The Season That Was: Corey Patterson

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 17: Corey Patterson #16 collides with Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays during the game against the Cincinnati Reds on June 17, 2011 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Cincinnati Reds 3-2. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

I've been running through these in order of plate appearances with the Jays. You can imagine how much it saddens me that Corey Patterson got the 8th most plate appearances for the team this season. A basic rule of thumb, if Corey gets 300 + plate appearances, you know the season hasn't gone well.

Corey came into spring training as a extra in the battle for the 4th outfielder spot. It basically became a battle between him and Scott Posednik. I was cheering for Corey because I felt he played a bit better defense, had a bit of pop in the bat and likely ran as well as Posednik. Scott took a pitch to the head and missed time with a concussion, pretty much handing the job to Corey.  Corey took the pitch to the head, Scott had plantar fasciitis, giving the job to Patterson. 

I still don't think he was a bad choice for 4th outfielder, the problem was that he had his name written into the lineup way way too much. He played 89 games for us, playing almost everyday from mid-April till near the end of June. The other problem was that Farrell kept writing his name in the 2 spot of the lineup, which, to me, is the wrong place for a guy that gets on base 29% of the time. 

For the Jays Corey hit .252/.287/.379 in 89 games, 341 PA, 16 doubles, 3 triples, 6 homers, 33 RBI, 15 walks, 65 strikeouts, 13 stolen bases and 8 caught stealing. Thankfully he was included in the trade to the Cardinals. For them he hit .157/.189/.253 in 56 PA, mostly as a, I can't say this without laughing, defensive replacement. 

Fangraphs has him as a 0.0 WAR, which seems about right, he's the perfect replacement level player.

He walked 4.6% of the time, struck out 19.4%. Hit line drives 16.2%, ground balls 46.9%, fly balls 36.9%, popups 24.0%. 

He bunted for base hits a lot, and was successful at it, reaching base 38.7% of the time. I think that number is flawed a bit because he would often try to bunt for a base hit with runners on but if he didn't make it then it was generally recorded as a sac bunt and didn't count against him. I've often thought that this was a bit of a cheat, you bunt with a runner on and if you are safe, it is a hit, if not a sac and it doesn't hurt your batting average. But really it isn't too bad an idea.

By month Corey hit:

April: .269/.319/.448

May: .308/.325/.470

June: .192/.231/273.

July: .200/.238/.225

August: .194/.216/.306.

Sept: .000/.100/.000

He started off pretty good then fell off a cliff. 

With RISP he hit .222/.284/.347.

His favorite team to hit against was the White Sox, .550/.550/.850 in 4 games. Least favorite, the Pirates, he was 1 for 16 against them.

Longest hitting streak was 11 games, which was also his longest on base streak. With the Jays he never went more than 3 games without a hit.

We all remember the number of times he tried to steal third and was thrown out. I don't have the numbers in front of me but I think he was 1 for 7 or something like that, in steals of 3rd. He drove us crazy, more than one, by trying to steal 3rd in front of Bautista and getting caught. 

His defense? I thought it would be lot better than what he showed. He seemed very afraid to go near walls or near other fielders. How many times did we watch a catchable ball fall because he pulled up? He was only given 1 error, for a .995 FA in the 3 positions. Fangraphs has him at a 1.1 UZR/150 in the 3 outfield spots. Better than what my eyes would have given you.

All in all, I still think he would have been pretty good as a 4th outfielder, it really isn't his fault that he played so much. As an everyday player, he was pretty much what we should have expected. If had battd half as much and if he had played better defense, I think we'd have liked him better. 

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