Former Pitcher John Patterson grew up in West Orange, Texas a city that ranks #5th for the worst place to live to avoid a natural disaster, and ranks #183rd best place to live in 2005. J-Patt was a big-time prospect after he was named a USA Today High School All-American, and was drafted 5th overall in the 1996 MLB Draft to the Montreal Expos. However the Expos lost his draft rights after not sending him a correct standard contract, and the Diamondbacks came in and signed him to a $6.075 million deal, typical Expos.
In the minors Patterson was extremely inconsistent, but he proved that was a strikeout machine. Johnny boy banked on 3 pitches, a mid-90’s fastball, a huge curveball, and a solid slider. In his first 3 minor league season Patterson recorded more K’s than innings pitched. But the more strikeouts he got the more he lost control over his command and his ERA fluctuated from 2.83 to 7.80 to 5.45 and back to 2.63. Finally in 2002 the D-backs felt like the 6’6’’ RHP was ready for the bigs.
In his first season, Patterson appeared in 7 games starting in 5; he recorded 2 wins, threw 30.2 IP, struckout 31, and recorded an ERA of 3.23. In 2003 Patterson still showed his inconsistency going 1-4 with a 6.05 ERA, so in 2004 the Arizona Diamondbacks traded him back to his original team the Montreal Expos for Randy Choate.
At age 26 the new Expo started in 19 games, and in 98.1 IP he gave up 100 hits, K’d 99 and had an ERA of 5.03. It probably would have made sense if they tried out Patterson as a closer. But they didn’t and Patterson finally produced in 2005 when they became the Washington Nationals. Patterson went 9-7 with a 3.13 ERA, in his 198.1 IP he only struckout 185 but recorded his first career complete game shutout. Unfortunately this was his only good year, the next year he went 1-2 with a 4.43 ERA, and in his final year he went 1-5 with a 7.47 ERA.
The Nationals released Patts and he was signed to the Texas Rangers to a minor league contract to only be released again. But you might argue that Patterson’s retirement life is much better than his glory days. Patterson married this girl:
2005 Miss District of Columbia Shannon Schambeau and 4th runner up in 2006 Miss America Pageant.
Patterson’s career stats were: 18-25, 4.32 ERA, 454.1 IP, and 415 SO