DUNEDIN - Dunedin's Ryan Patterson takes notes on pitcher's he has faced throughout the Florida State League season, but doesn't consider himself as meticulous as others with the Blue Jays.
"I'm lucky because I have a good memory," Patterson said. "I write some stuff down, but other guys really get into recording pitcher's tendencies and all that."
Patterson's recall ability was never more evident than May 8 against Vero Beach.
The 23-year-old outfielder homered three times - becoming just the 18th player in FSL history to do so - and finished 6-for-6 with a pair of doubles and nine RBIs. Four other Dunedin players have had three-homer days: Carlos Delgado (1992), Tony Peters (1999), Mike Peeples (1999) and Josh Phelps (2000).
"After the third home run I started to realize how good of a game I was having," Patterson said. "But before that, there were so many things going on in the game I didn't really think about it because it wasn't a blowout."
In a tight, high-scoring game - the Blue Jays beat Vero Beach 19-12 - Patterson's fourth at-bat stood out in his mind.
"It was a 13-pitch at-bat and the pitcher was just painting the corners," he said. "I was fouling off his best and then I hit (the second homer.)"
Though Patterson is second in the FSL with 14 home runs (behind Palm Beach's Terry Evans and Daytona's Jacob Fox, 15 each), Blue Jays manager Omar Malave said the fourth-round draft pick out of LSU in 2005 is not a typical slugger.
"He's a line-drive hitter with gap-to-gap power," Malave said. "But he's streaky. So when he gets hot, he can find that (power) swing."
Patterson's swing has earned him a trip to Saturday's FSL All-Star Game at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland (7:35 p.m.). He will be joined by teammates Ryan Klosterman (IF), Dustin Majewski (OF), Robinson Diaz (C) and Milton Tavarez (P).
FIVE THRESHERS, FOUR YANKS MAKE SQUAD:
Clearwater (30-35) is one spot from the FSL West Division cellar, but the Threshers will be well-represented Saturday.
Pitchers Joe Bisenius, James Griffith and James Happ, along with infielders Mike Costanzo and Peeter Ramos, have been selected for the All-Star Game. Tampa pitchers Jason Jones and Gerardo Casadiego made the team, along with Cody Ehlers (IF) and Brett Gardner (OF).
Before the All-Star Game, three area players will participate in the home run derby at 6 p.m. Patterson, Klosterman (10 HRs) and Ehlers (nine) - the only true left-handed hitter in the competition - will compete.
Just when things were looking up for Randy Wolf's rehab assignment, his progress may have taken a step back. Wolf, an all-star with the Phillies in 2003, was struck on his pitching hand by a line drive Tuesday in his second appearance for the Threshers.
Fort Myers' Garrett Guzman sent a rocket back up the middle that caromed off Wolf's throwing hand as the 29-year-old lefty threw his glove down in pain. Wolf left the game and was taken to Morton Plant Hospital where X-rays turned up negative.
Wolf, who had Tommy John surgery in July 2005, had pitched 22/3 innings of scoreless ball before leaving Tuesday. In two rehab appearances with the Threshers, Wolf had not allowed an earned run in 52/3 innings, giving up six hits and striking out four.
Wolf was scheduled to make his next start at either Double-A Reading or Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
Tampa's Rodolfo Guillen needed a spark to put some distance between him and the Mendoza line. Last week proved to be just the catalyst.
Guillen was named FSL Player of the Week, hitting .417 (10-for-24) with one home run and five RBIs. The Yankees centerfielder's batting averaged jumped from .203 to 261. during that stretch. Guillen drove in all five of his RBIs and homered Saturday in Tampa's 10-8 win against Dunedin.