In George We Trust
A(nother) blog about the most storied franchise in sports
Friday, March 03, 2006
Prospect Profile: Garrett Patterson
Name: Garrett Patterson
Position: LHP
Vitals: 6'2", 220 lbs
Bats/Throws: L/L
Born: May 11, 1982
Hometown: McAlester, Oklahoma
Drafted: 7th round (229th overall) in 2005 (Yankees 7th selection). Received a $90,000 bonus.

Background: Much like fellow Yankee farmhand Alan Horne, Patterson split time at 3 schools over his 4 year college career. After an uneventful stay at Kansas State, Patterson went off to Grayson County Community College (Denison, TX) where he was hampered by elbow problems. He finally landed at the University of Oklahoma, splitting time as a starter and part-time reliever. Patterson was a rare fourth year sophomore in 2005 for the Sooners (the elbows injuries prolonged his his eligibility), and he was named to the second team All Big-12 Conference Team after a stellar year, giving up just over 6 Hper9 while striking out almost 10.5 per 9 IP. Patterson was expected by many to wind up a draft-and-follow, but he chose to sign after being drafted.

Strengths: Patterson has the goods. His fastball is electric and sits comfortably in the 93-94 mph range, exceptional velocity for a lefthander. His changeup is a second quality pitch, thanks to arm action that's identical to his heater. His curve is a decent third pitch, although he's still inconsistent with it. Patterson has shown a remarkable ability to keep the ball in the park, as he's given up only 1 homerun since the start of the 2004 season. He repeats his smooth and effortless delivery with ease, and the elbow problems he faced in college are in the past and not considered a long-term health risk. He's an intense competitor, though sometimes it works against him.

Weaknesses: While Patterson's stuff is very good, he often has no idea where it's going. His control, or lack thereof, has been his Achilles heel through his career. He often leaves a game after 4-5 innings because of high pitch counts, and in 113.2 combined innings in 2005 (college and pro), Patterson walked 80 hitters (6.33 BBper9) and uncorked 22 wild pitches (roughly 1 every 5 IP). Patterson's conditioning is a major drawback, as he doesn't have the baseball prowess or aptitude to succeed with his Grimace-like figure a la David Wells.

Comparison: Patterson was the top pitching prospect on the prospect filled Staten Island staff that led the NY-Penn league an 2.85 team ERA. Outside of his win-loss record, Patterson had a very good pro debut, comparable to the aforementioned Boomer Wells at the same age (23):


The two performances are similar, but Wells was drafted out of high school and already had 4+ pro years under his belt by time he was 23.

Outlook: Patterson's two biggest needs are to improve his control and get in better physical shape. If he does so, he'll be the given the chance to remain in the rotation. His power stuff from the left side would fit nicely in the bullpen, which many consider to be his likely destination. Not far off from his 24th birthday, Patterson will be looked upon to move up the ladder quickly, starting the year at High-A Tampa in all likelihood. Patterson may be on the cusp of a breakout season, and it may not be long before he threatens Sean Henn and Matt Smith on the organizational depth chart, possibly by season's end, but more likely by mid-2007.

You can view Patteron's scouting view here, simply scroll down until you find his name (12th from the top), then click on your connection speed on the far right of his vitals line. Around the 5:30 mark, there's a look at a bullpen session that allows you to see how fluid Patterson's delivery is, remarkable for a big man. I completely forgot about the scouting videos at, but better late than never. Here's video of the previously profiled Chris Malec (7th from top), as well as a look at the filth J. Brent Cox throws (2nd from bottom). I'll update the Malec and Cox profiles to include the videos accordingly, but most likely not until tomorrow.
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