The meteoric rise of Colorado Rockies prospect Jordan Patterson has not slowed so far this season. The Isotopes’ right fielder has been on fire (.372/.472/.465, 11 RBI) through Albuquerque’s first 12 games of the season.
It’s all a carryover from last year, when Patterson tore it up (.297/.364/.543, 17 HR, 75 RBI) between Double-A New Britain and High-A Modesto. Despite only playing 48 games at Double-A, Patterson opened at Triple-A in just his third full professional season since being drafted in the fourth round out of South Alabama in 2013.
“For me, for the most part, I’m just trying to go up there and have a good at-bat and swing at good pitches,” Patterson said. “I’m trying to get a pitch I can handle and swing at a good pitch and if it’s not there I won’t swing.”
Patterson, 24, has played some first base in the past but this season he has exclusively played right field. Ultimately, though, Patterson said it does not matter where he plays defensively as long as he is playing every day.
“It really doesn’t matter to me, whatever (manager Glenallen) Hill asks me to do, I’ll do it,” Patterson said. “Right, first, DH, whatever it may be, I’ll do it.
“But mostly I’ve been playing right and enjoying it and trying to get better out there. Whatever he tells me to do, I’ll do it.”
Patterson said so far he hasn’t had any issues dealing with right field. At least nothing comparable to what teammate Mike Tauchman has had to deal with as far as the center field hill.
“I wouldn’t mind, I love playing center field,” Patterson replied when asked if he would like to take on the hill. “But I don’t think I’ll be up there anytime soon.”
Patterson has yet to hit a home run in 53 plate appearances this season but his teammates only have two between them. Overall the Isotopes have a .273/.338/.365 slash line going into their series opener against Reno on Tuesday night.
“As a team, we have a veteran team, a lot of guys are up there swinging at their pitch,” Patterson said. “They’re not chasing, swinging at something the pitcher wants them to swing at.”
Born and raised in Mobile, Ala., playing in the Pacific Coast League has been an experience unto itself for Patterson. So far, so good, he said.
“As far as playing-wise, a lot of these guys have been up and down between (here and) the big leagues, so it’s great competition,” Patterson said. “A lot of been there, done that, so it’s a good professional league.”
It is also a more veteran league, with pitchers of varying styles and varying approaches to attacking hitters. That, too, has been a learning experience for Patterson.
“You can tell, these guys, the coaching staff and the catcher, they have a plan of how to attack you,” he said. “They’re going to exploit you and continue to attack.”
Rockies fans have drawn comparisons between Patterson and current Colorado first baseman Ben Paulsen. Both are left-handed hitters and about the same physical size but beyond that Patterson doesn’t see too many similarities.
“Me and Paulie are pretty close, I guess stature-wise we’re similar,” Patterson said. “I can see where fans can draw comparisons but I don’t sit and worry about what other people (think) too much, I just worry about my business and try to do my thing.”
Patterson and the Isotopes will continue their series with the Aces through Friday. The Rockies’ No. 23 prospect has reached base in all 12 games so far and will look to continue that streak.
“It always could be better but (I’m) blessed and gracious for how the season has gone so far,” Patterson said. “I’m really, really grateful for being healthy and being able to play and show up everyday and just try to work hard and get better every day.”