Padres Profile — Mat Latos

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Mat Latos getting the sign (from 'sd dirk' via Flikr)

Mat Latos getting the sign (from 'sd dirk' via Flikr)

To win four out of five games is no easy feat as a pitcher in Major League Baseball.

To do it as a rookie is even harder. That is however, exactly what 21-year-old Padres rookie hurler Mat Latos has done, racking up a 4-1 record with a 2.43 ERA in the bigs. For a guy who started off the year playing single A minor league ball, Latos has been more then impressive as he continues to rack up wins and providing a spark for the Padres.

Towering at 6 foot 6 and unafraid to display his emotions as he pitches, Latos is clearly quite a sight for batters to see on the mound, rookie or not. Originally from Alexandria, Virginia, Latos’ family moved to Florida when he was a kid, eventually going to high school in Coconut Creek. A pitching prospect from day one, Latos was selected in the 11th round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft.

Latos made his way up the ladder, from the Padres farm team up to class AA with the San Antonio Missions. During his time with the Missions he had 5 wins and 1 loss, ultimately selected for the 2009 All-Star Futures Game where he pitched one perfect inning. Latos made his major league debut on July 19, 2009, allowing 3 hits and 2 runs in 4 innings.

One aspect of his game that Latos has to work on is his emotional composure during games. Known to show his emotions on his sleeves, Latos on numerous occasions has gotten so heated on the mound that other players have had to calm him down. Latos says the main issue is to know where the line is, and knowing not to cross it. He says that his main goal as he plays is to have fun with other guys.

Thankfully, Latos still has plenty of time to learn, grow, and get better as a player. And thats a scary thought.

Catch Latos in his next start this Friday, as the Pads travel to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals in a three-game series at Busch Stadium. First pitch is at 5:15 pm, and will be broadcast by Mark Neely and Mark “Mudcat” Grant on Channel 4 (TV) and Ted, Jerry and Andy on XX 1090 AM (radio).

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