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Patterson selected on Day 3 of MLB Draft, decides to play professionally

Posted: June 15, 2017 - 7:57pm

During his little league days, Jacob Patterson can remember the ping hit metal bat made when making contact with a baseball, or even the satisfying thump when he made an out at first base,

But there were a few other memories that stand out to him, now, after he was selected Wednesday by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 13th round with the 394th pick of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

The two most notable thought that come to mind were his jersey number (5) and his team name (the Cardinals).

“As a young kid, I used to play first base and idolized Albert Pujols,” said Patterson, a junior left-handed reliever for the Texas Tech baseball team last season. “As far as a the team name, who would have known that I’m here about to join the Cardinals. It’s wild. I never would have thought that.”

In due time, with some hard work and dedication, Patterson may get a chance to reach “The Show” and see some of his childhood idols along the way. The Garland native confirmed he will report to the Johnson City Cardinals — the organization’s rookie affiliate — in Johnson City, Tennessee.

His decision, which took some time, means his time with the Red Raiders has come to an end. Patterson was quick to mention he appreciated his tenure with the Texas Tech baseball team — crediting the coaching staff with preparing him for this very moment.

“Coach (Ray) Hayward, that man has done so much for me,” Patterson said of the Red Raiders pitching coach. “I talked to him on a personal level multiple times and he would just always be there. But there’s one thing that he always said that I found so true. He always told all of us (pitchers) that we had the ability to play at the next level. We just needed to get over that mental hump to get there. It’s all about confidence in this game, and he gave me that.”

The deceptive 6-foot, 200-pound southpaw certainly showed plenty of poise when head coach Tim Tadlock signaled for him to come out of the pen in pressure situations. Patterson finished his junior campaign by striking out 63 batters in 51 1/3 innings of work.

All the while, Patterson accumulated a record of 5-1 and maintained an ERA of 3.86. He was one of three pitchers — including starters Steven Gingery and Ryan Shetter — to pitch 50-plus innings. He also came out of the the bullpen second most to Parker Mushinski, who appeared 31 times and was drafted by the Houston Astros in the seventh round Tuesday.

“From what I’ve heard, I’m going to be used as a reliever and may get some starting experience, but short innings,” Patterson said of the beginning of his professional career. “I just have to keep my confidence up and not get nervous. Just do my thing.”

After a three-year career with Texas Tech, Patterson said he feels ready to play the game he’s love since he was a child.

“At that age, you’re just happy to play the game,” he said. “It’s every kids dream to play professionally. And now I get to do that.”

As for his jersey number, Patterson wasn’t quite ready to divulge that information. But, he did mention why he donned 55 with the Red Raiders.

“I played football in junior high and that was my number. I wasn’t very good,” he said, chuckling. “I decided to keep it because I didn’t want to mix up numbers throughout my career. I guess you could say it was a compromise to have Pujols’ number twice.”

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