Sunday, August 22, 2010

Corey Patterson

Corey Patterson has been, thankfully, relegated (mostly) back to the bench with the return of Felix Pie in late June. Patterson was a desprerate move and although he filled the hole in the outfield better than could have been expected, Patterson is not a starter, not even for a team as bad as the Orioles.

But I didn't come to run down Corey Patterson and point out his obvious deficiencies. I was to talk about Patterson's value as a bench player.

Patterson is not the same player that left Baltimore after the 2007 season. His hack-tastic ways are still evident but not nearly at the levels we have seen over his career.


            Swing%   K%    BB%   
Career       54.7   22.4  4.7
2010         51.3   23.3  6.9
  

He's swinging less and walking more. Again, this doesn't representa quantum leap forward but a very noticeable and real improvement. As a result, his wOBA sits at .347, second only to his impressive partial 2003 season.

He can steal you a base, serve as a pinch runner and can play all three outfield positions. I can't imagine there will be a lot of bidding for Patterson's services and there is no other outfielder in the minors knocking on the door to Baltimore*. Is it crazy to think that Patterson would make a useful 4th outfielder? If he comes at a reasonable price, this may not be the last you see of Corey Patterson.

* Yes, Nolan Reimold is in Norfolk but his future is at 1B/DH for this team. I'm not counting him.

4 comments:

Sean said...

I agree that they should keep Patterson around for another year or two, but I disagree with your claim that he isn't starter quality. Over 274 PAs this season, he's put up 1.1 WAR. Granted, that WAR is founded on a .343 BABIP, but my point is that he's probably a bit underrated and therefore worth bringing back on the cheap.

Heath said...

He is a bit underrated at this point but I still don't think he's starter caliber. The BABIP is one reason, the other is that I think he gets expoited by opposing pitchers when playing every. When he gets hot, they will start to pitch around him and he will still chase bad pitches. When he starts a couple times a week, he seems to do OK.

The Oriole Way said...

I think what we've seen this year is the absolute max of what you could hope for out of Patterson. High BABIP, slightly improved walk rate, acceptable defense. And that makes him a 4th outfielder.

One thing I hadn't thought about when we discussed this on Saturday, Heath, was that the O's might have a very similar option in Norfolk: Matt Angle. Angle has less power for sure, but he probably will get on base more frequently. And he'll only cost the minimum next year. If you can bring Patterson back at about $1 million, it probably makes sense, but if you have to go much above that I doubt the O's pass on Angle.

Heath said...

I like Angle a lot. I think there's a place on the team for a guy who just gets on base and steals bases.

However, Angle was rushed to AAA this season (only 88 plate appearances in Bowie) and I think that has shown in Norfolk this season. I think he could use some more seasoning in Norfolk. I don't think he's ready and he won't get enough ABs in the majors to develop.