Patterson settling into No. 2 slot in lineup

Patterson settling into No. 2 slot in lineup

BALTIMORE -- Blue Jays left fielder Corey Patterson has found a home batting second in the order.

Manager John Farrell has continually kept him in that spot, and Patterson has responded by having one of his finest seasons as a Major Leaguer. So far, Patterson is batting .294 with five home runs and 25 RBIs. Farrell has seen Patterson's confidence improve, knowing that he'll be in the lineup each day.

In Saturday night's game against the Orioles, Patterson went 4-for-5 with a homer, and reached base twice with bunts. Farrell likes that type of versatility and said Patterson is a tremendous asset with his ability to move runners into scoring position.

"He's always been a very good bunter," Farrell said. "In the last couple of years, he's gotten away from it. We encouraged it in the off-season when we signed him."

It's been a long road for Patterson, who was a highly-touted prospect coming out of Kennesaw High in Georgia, where he was a First-Team All-American and the third overall pick in the 1998 Draft. He accepted a minor league position with the Orioles prior to the beginning the 2010 season. He was eventually called up to Baltimore and hit .269 with eight home runs in 90 games. He also stole 21 bases.

This off-season, he signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays, and the move has paid dividends for both sides.

"He's got a way to impact the game by not getting the ball past the mound," Farrell said. "He also has the ability to hook the ball through the 3-4 hole. He knows when he gets to the ballpark he's gonna be in the lineup. This is someone who was touted as one of the best players in the game coming out of the draft a couple of years ago."