San Diego’s Latos Makes Debut

San Diego Padres pitcher Mat Latos made his Major League debut yesterday against the Rockies going four innings allowing two runs on three hits (including one long homerun to Ian Stewart) while walking one and striking out four batters. Latos, ranked number 40 on Matt Hagen’s “Top 100 Prospects List”, flashed his mid-90s fastball (average velocity was 94.94 mph). He threw almost exclusively fastballs in his outing (60 out of 75 total pitches) topping out at 97.9 mph.

Below his Latos’ strike zone plot for the game.

Latos was an 11th round selection in 2006 and has excelled at every level of the minors. He holds a career 2.62 FIP and 4.6 K/BB ratio in the minors.

The 21-year old Latos is having his best season yet between Fort Wayne (Single-A) and San Antonio (Double-A). This year he has allowed just one home run in 72.1 innings of work (a career best HR/F rate of 1.6 percent). He has struck out 73 batters compared to 12 walks. His BABIP is down to .233 this season from his career average of .308 which is probably a major reason why he has been more dominating than usual this year.

He lacks experience (188.2 professional innings thrown) and there are concerns about his workload this season which is why he likely won’t stick with the big club this season. Nonetheless, Latos is a power pitcher with very good command for his age. The Padres organization will be keeping a close eye on his progress this season.

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