Monday, March 24, 2008

Patterson's "Potential" Center Stage for Reds

Does a player ever become too old - or have too much of a track record - to keep talking about his "potential"? The word "potential" has followed outfielder Corey Patterson around throughout his career. As a youngster just hitting the big leagues, he was expected to be a great-fielder centerfielder, and at the plate a combination of power, speed and high average.

None of these various "potentials" have ever turned into reality for Patterson, however. But now the Reds appear to have tabbed Patterson for the bulk of playing time in centerfield in 2008, sending down uber-prospect Jay Bruce. Bruce, at 20, is full of "potential." Patterson, at 28, is full of ... what?

After five full seasons on the big leagues, and parts of two others, Patterson's "potential" is merely to be what he is: A fair-to-middling - at best - major-league player. And the prospect of having Patterson and his career .298 on-base percentage (season best: .329) batting leadoff - while Bruce whiles away in Triple-A - is "potentially" terrifying for Reds fans.