2015 New Britain Rock Cats Most Improved: Jordan Patterson


As the Colorado Rockies’ affiliates end their seasons, we’re handing out player awards for 2015. Today, the Most Improved Award for the New Britain Rock Cats.

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The Colorado Rockies’ 2013 fourth round draft pick from the University of South Alabama, Jordan Patterson rose to split time in 2015 between the Class A-Advanced Modesto Nuts, and the AA New Britain Rock Cats. He played well enough to earn a spot on the Arizona Fall League roster, where he’ll play with several other Rockies’ prospects this fall.

Patterson certainly didn’t come out of nowhere, considering he was a fourth round pick from a well-respected school and he had two decent years in the Rockies’ system in 2013 and 2014, but he turned a corner this season and for that, we must recognize!

For that, congratulations to Jordan Patterson, who wins our 2015 Most Improved Award for the New Britain Rock Cats.

[ Related: David Dahl is the 2015 New Britain Rock Cats top prospect ]

The numbers to back it up:

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Patterson set career highs in almost every category this year, played a full schedule without fading down the stretch in just his third season of pro ball, and proved he could hack it upon transitioning from a hitter-friendly situation in Modesto, to a promotion and a pitcher-friendly Eastern League with the New Britain Rock Cats.

He does strike out a lot — 130 in just 488 at-bats this year after K’ing 125 times in 453 at-bats in 2014 — but if he can continue hitting for power at the upper minor league levels (a whopping 45 doubles, 12 triples and 17 home runs this season), well, you can stomach a few strikeouts in this day and age of professional baseball.

What 2016 looks like:

Patterson’s 2016 depends in part on how he fares in the Arizona Fall League, though considering the hitter-friendly history of the AFL, one would think he’ll have a strong showing. I’d also expect him to start 2016 at AA Hartford, since he likely doesn’t have the fast-track ability of a David Dahl in the outfield.

Nevertheless, it’s not beyond reason to believe he’ll see time in AAA Albuquerque in 2016, and from there — in part depending on any hypothetical trades the Colorado Rockies may make in the winter and beyond — your guess is as good as mine as to when he might have a significant impact in Denver.

[ Related: 2015 New Britain Rock Cats’ season in review ]

Honorable mention: Harrison Musgrave, Noel Cuevas

Musgrave was a revelation this year, and like Patterson, split time between the Modesto Nuts and New Britain Rock Cats. After going 2-4, 5.44 in 48 innings of rookie ball in 2014 (1.54 WHIP, .303 batting average against), Musgrave dominated Modesto (10-1, 2.88 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, .240 batting average against) in the first half of the year before pitching very well in New Britain (3-4, 3.18 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, .255 batting average against) in his first 11 starts of AA ball.

Cuevas, whom the Colorado Rockies acquired when they traded Juan Nicasio to the Los Angeles Dodgers last winter, repeated at AA (albeit in a new organization) in 2015 and the year did him well. He hit 30 points higher than a year before, raised his OBP by 20 points, stole 25 more bases in that same time frame, got nine more doubles (in 20 fewer at-bats), and finished the season with two homers and 12 hits in his final ten games.

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