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Sunday, October 3, 2021

Jeff Patterson did well enough to make AAA in 1992; Later briefly made bigs with Yankees, then turned scout

Phillies minor leaguer Jeff Patterson tried to downplay his promotion to AAA Scranton in August 1992, but The Los Angeles Times noted the numbers.

The starter-turned-reliever had saved 14 games at high-A Clearwater, then 13 more at AA Reading, The Times noted.

"Yeah, I was doing really well," Patterson agreed to The Times. "There wasn't much left for me to do down there."

Though he moved up quickly that year to AAA, he never got to make Philadelphia. But, after two more seasons at AAA, Patterson did eventually make the bigs, with the Yankees briefly in 1995.

Patterson's career began in 1988, taken by the Phillies in the 58th round of the draft out of Cypress College in California.

Patterson started with the Phillies at short-season Batavia and rookie Martinsville. He went 4-8, with a 3.20 ERA on the year.

He moved to high-A Clearwater for 1990, then single-A Spartanburg for 1991 and Clearwater, Reading and Scranton for 1992. His 1992 season saw him go 9-8 over 35 outings 10 starts, with 28 saves overall.

Patterson then played 1993 and 1994 completely at Scranton. As he closed out 1994, Patterson praised Scranton as the Phillies re-upped with the city.

"If you're going to play in the minor leagues, this is the place to play," Patterson told The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader.

Patterson was then sent to the Yankees to complete an earlier trade. He then started the year with the big club, debuting April 30. He got into three games, 3.1 innings. He gave up one earned run. He played his final game May 7, what ended up being the final game of his career.

Patterson played the rest of that year at AAA Columbus to mark the end of his career.

Patterson soon found himself back in the game, as a scout. One of the players he would scout would be a young Phil Hughes. Hughes later recalled to The Orange County Register that Patterson saw every game Hughes pitched.

"I don’t know about that," Patterson told The Register in 2009, "but from the moment I went into his house and explained what was coming, I've never had a better experience with a player or a family. A lot of young pitchers have stuff. Phil just knew the game."

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,748
Made the Majors:1,270-33.9%-X
Never Made Majors:2,478-66.1%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:523
10+ Seasons in the Minors:310

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