There is a plethora of underrated talent in the Chicago Cubs farm system. One such player, Jack Patterson, is making waves at Myrtle Beach.
In an effort to continue to find quality talent for the future, the 2018 draft could be one where Chicago Cubs fans look back a decade from now with an air of excitement. As little credence that is given to late-round draft picks, finding talent here is one of Theo Epstein’s greatest traits.
The 32nd-round selection of the 2018 draft provided exactly that after the Cubs selected left-handed starting pitcher Jack Patterson from Bryant University, a small private college in Rhode Island with a student population of just over 3,000.
Chicago Cubs: Carving a path to the Show
Patterson played four seasons while at Bryant. His NCAA career encompassed 46 games with 25 starts. While the career line is not overly impressive as Patterson pitched to a 4.51 ERA, Patterson did find great success at points throughout his tenure.
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As an 18-year-old freshman, Patterson pitched in 10 games for the Bulldogs, including three starts. He managed a 3.41 ERA in 34 innings, including a complete-game and a shutout.
Two years later, it seemed Patterson found his groove on the mound. His best year for Bryant came as a junior in which he finished with a 2.90 ERA in 40 innings, allowing only two home runs.
In need of young left-handed pitching prospects, the Cubs selected Patterson in the late rounds last year. He began his professional career at Rookie ball and fared well enough to earn a promotion to Eugene by season’s end. Since then, Patterson is showing a lot of promise when he takes the mound.
Chicago Cubs: Earning his colors
The Cubs decided to start Patterson at Class-A South Bend to start this season. He appeared in 16 games, making one start. Over his 42 1/3 innings, Patterson finished 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA. His walk rate was a tad higher than anyone would like to see. However, he did strike out 27.8 percent of the batters faced.
Bringing him up to Class-A Advanced Myrtle Beach allowed Patterson to embrace a more competitive environment. He has not disappointed thus far. On Monday night, Patterson made his fourth start since the call-up, going 4 1/3 innings and allowing a single unearned run. He now has 18 2/3 innings under his belt and has not given up an earned run.
As a now 23-year-old, Patterson is showing off his moxie with the Pelicans. While everyone has been impressed with the likes of Tyson Miller, Oscar De La Cruz and Erich Uelmen, Patterson is climbing the ranks as one of the best currently in Myrtle Beach.
Chicago Cubs: Does he have a real shot?
Several guys are holding it down in Chicago’s system right now. The aforementioned Miller is sporting a 2.56 ERA in 15 starts for Double-A Tennessee. Alex Lange is no slouch himself for the Smokies, carrying a 2.89 ERA in his five starts. Still, there are several guys who Patterson could challenge should he continue pitching impressively.
Having as many left-handed pitchers is essential for any team — Patterson profiles as someone who could go far, so long as the Cubs decide to keep him.
Patterson’s estimated time of arrival to the major league club is a few years out. It will not surprise me to see him in Chicago by 2021-22 if he continues to progress and build on what he has already accomplished in such a short amount of time.
Nothing in baseball is guaranteed; however, the Cubs should figure out what they have with Patterson’s strong talent. He could very quickly become part of that next future wave.