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MLB Rookie Report: Jordan Patterson, 1B-OF, Colorado Rockies

Here's another September call-up for your consideration: outfielder/first baseman Jordan Patterson of the Colorado Rockies.

First, the basics.

Jordan Patterson, OF, Colorado Rockies

Bats: L Throws: L HT: 6-4 WT: 200 DOB: February 12, 1992


2014: Grade C+; 2015: Grade C

From the 2015 Baseball Prospect Book:

Drafted in the fourth round in 2013 from the University of South Alabama, Jordan Patterson had a superficially decent season at Low-A Asheville last year. You know where I’m going with this, right? The Asheville Split comes into play here: .308/.400/.538 at home, .250/.318/.328 on the road. The home park added 210 points of slugging percentage. Now, Patterson isn’t just numbers of course. Although his running speed is just so-so, he’s an instinctive baserunner and a threat to steal. He also has a strong throwing arm. His reputation in college was as a guy who was physically strong but had a line drive, non-homer oriented swing. If you deflate properly for Asheville, that’s still what he is.

From the 2016 edition:

Now, this is interesting. Patterson continued to hit in 2015, easing worries about the Asheville Effect. Reports indicate some changes with his swing: he reduced excessive movement while adding some loft, and as a result he continued to hit for power even after moving up to the pitching-oriented Eastern League. Strike zone judgment remains an issue and he may never be much of an OBP threat, but he’s tapped his power and I think that will stay around. Grade C+.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY

Patterson jumped to Triple-A in 2016, producing a .293/.376/.480 line for Albuquerque, with 14 homers, 10 steals in 10 attempts, 47 walks, and 118 strikeouts in 427 at-bats.That comes out to a solid 129 wRC+ overall, but we have to look a little deeper.

In 2015 Patterson hit well in relatively neutral environments, but the sharp home/road split returned again this season: he hit a robust .340/.437/.573 in his friendly home park but just .249/.316/.394 in the rest of the Pacific Coast League stadiums. Scouting reports have not changed much: he is an aggressive and somewhat impatient hitter who doesn't hit for quite the power you'd expect given his size and strength. He also has sharp platoon splits, crushing right-handers at .902 OPS this year but just .724 against lefties. On the right day the ball can jump off his bat, but on bad days his swing gets long and mechanical. It looked like this was improving in 2015, but PCL pitching exposed some holes again outside of his home park.

He can steal a base despite average speed, his throwing arm is strong, and his instincts work well at an outfield corner. He needs more reps at first base, but the outfield defense makes him more than just a one-dimensional player, potentially anyway.

I think it unlikely that Patterson will be a star or long-term regular, but he has a chance as a role player and platoon bat. He's still two or three years away from the classic prime seasons and small adjustments in his approach could go a long way.