Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Eric Patterson – Fantasy Baseball Minor League Sleepers, Part 4 of 5

I think we’re past the point of considering Eric Patterson as an elite fantasy baseball prospect but given the steep fall off in talent at middle infield the Cubs second baseman could be useful in 2008. He’ll turn 25 this year so if he’s it’s put up or shut up time for Patterson and the Cubs. I like the fact that he’s a lefty, even if he looses some at bats against tough lefties he could still get close to 500 at bats over the course of the season along with some pinch running cameos.

He hit .297 with 14 HRs and 24 SBs in 2007 in 516 at bats in AA. In 2006 he hit .276 with 10 HRs and a whopping 46 SBs in two stops and 508 at bats. Two things I look for in young bats – the first, speed, even if his bat is slow to adjust he could swipe enough bags to help. Second, 30 is the magic number – 30 HRs, 30 SBs, 15/15, 10 of one 20 of the other – I don’t care how someone gets there but if you add home runs and steal and get to 30 you start to become real useful for most fantasy baseball teams.

If Eric Patterson lands a big league gig I think a range for 270-290 with 10-15 HRs and 20-30 SBs is realistic right away. Let’s take the low end, .270, 10 HRs, 20 SBs becomes a solid option in deeper fantasy baseball leagues and probably puts him in the top 20 for middle infielders. .290, 15 HRs and 30 steals moves him into an elite range gets him near the top 10 middle infielders and is a lock to be top 5 among second basemen.

Eric Patterson’s fantasy baseball appeal is as much a function of thin middle infield talent as it is Patterson’s skill set. Eric Patterson also has nice keeper potential as well, especially since his power seems to be creeping up a bit. Watch and see if he has a job when camp breaks. If he does I think he’s an every day starter in large formats and nice spot starter and insurance policy in smaller 10-12 team leagues.

Find Eric Patterson rookie cards and more on eBay!

Johnny Cueto – Fantasy Baseball Minor League Sleepers, Part 1 of 5
Wladimir Balentien – Fantasy Baseball Minor League Sleepers, Part 2 of 5
Gio Gonzalez – Fantasy Baseball Minor League Sleepers, Part 3 of 5
Wade Davis – Fantasy Baseball Minor League Sleepers, Part 5 of 5

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