Remembering Corey Patterson’s Bright Spot

Have you ever had one of those occasions where a trip down memory lane leads to acquiring a new piece of information? As you can guess, that is exactly what happened to me yesterday. While sifting through the bargain bin — also known as the minor league free agent list — the name Corey Patterson appeared. Memories of Patterson’s 2003 season. A season in which Patterson hit 13 home runs (he hit 14 in nearly 300 additional plate appearances the year prior), stole 16 bases (18 in 2002), and saw his ISO jump from the low-to-mid .100s all the way to .213 ended prematurely thanks to a knee injury.

Anyhow, curiosity got the best of me and I searched for his page on this very site. What I found was a bit surprising. In my mind Patterson has always been a solid defender. The scouting reports and UZR figures back it up; however, the degree to which he once scored is pretty impressive. Franklin Gutierrez produced one of the finest defensive seasons our UZR data has ever seen this year with a 29.1 score. In 2004, Patterson’s UZR was 24.6 while exclusively playing center.

Truth be told, Patterson has rated pretty well since that season too, but he’s never received as much playing time as he did then. His UZR/150s over the following three seasons were 11.3, 14.2, and 1.0. 2008 sat at 0.7 and 2009 has far, far too small of a sample size to say anything worthwhile. This is all from playing center. Patteron’s bat is lackluster. He doesn’t walk or hit for much power. He could be of some use as a pinch runner and defensive replacement for some National League team, though.

Frankly, I’m just disappointed I didn’t discover this earlier. When I attended a mid-June Nationals/Rays game I thought to myself that Patterson – then playing right – should’ve been in center instead of Elijah Dukes. Such is life.



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Choo
Member
6 years 9 months ago

That cat could cover an insane amount of ground. I went to an Angels/Orioles game a few years back and watched Corey Patterson fly around like he had a rocket on his back, turning hits into outs, over and over and over again. It was a superhuman performance and I have never been able to get those images out of my head.

LeeTro
Member
Member
LeeTro
6 years 9 months ago

Michael Bourn looks like the new Patterson. OK age-24 year, poor age-25 year, OK age-26 year…..

lookatthosetwins
Guest
lookatthosetwins
6 years 9 months ago

I’d project Patterson as a passable player-

-20 wRAA
+8 UZR
+2.5 Fielding

About 1WAR or so over the course of the season. Better than Delmon Young….

Fresh Hops
Guest
Fresh Hops
6 years 9 months ago

Maybe. I think +8 UZR is generous for a guy who’s +8.8 his whole career and hasn’t been a plus CF since 2006. He turned thirty in August and has never had a skill set that would age well. (Speed is one of the first things to go; he’s never been a contact hitter; he can’t take a pitch, so he wasn’t going to learn to walk his way into valuable.)

Al Dimond
Guest
Al Dimond
6 years 9 months ago

He had a very good year in 2004, also, playing good defense in center and average offense. His line-drive rate in 2003 was over 24% — not something he could expect to keep up, and that was probably responsible for his high ISO and BABIP that year. But Cubs fans just saw a drop in batting average and lots of strikeouts, and called it a disappointing season.

Now 2005… that was a disappointing season.

shilzzz
Guest
shilzzz
6 years 9 months ago

ok, let’s not lump all cubs fans together, now. patterson had an issue with high fastballs and the league caught on to that. if he only knew how to take pitches he could have been devastating.

Mike
Guest
Mike
6 years 9 months ago

Why is it UZR/150 and not UZR/162? Wouldn’t UZR/162 be a much better indicator of a full year’s worth of defense?

Jon
Guest
Jon
6 years 9 months ago

I believe a “defensive game played” is not identical to an “actual game played”–based on number of defensive chances.

Someone with more knowledge might be able to help more with this, but I think a “full season” comes out, on average, to about 150 defensive games played.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

Dave R
Guest
6 years 9 months ago

I’m guessing the average starter only plays about 150 games a season.

PhD Brian
Guest
PhD Brian
6 years 9 months ago

I do not know. His bat is really anemic. I would wager he is among the weakest hitters in the game. Plus, he defense last season did not look as good as previous years. Still very good though.

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