Scouting Yanks Prospect #31:Garrett Patterson

The Yankees selected Garrett Patterson in the 7th round of the 2005 MLB Draft out of the University of Oklahoma. Patterson, who arguably has some of the best stuff in the organization, has battled injury problems since high school and missed a significant portion of the 2006 season with a hamstring and a knee injury. Here's a scouting report on Garrett Patterson.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Garrett Patterson
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: May 11, 1982
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 220
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

Patterson began the year with blister problems on his throwing hand and just when he started healing, he went down with a hamstring injury and a subsquent injury to his left knee where he sustained five small tears in his MCL.

"They're both feeling great," Patterson recently said of the status of his knee and hamstring. "I'm doing all my workouts I'm supposed to be doing and I haven't had any problems with them this whole offseason. I'll be ready to go when I get there [Spring Training] on February 20th."

"The legs have been my main focus pretty much, since that's what I hurt last season," he said of his offseason workouts. "I'm trying to get them built up and stronger. Hopefully I won't have any problems with them this year [2007]. I don't feel like I have any problems at all with my arm, I feel like it's good."

"I'm just trying to get my legs good. I've been doing my workouts, doing some swimming, and stuff like that. I'm really just trying to get them in good shape so I won't hurt them this year."

For Patterson, who confesses to not having a full healthy season since his senior year of high school, it was just another series of injuries added to his injury-filled career that included two elbow surgeries in his amateur days.

"I've actually talked about this to people this offseason, talked to my college coach and whatnot. It would be easy for me to sit back and say that," he said if it feels like he's just waiting for the next injury to arise, "but if I sit back and feel sorry for myself and wonder what's going to happen next, that would be just keeping me from getting better and having a chance of doing what I can do and what I know I can do."

"There are times where I thought 'what's going to happen this year', but really these are things out of my control," he continued. "I felt like I was ready this past season and the stuff that happened I didn't have control of. Now I'm getting into better shape and hopefully nothing will happen. I honestly feel that if I stay healthy the whole offseason and for a long period of time I can pitch the way I know I can pitch."

While the knee, hamstring, and elbow injuries have been a bit on the fluky side, the one constant throughout his baseball life has been dealing with blisters to his throwing hand and it is one of the reasons for his sub-par control.

"That doesn't help," he said of his lingering blister problems having an effect on his high walk totals this past season, "but I'm not using that as an excuse either. That's something I've had to deal with my whole career in high school and college."

"I've always had problems with blisters. It wasn't something that was very new to me. It's something that I've thrown with [in the past] and I've had to throw with forever. It wasn't an excuse. The only excuse I have for the walks is basically I wasn't getting the job done."

While Patterson remains his own strongest critic, in fairness to him, his career has been one big 'catch-22'. Possessing truly nasty stuff, the only thing holding him back is his command, especially of his fastball.

"I would probably have to say my fastball is still my most inconsistent pitch," Patterson admitted. "It's a lot better than it was but I would still say it was the one that I need to work on the most. It kind of sucks saying that because you don't normally hear pitchers say they struggle with their fastball. That's just how it is for me and I've got to work on it."

The only way to improve his command is to get more work and he simply hasn't been able to stay healthy long enough to achieve that goal.

"Be healthy," he said of his top goal for 2007, "because me being healthy will give me the time to get my fastball down to where it needs to be. It's hard to get into a groove and hard to get a feel for something when you're pitching a month here, two weeks there, off a month, on for a month. As long as if I stay healthy, everything else should take care of itself."

After going 1-2 with a 3.71 ERA and 71 strikeouts in just 51 innings in his professional debut with the Staten Island Yankees in 2005, Patterson managed to collect just 50 innings with the Charleston Riverdogs this past season. While he wasn't able to work too much on his control, he does believe he still made some progress.

"I guess if I was going to say it was a lost year in a way it would only be because I didn't get the innings I would have liked or the innings the Yankees would have liked," said the 24-year old. "If I look at it that way, then yeah, it was a lost year. Other than that, I honestly don't think that it was because I got better overall. I actually learned a lot sitting there and watching."

Finally fully healthy by season's end, Patterson started showing improved command during the Yankees' Instructional League, throwing all three of his pitches for strikes during bullpen sessions and gaining some momentum into the offseason.

"I got to working with Gil Patterson down there at Instructs," said the strong-armed lefty. "I don't know what it is about me and Gil but for some reason he knows what works for me and the stuff that helps me out the best."

"I would say down at Instructs, in the bullpens and the live BP's [batting practice], was the best I looked all summer long. I felt like my control was a lot better at times this year. I don't think it's something that is going to happen as soon as next week or anything."

While both Patterson and the Yankees have been disappointed with his inability to remain healthy and begin to tap his vast talent, both sides take solace in the fact that he has become a mental giant on the mound and that should aid his development.

"Having two surgeries on my elbow and all the other stuff that happened seems like there's always something wrong, but I keep telling myself it can't do anything but get better. I don't think there's anything that can happen to me that I can't deal with. I've dealt with two elbow surgeries and being out for 18 straight months. I don't think there's anything else that can be thrown at me that I can't handle."

Year

Team

W-L

IP

H

BB

SO

ERA

2006

Charleston

2-5

50.0

47

37

39

4.50

2005

Staten Island

1-2

51.0

37

38

71

3.71



Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.

Fastball. Patterson is both consistent and inconsistent with his fastball. Velocity-wise, he consistently throws in the 92-95 MPH range and tops out in the high-90's. He primarily throws power sinking two-seam fastballs in the lower half of the plate and it allows him to keep the ball in the yard. But while the velocity is very consistent, his command and location are not. He can pile up walk totals at times and it's predominantly due to a lack of command with his fastball.

Other Pitches. What makes Patterson such a nasty pitcher is his true circle changeup. Able to blow fastballs by hitters in the high-90's, he can bend knees with the best of them with a changeup that sits 72-74 MPH and it serves as his strikeout pitch. He compliments his repertoire with a developing power 12-6 curveball that sits 78-80 MPH. He has improved the command of his curveball over the last year, but as is the case with his fastball, it needs to be more consistent.

Pitching. Patterson's stuff is downright nasty. He has two plus pitches (fastball, changeup) and a third pitch with plus potential. And as expected from a hurler with his injury history, he has tremendous makeup on the mound. Not much effects him and he goes right after batters. His high walk totals are due to a lack of command and not because he is afraid of the batters. While his stuff is unquestionable, his control problems don't allow to tap his true potential. His lack of development time in college, due to the two Tommy John surgeries, and recently in the pros, has cost him a lot of command with his pitches.

Projection. Patterson will most likely remain a starting pitcher at the minor league level in an effort to get him as many innings as possible. While he has the stuff to become a top-notch starting pitcher, with his injury concerns and now at an advanced age for his levels, Patterson projects to be the ideal left-handed setup man or possible closer at the big league level if he can improve his command. His ceiling is as high as anybody's in the organization. He just needs to prove he can stay healthy long enough to work on his command.

ETA. 2009. Patterson's injuries derailed his original ETA by a year. He made just 14 appearances in the South Atlantic League last season and he could open up the 2007 season right where he left off. Wherever he starts, he should see ample time with the Tampa Yankees next season and be on track to be big league ready by 2009.

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Garrett Patterson
\r\nPosition: Starting Pitcher
\r\nDOB: May 11, 1982
\r\nHeight: 6'2\"
\r\nWeight: 220
\r\nBats: Left
\r\nThrows: Left
\r\n
\r\nPatterson began the year with blister problems on his throwing hand and just when he started healing, he went down with a hamstring injury and a subsquent injury to his left knee where he sustained five small tears in his MCL.
\r\n
\r\n\"They're both feeling great,\" Patterson recently said of the status of his knee and hamstring. \"I'm doing all my workouts I'm supposed to be doing and I haven't had any problems with them this whole offseason. I'll be ready to go when I get there [Spring Training] on February 20th.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"The legs have been my main focus pretty much, since that's what I hurt last season,\" he said of his offseason workouts. \"I'm trying to get them built up and stronger. Hopefully I won't have any problems with them this year [2007]. I don't feel like I have any problems at all with my arm, I feel like it's good.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm just trying to get my legs good. I've been doing my workouts, doing some swimming, and stuff like that. I'm really just trying to get them in good shape so I won't hurt them this year.\"
\r\n
\r\nFor Patterson, who confesses to not having a full healthy season since his senior year of high school, it was just another series of injuries added to his injury-filled career that included two elbow surgeries in his amateur days.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've actually talked about this to people this offseason, talked to my college coach and whatnot. It would be easy for me to sit back and say that,\" he said if it feels like he's just waiting for the next injury to arise, \"but if I sit back and feel sorry for myself and wonder what's going to happen next, that would be just keeping me from getting better and having a chance of doing what I can do and what I know I can do.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"There are times where I thought 'what's going to happen this year', but really these are things out of my control,\" he continued. \"I felt like I was ready this past season and the stuff that happened I didn't have control of. Now I'm getting into better shape and hopefully nothing will happen. I honestly feel that if I stay healthy the whole offseason and for a long period of time I can pitch the way I know I can pitch.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile the knee, hamstring, and elbow injuries have been a bit on the fluky side, the one constant throughout his baseball life has been dealing with blisters to his throwing hand and it is one of the reasons for his sub-par control.
\r\n
\r\n\"That doesn't help,\" he said of his lingering blister problems having an effect on his high walk totals this past season, \"but I'm not using that as an excuse either. That's something I've had to deal with my whole career in high school and college.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I've always had problems with blisters. It wasn't something that was very new to me. It's something that I've thrown with [in the past] and I've had to throw with forever. It wasn't an excuse. The only excuse I have for the walks is basically I wasn't getting the job done.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile Patterson remains his own strongest critic, in fairness to him, his career has been one big 'catch-22'. Possessing truly nasty stuff, the only thing holding him back is his command, especially of his fastball.
\r\n
\r\n\"I would probably have to say my fastball is still my most inconsistent pitch,\" Patterson admitted. \"It's a lot better than it was but I would still say it was the one that I need to work on the most. It kind of sucks saying that because you don't normally hear pitchers say they struggle with their fastball. That's just how it is for me and I've got to work on it.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe only way to improve his command is to get more work and he simply hasn't been able to stay healthy long enough to achieve that goal.
\r\n
\r\n\"Be healthy,\" he said of his top goal for 2007, \"because me being healthy will give me the time to get my fastball down to where it needs to be. It's hard to get into a groove and hard to get a feel for something when you're pitching a month here, two weeks there, off a month, on for a month. As long as if I stay healthy, everything else should take care of itself.\"
\r\n
\r\nAfter going 1-2 with a 3.71 ERA and 71 strikeouts in just 51 innings in his professional debut with the Staten Island Yankees in 2005, Patterson managed to collect just 50 innings with the Charleston Riverdogs this past season. While he wasn't able to work too much on his control, he does believe he still made some progress.
\r\n
\r\n\"I guess if I was going to say it was a lost year in a way it would only be because I didn't get the innings I would have liked or the innings the Yankees would have liked,\" said the 24-year old. \"If I look at it that way, then yeah, it was a lost year. Other than that, I honestly don't think that it was because I got better overall. I actually learned a lot sitting there and watching.\"
\r\n
\r\nFinally fully healthy by season's end, Patterson started showing improved command during the Yankees' Instructional League, throwing all three of his pitches for strikes during bullpen sessions and gaining some momentum into the offseason.
\r\n
\r\n\"I got to working with Gil Patterson down there at Instructs,\" said the strong-armed lefty. \"I don't know what it is about me and Gil but for some reason he knows what works for me and the stuff that helps me out the best.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I would say down at Instructs, in the bullpens and the live BP's [batting practice], was the best I looked all summer long. I felt like my control was a lot better at times this year. I don't think it's something that is going to happen as soon as next week or anything.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile both Patterson and the Yankees have been disappointed with his inability to remain healthy and begin to tap his vast talent, both sides take solace in the fact that he has become a mental giant on the mound and that should aid his development.
\r\n
\r\n\"Having two surgeries on my elbow and all the other stuff that happened seems like there's always something wrong, but I keep telling myself it can't do anything but get better. I don't think there's anything that can happen to me that I can't deal with. I've dealt with two elbow surgeries and being out for 18 straight months. I don't think there's anything else that can be thrown at me that I can't handle.\"
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

\r\n Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n W-L

\r\n

\r\n IP

\r\n

\r\n H

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

\r\n SO

\r\n

\r\n ERA

\r\n

\r\n 2006

\r\n

\r\n Charleston

\r\n

\r\n 2-5

\r\n

\r\n 50.0

\r\n

\r\n 47

\r\n

\r\n 37

\r\n

\r\n 39

\r\n

\r\n 4.50

\r\n

\r\n 2005

\r\n

\r\n Staten Island

\r\n

\r\n 1-2

\r\n

\r\n 51.0

\r\n

\r\n 37

\r\n

\r\n 38

\r\n

\r\n 71

\r\n

\r\n 3.71


\r\n
\r\nRepertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.
\r\n
\r\nFastball. Patterson is both consistent and inconsistent with his fastball. Velocity-wise, he consistently throws in the 92-95 MPH range and tops out in the high-90's. He primarily throws power sinking two-seam fastballs in the lower half of the plate and it allows him to keep the ball in the yard. But while the velocity is very consistent, his command and location are not. He can pile up walk totals at times and it's predominantly due to a lack of command with his fastball.
\r\n
\r\nOther Pitches. What makes Patterson such a nasty pitcher is his true circle changeup. Able to blow fastballs by hitters in the high-90's, he can bend knees with the best of them with a changeup that sits 72-74 MPH and it serves as his strikeout pitch. He compliments his repertoire with a developing power 12-6 curveball that sits 78-80 MPH. He has improved the command of his curveball over the last year, but as is the case with his fastball, it needs to be more consistent.
\r\n
\r\nPitching. Patterson's stuff is downright nasty. He has two plus pitches (fastball, changeup) and a third pitch with plus potential. And as expected from a hurler with his injury history, he has tremendous makeup on the mound. Not much effects him and he goes right after batters. His high walk totals are due to a lack of command and not because he is afraid of the batters. While his stuff is unquestionable, his control problems don't allow to tap his true potential. His lack of development time in college, due to the two Tommy John surgeries, and recently in the pros, has cost him a lot of command with his pitches.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. Patterson will most likely remain a starting pitcher at the minor league level in an effort to get him as many innings as possible. While he has the stuff to become a top-notch starting pitcher, with his injury concerns and now at an advanced age for his levels, Patterson projects to be the ideal left-handed setup man or possible closer at the big league level if he can improve his command. His ceiling is as high as anybody's in the organization. He just needs to prove he can stay healthy long enough to work on his command.
\r\n
\r\nETA. 2009. Patterson's injuries derailed his original ETA by a year. He made just 14 appearances in the South Atlantic League last season and he could open up the 2007 season right where he left off. 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