FanPost

The Mysterious Case of Eric Patterson

While I was checking minor league stats last night, I noticed that Eric Patterson had another great night at the plate, going 4 for 5 with a home run. When I looked into his stats, I discovered that over his last 10 games, he is 20 for 42 (.476) with 3 home runs, 3 triples, and 2 doubles; he's just absolutely mashing right now. On the season, he's batting .326 (with an almost .400 OBP), and an OPS of .918. All signs point to him being ripe for a callup, and soon.

However, Eric Patterson remains one of the most maligned players on AN, and for good reason. In 30 games with the A's in 2008, he hit .174 and only slugged .207. His numbers from the minors last year, however, were actually almost identical to this year's. Although the sample size is, admittedly, quite small, it seems that for some, unknown reason (I know that some on this site have suggested a slow, looping swing; I can't vouch for that), the guy dominates AAA pitching but just can't get the bat around on a major league fastball.

But with the tear that Patterson is on right now, it's easy to make the case to call him up and give him one last chance. However, there is another problem here: where to play him? The positions he has played in the majors are: LF, and 2B. 2B seems to be out; Kennedy has been playing extremely well and Ellis is due back from injury soon, giving us an impending logjam there already. The corner outfield positions are taken by Holliday and Cust respectively; and with Buck coming back from injury, and destroying the ball in his rehab starts, not to mention a major league track record (spotted as it might be), if he gets out of the A's doghouse it seems like Buck would be a much smarter decision than Patterson. That leaves little room for Patterson. In addition, Patterson has been worth -5.1 runs in the outfield, while Buck has shown himself to be an average, if not spectacular, fielder. Thus, barring injury, there seems to be no spot for Patterson to have a chance to prove himself.

My thought is that we flip Patterson for some value, or include him as a piece in a trade, while we can. As a 26 year old, it's not worth it to wait on him and hope he can figure out his major league woes. However, his impressive (and consistent) minor league stats might make another team bite, giving us a chance for help at a position of need. If we do call up Patterson and he struggles again, this will hurt his value in a trade while doing nothing for the club. He is good trade bait while his stock is high.

Thoughts?

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