Patterson has seen significant time at second base as well as all three outfield positions during his eight-year pro career, of which he has spent parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues. The younger brother of veteran big league outfielder Corey Patterson, Eric has batted .217 with 10 home runs and 35 stolen bases in 226 Major League games for the Cubs, Athletics, Red Sox, and Padres. In the minors, he holds a .294 lifetime average with 64 homers, 50 triples, and 195 stolen bases.
Originally an eighth-round draft pick of the Cubs in 2004 when his older brother was patrolling center field at Wrigley Field, Patterson immediately cemented himself as a top prospect when he claimed the Midwest League’s batting crown in his first pro season in 2005, batting .333 for Peoria and being named Cubs Minor League Player of the Year. Patterson played in the MLB Futures Game in 2006 and was named the Southern League’s Best Hustler, earning a promotion to Triple-A Iowa in just his second season where he batted .358 in 17 games.
A PCL All-Star for the first of three consecutive seasons in 2007, Patterson tasted the Majors for the first time, appearing in seven games for the Cubs. Patterson then split the 2008 season between Triple-A and the Majors with both the Cubs and the A's, who claimed him as part of the trade that brought Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin to Chicago that July.
Patterson batted a career-best .287 in 39 games for the A’s in 2009. He began the 2010 season with Oakland, and was dealt to Boston that June, combining for a career-high 90 big league games that season. Patterson moved on to the Padres in 2011 as one of the players completing the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to Boston. Last season, he played for Triple-A Toledo in the Detroit Tigers organization.