While there were moments in the Colorado Rockies’ 2016 season where it seemed like they could contend for a Wild Card spot, it was still very much a year of rebuilding. With a parade of high-profile prospects being called up from the minors, and with several little-known players stepping up in a big way, they look to have done just that.
On Thursday, in our Blake Street’s Youth Movement series, we detailed how Trevor Story improved from both of his very different halves to his rookie season. Today, we’ll be looking at Jordan Patterson who got called up late into the season and still made the best of his stay with the Rockies, even if his playing time was limited.
Jordan Patterson, in limited time, showed the Rockies organization that he’s willing to help any way he can. Flexibility in different roles, such as playing anywhere from outfield to first base, is how Patterson will make his mark in Colorado, and it’s what will help him stand out in what is sure to be a crowded outfield going into next season.
“It was great to be up here in September to get the opportunity to be with these guys,” Patterson said. “Didn’t play a ton, but just try to stay locked in, come to the field every day like I was going to play. I got opportunities the last few days and just try to make the most of it. Just happy to have the opportunity.”
In the last game of the season, he made his third start of the year and recorded his first Major League double and RBI to tie up the game and send it into extras. He had a similar opportunity in the game before to potentially tie the game.
“It’s kind of nuts how baseball works,” Patterson said. “Last night I had the same opportunity, and I didn’t get it done. Just went in my last at bat and said, ‘You get it again, let’s do something with it. Just make a good approach and get enough of it to flip it into right field.’ It was cool to get that opportunity again and come through.”
Patterson says he is constantly learning from DJ LeMahieu, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado so he can always evolve as a player. Not so long ago the aforementioned guys were rookies. Now they are in the primes of their careers and are ready to mentor this young core. You better believe Patterson is taking notes.
“That’s an important part: I can play outfield. That’s what I came up playing, and I have a background at first base and to show them I can play it is also huge,” Patterson said. “I just want to do anything I can to help these guys win. Realizing this is the same game, that they are still throwing from 60 feet 6 inches from me, it’s to slow the game down. Having that last at bat absolutely makes me hungrier for 2017 and gives me the incentive to work my tail off and be ready to go next year.”
This is a part of a week-long series. Make sure to check back tomorrow, to hear how the late great Jose Fernandez inspired Carlos Estevez when times got tough in his rookie campaign. If you missed yesterday’s story about Trevor Story, click here.