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Colorado Rockies prospect Jordan Patterson already a success story

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Purple Row Prospect No. 13, Jordan Patterson

13. Jordan Patterson (655 points, 39 ballots)

First things first: with eight hits and a walk in 19 plate appearances in a MLB cup of coffee in September 2016, Jordan Patterson has produced 0.1 more rWAR than the vast majority of prospects will ever contribute. The 6’4” 24 year-old lefty outfielder/first baseman has long been overshadowed as a prospect by the presence of teammates like David Dahl and Raimel Tapia, but he’s an intriguing player in his own right.

In his four-year professional career, Patterson has consistently hit well, never posting an offensive line that wasn't clearly better than league average—including a monster 2015 season across High-A and Double-A. Until hitting Double-A, Patterson had always been old for his league, but he didn’t stop hitting as the competition improved—and that includes this past season in Triple-A.

This year for Albuquerque against pitchers who were 2.4 years older, Patterson had a .293/.376/.480 line (129 wRC+) with 45 extra-base hits and 10 steals in 495 plate appearances. That's slightly less slugging than he showed in his breakout 2015 campaign, but a step forward to a 9.5 percent walk rate (up from 5.5 percent in 2015) paired with a high but acceptable 24 percent strikeout rate is what drove the batting line. That strong line got him the aforementioned major-league cup of coffee and has made him a strong contender for a 25 man roster slot out of spring training.

With that said, Patterson is at this point something of a platoon player offensively. Against lefties in 2016 he hit just .245/.333/.391—unacceptable in the offense-friendly Pacific Coast League. Meanwhile, he was a terror against right-handers with a .309/.391/.511 line that included 37 of his 45 extra base hits last year.

This fact didn’t escape the notice of Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs, who listed Patterson 24th in the system:

Patterson’s lever length creates too much swing and miss for him to profile in a corner-outfield spot and he doesn’t run well enough for center field. He mashes righties, though, and should find consistent employment as the larger half of a platoon in either outfield corner. He can also play first base.

Notably, he gave Patterson a 60 throw and a 55 raw power grade, both of which could serve the Rockies well in 2017.

Patterson is currently placed 18th on MLB.com's list:

A big man with long arms, Patterson had a lot going on with his left-handed swing when he entered pro ball but has calmed it down without costing himself any leverage. He's doing a better job of handling breaking balls and southpaws, and he still offers impressive bat speed and strength. If he can learn to control the strike zone better, he could be a .270 hitter with 20 homers per season.

Patterson has surprising athleticism for his size and is aggressive on the bases with his average speed. He's a natural fit in right field with his strong, accurate arm and has also seen time in left and center. The Rockies also have played him at first base to increase his versatility.

Patterson is an athletic corner outfielder with a plus arm who has dabbled at first base to increase his positional flexibility. His left-handedness and platoon tendencies don’t help his cause given the glut of potential contributors hitting from that side of the plate, but he’s a potential impact bat the Rockies could lean on for depth in 2017.

The competition ahead of him means that regular plate appearances will be hard to come by at the big league level. Still, the fact that he’s at worst a phone call away from providing offensive value in the Show makes him an important part of Colorado’s 2017 plans. I gave Patterson a 45 Future Value and ranked him 18th on my ballot, but there’s a decent chance he out-produces several people ahead of him on this list.