Live From the AFL with Eric Patterson

The name is familiar, and so are the expectations. Eric Patterson, yes, Corey's younger brother, is a hot prospect in the Cubs organization. A second baseman from Georgia Tech with some power, some speed, and unlimited potential. Sound familiar? That's just fine with Eric.

"We're completely different players," Eric says of the obvious comparisons, "but having Corey there for me is tremendously helpful. When you have someone that close to you who has been through the system before it can only help. I get a heads up on a lot of the things that are coming at me."

Despite Corey's struggles, Eric is not intimidated.

"I'm out here doing my job, just trying to get where he is," Eric says, "I've got all these resources here, coaches and other players. Guys who are older, coming through different organizations, guys who have been to the big leagues. I'm doing anything and everything I can to get better, and that's my whole focus."

The knock on the younger Patterson has been power, not the lack of it, but too much focus on it. Patterson dismisses the whispers.

"I'm an aggressive hitter, that's how I've always been, and I'm not going to stop being aggressive. I come to the plate with the same approach every at bat. I'm trying to hit the ball hard, if it leaves the yard great, but it's not like I'm going to the plate trying to hit a home run every at bat. I'm not ever trying to hit a home run, I'm just trying to hit the ball hard."

As far as his time in the AFL is concerned Eric Patterson minces no words.

"I'm doing a little bit of everything down here. Just cleaning things up. Defensively, offensively, there's no one focus, and it's not a total overhaul. I'm just trying to improve."

Among those things he's cleaning up in the batter's box is his swing.

"It's really not a big difference, but I'm trying to keep my lower half a little calmer in the box. Just keep myself still and focused in on the pitch. The defense is the same way, just working on my footwork, setting myself, not rushing so much."

The Cubs have two different coaches working with the team, as Von Joshua serves as the bench coach for Patterson's squad, the Mesa Solar Sox, and Jeff Huson has been working with the infielders. Patterson's been taking full advantage of those two, as well as the rest of the coaches and players in the AFL.

"These guys are here to work with us and help us get better. Having Corey is like having a head start, but I'm not going to turn away anyone who can help me. Von, Jeff, these guys know what they are doing, and they can help me get better, that's the whole point of being here. Competing against the best everyday and getting better. That's what I'm here to do, and that's what I'm doing."

For Patterson, the jump to Double-A this season was a relatively smooth one, but he's not worried about where he starts the next season.

"I honestly have no expectations about next year. I'm playing hard, I'm improving, and I think the Cubs know that. Wherever I start next year is where I start."

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