, when scouts showed up to Chaska High School to measure him before the draft.
“It seems like it was forever ago I was drafted, but you know, I didn’t really know what to expect going into it,” Hand said. “I didn’t know how high I was going to get drafted, who I was going to get drafted by.”
A second round pick of the Florida Marlins, he made it to the big leagues as a starting pitcher.
“I was always a starter in the minor leagues, never really made any relief appearances,” he said. “Did a little bit of both in my time Miami, and then my first year in San Diego was the first year I ever spent the whole time in the bullpen.”
He became an All-Star in San Diego as a closer.
“It’s been fun. You never really think about what role you’re going to fit, it’s just whatever, you know, whatever happens to help the team and whatever’s fit for you as a player,” he said. “So I think I kind of found my role in the bullpen.”
He’s now the ninth inning man for Cleveland, and still an All-Star, with a journey that brings him back home.
“It’s always fun [to come back to Minnesota]. You know, I grew up a Twins fan, so obviously to play [at Target Field], and you know, I got a bunch of friends and family around here, so you know, it’s a lot of fun coming back.”