He brings to the table a high arm angle, a trait that has helped him work up in the zone with his fastball to put hitters away. His repertoire also includes a slow curveball and a slider to go along with his fastball, which sits in the low 90's, but has been known to sneak up on opposing batters.
"Scott's got an unusual delivery," Thunder manager Tony Franklin said. "Simply because he's so tall, he's all arms and legs, and in that regard he's very, very deceptive. It doesn't look like he's throwing the ball very hard, but he's got pretty good arm strength, and he runs the ball up there pretty good."
As jaw-dropping as his stats have been since he signed with the Yankees organization last June, the right-hander had put up comparable numbers in several of his seasons in independent baseball.
Patterson said the play of independent ball is no different than that of affiliated ball, but that without a Major League franchise affiliated with the team, it becomes even more important for players to stand out in order to advance.
"Independent ball is the same thing, but you can't work your way up the ladder," Patterson said. "That's pretty much how I took it; you work your tail off to try to get signed, and then you can notch your way up the ladder."
A starter for most of his life, Patterson believes his career took its greatest turn in 2005, when a finger injury led him to begin pitching more out of the bullpen, giving him a more deceptive edge and higher velocity.
"When I was throwing, my velocity just went up...so the last month of the season of '05 I started closing, and [the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League] just brought me back last year as the closer. I just hit it off from there, just kept the velocity and kept picking up with it," he said.
Patterson has started three games this year for the Thunder — he pitched to a 1.46 ERA in those starts but only accumulated 12.1 innings - and Patterson says his future in pro ball is most definitely out of the pen.
Throughout his career, he has been known as a pitcher with impeccable control, allowing only 2.1 free passes per nine innings in his career. That trend has continued in '07, as he has walked just two batters in 29.1 innings.
He stressed the need to be not only throw the ball for strikes, but to throw it for good strikes, something the right-hander has been better with in his last two years.
"I've been a little finer with my first two pitches than in past years, not [throwing the ball] right down the middle but trying to hit a corner," he said. "My control is really good, and sometimes it's a little too good, and I throw it right down the middle — I'm trying to be a little bit finer on that first pitch."
Patterson tends to work up and down the ladder of the strike zone as well, he said, as opposed to other pitchers who work the plate east to west. With two strikes on a hitter, Patterson likes to toss in his curveball, or go with the high cheese.
"Guys swing at the high ones on me for some reason, and it comes with the higher arm angle," he said.
Despite his success this year, Patterson says he's still trying to improve on his repertoire, as he works to get his slider to match the command of his fastball and curve.
"I think the main thing I'm working on right now is getting the slider down," he admitted. "I've got a good fastball, I've got a real slow curveball, and I need something right in the middle, and I think that'll be fine if I get something right in the middle of those two pitches."
And would Patterson be ready for a call to the big club if the opportunity came?
"Oh definitely, I mean who wouldn't?" he said. "But I'm not looking that far ahead; what I'm working for is just Scranton, so if I can get a shot at that, that's my goal, and I'm not looking any further than that right now."
"The relievers have been good in the big leagues [for the Yankees] — if I were a starter maybe I'd look toward two steps up, but I just want one step up, and I think if you keep putting up good numbers, I think they'll give me a shot, if not now then toward the end of the year," Patterson said. "But, I love it here."