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New Arm of the Week: Mat Latos

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Mat Latos went from Futures to Majors in a week. Latos' debut with the Padres came on Sunday, making him the only rookie pitcher to make his debut in the weekend after the All Star break. Latos throws two fastballs (four-seam and two-seam), a breaking ball (let's call it a slider) and a straight change-up, according to KFFL:

Chris [Hadom] informed me that Latos actually ditched a knuckle change in favor of one with a more traditional grip.

Here's what I found, including the inning from the Futures Game:

Pitch                   #  MPH  PFX_X  PFX_Z
Change CH 1 83 -3.5 10.5
Two-seam Fastball F2 4 95 -6.3 8.0
Four-seam Fastball F4 59 96 -2.8 10.2
Slider SL 14 83 1.0 -0.2

Latos01_medium

Some Video

Interview:

 

Warm-ups from his debut:

 

Some Observations

  • Fly ball pitcher (28% GB, just 9% LD)
  • Attacks the zone (.610 with F4, .5 with SL)
  • Slider hasn't offered at (3 swings, 1 grounder, 2 fouls)
  • Missed a lot of bats with the fastball (.25 whiff rate on 32 swings)
  • Not enough two-seam fastballs (4) and change-ups (1) in the available data
  • Possibly three different looks on slider, or inconsistency, or fatigue

Take a look at the three sliders. #3 (shown in yellow) had less sink and more sweep. #2 (dark red) is about the same as the average variety (shown in bright green), #1 was the most curve-like of the bunch, sinking without sweeping like a 12-6 pitch.

Latos02_medium

Type "3" sliders appeared only at the end of his final inning on Sunday. Something to watch for next time out.