November 6, 2008 - New York-Penn League (NYPL) - Tri-City ValleyCats
TROY, N.Y. - Former Tri-City ValleyCats pitcher Troy Patton was named the Baltimore Orioles eighth best prospect according to Baseball America on Wednesday. Patton was the eighth former ValleyCat to reach the Major Leagues when he made his debut with the Houston Astros on August 25, 2007.
The Astros drafted Patton in the ninth round of the 2004 Major League Baseball draft. Patton was assigned to Rookie-level Greeneville to start his career and immediately opened eyes at the professional level. The left-handed pitcher posted a 2-2 record with a 1.93 ERA for Greeneville earning him a late season promotion to the ValleyCats. Patton never made an appearance for the ValleyCats in the regular season, but did start a playoff game for the Stedler Division Champions.
The following season, Patton spent time between Class A Lexington and Salem. In 2006, Patton started the season with the Salem Avalanche and recorded seven wins with a 2.93 ERA and was soon promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi.
Patton split time between the Double-A Hooks and Triple-A Express in 2007 before earning the call to the Major Leagues in late August. The pitcher made three appearances for the Astros, including two starts, and posted an ERA of 3.55.
After the 2007 season, the Astros traded Patton and former ValleyCat Matt Albers to the Orioles in exchange for shortstop Miguel Tejada. Patton missed the entire 2008 season after suffering a torn labrum in spring training that required surgery.
Patton\'s inclusion in Baseball America\'s Top Prospects is the fifth consecutive year the left-hander was named as one of his organization\'s best young talents. Patton was ranked the Astros fifth best prospect in 2005, second in 2006-07 and third in 2008.
Over the next three months, Baseball America will be release the top prospects for each of the 30 teams. All of the publication\'s prospect rankings will be available on its website, www.BaseballAmerica.com.