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Colorado Rockies player profile: Jordan Patterson

Drew Creasman Avatar
May 24, 2016


Colorado Rockies fans may very soon be given the privilege get to know a young man named Jordan Patterson.

The Rockies fourth-round pick in the 2013 draft, Patterson is a versatile, 6’4 outfielder/first baseman from Mobile, Alabama with a professional but unmistakably kind demeanor. Had he not chosen baseball, his athletic ability suggests he might have made a decent wide receiver or shooting guard. His blistering start for Triple-A Albuquerque has left him with an offensive line of .317/.447/.452 which is good for a 150 wRC+ over 38 games so far. He has walked 27 times and struck out 29 times.

This all comes on the heels of a breakout 2015 campaign which saw Patterson hit 17 home runs and steal 18 bases across High-A and Double-A, averaging out to a 148 wRC+.

The only time so far in his professional career that Patterson did not come out well above average offensively was in his short stint in the Arizona Fall League after his last regular season where he hit a paltry .157 but still got on base at a decent .317 clip. I asked him at spring training if he felt fatigued after such a tumultuous (though in a good way) season. But he refused to make any excuses.

“I didn’t feel fatigued,” he said. “It was just a matter of getting going and I didn’t do very well, but that’s part of it.” Overall, though, he says, “It was a great experience,” citing the fact that he was able to learn about some facets of his game that needed improvement. He appears to have applied some of what he has learned so far in 2016.

The most notable and obvious improvement in his game has been the increased walk rate. “I’m just sticking to what I do best day-to-day and not worrying about anything else but winning the ballgame,” he says. “Sticking with my plan and just being Jordan Patterson, don’t need to try to be anybody different.”

And a part of being Jordan Patterson has always been being someone who can contribute to a team win in every way a position player can. Sporting the best outfield arm in the system and above average speed, especially for a guy of his size, gives the Isotopes — and eventually the Rockies — a uniquely versatile player who could be valuable even if he wasn’t getting on base nearly half the time.

“I think it’s important for a guy like me to be good at all aspects of the game,” Patterson says. “If I can keep that value and that flexibility, I think that just works in my favor. Show up every day, control what I can control, be the same dude every day, be a great teammate, a great leader, and,” when it comes to a potential MLB call-up this season he adds, “If it happens, it happens.”

Offensive Profile

Much like Corey Dickerson, there have always been doubts about Patterson’s ability to sustain his contact rate and most evaluations suggest he has more gap-to-gap power than over-the-fence power. In 2015, despite the promotion and impressive numbers, he walked less than six percent of the time and struck out over 23 percent of the time. As we’ve discussed, those on-base numbers have improved dramatically since then and his strikeout numbers have come down, but it is still fair to be weary of a small 38 game sample size. Though, that’s not really all that small.

He has a compact left-handed swing with a short stride which allows him to cover the outside pitch well and hit the ball to all parts of the park. In a similar fashion to Trevor Story, the tale of Patterson’s career may just boil down to whether or not he can put the bat on the ball against Major League pitching with any kind of consistency. He’s unlikely to be a 30 home run guy, but a few 20-20 seasons would not be out of the question.

Defensive Profile

Patterson fits perfectly into the uber-athlete model the Rockies are building. Like any young player, he occasionally takes a bad route but overall the defensive profile rates as potentially elite in a corner spot. He has proven himself capable and comfortable playing first base throughout each stop in his career as well. The aforementioned cannon he has attached to his left shoulder could be a marvel to behold at Coors Field.

While his speed does play up on both the bases and the outfield, you still wouldn’t put him in centerfield, especially not with all the other options the Rockies have, but ultimately that’s about the only negative thing you can say about his defensive capabilities.


Off the charts. Patterson might seem like a tradable piece (more on this in a second) if he wasn’t such a clubhouse asset. He is a fantastic leader by example, a positive and inviting presence and he operates on a cerebral level that allows him to make constant improvements to his game. An integral part of the Rockies new wave of prospects, Patterson is a part of the family and this is reflected in the way his teammates and coaches beam about him.

Future Role

So, when do we get to see this kid? There is a tough numbers game keeping Patterson out of MLB right now. The Rockies are littered with outfielders who bat and throw left-handed, as Patterson does. Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, and Gerardo Parra aren’t going to give way for him and calling him up into a bench role could stall his development. Mark Reynolds production at first also has Patterson blocked there.

Even if there was an injury or a massive slump, it is likely the Rockies would give Ben Paulsen another chance, considering he has mostly been pretty good with the bat in MLB. But at some point, the Rockies are going to have to give Patterson a shot. It may not be until September when the rosters expand, or maybe the Rockies will surprise us and trade on of their current lefty outfielders at the deadline. This is why some might argue that Patterson should be traded, possibly for pitching, but his youth, intangibles, versatility, and lack of big contract make him a more attractive long-term option than arguably any of the pieces blocking him currently. Including Carlos Gonzalez.

He could be the first baseman of the future or the right-fielder in a post-CarGo world. Before then or maybe even ultimately, he may serve as a fourth outfielder and pinch-hitter in a role reminiscent of Seth Smith circa 2009. Like all prospects, he may just not quite be able to make it at the highest level for whatever reason.

Either way, Jordan Patterson can no longer be ignored.

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