- Full name Mathew Adam Latos
- Born 12/09/1987 in Alexandria, VA
- Profile Ht.: 6'6" / Wt.: 245 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Coconut Creek
- Debut 07/19/2009
Drafted in the 11th round (333rd overall) by the San Diego Padres in 2006 (signed for $1,250,000).
View Draft ReportFlorida's most electric high school pitcher, Latos became a household name in scouting circles last summer when he touched 96 mph and performed well at showcase events. He's often compared to Colton Willems, another high school righthander from Florida's southeast coast. Both flashed 97 mph heat this spring and could be drafted among the first 50 picks. Latos has good command of electric stuff, though he lacks the feel for pitching and fastball command Willems possesses. He throws a curveball and slider, which are inconsistent, but the curve is at times a two-plane pitch with excellent depth and the slider could become a reliable third or fourth offering. He also has a feel for his changeup. Latos has a tall, slender frame, but his delivery isn't picture perfect. His stock slipped after he matched up against Douglas High of Parkland, Fla., and righthander Bandon Holden. Latos lost his cool with his teammates after some errors were made, and detractors say his makeup and mound presence need work.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Questionable maturity and seven-figure bonus demands pushed Latos to the 11th round of the 2006 draft--even though he featured one of the best pure arms available. He signed for $1.25 million as a draft-and-follow the next spring. Latos ranked as the short-season Northwest League's No. 1 prospect in his 2007 debut, but shoulder, oblique and attitude problems hampered him in 2008. Latos' raw stuff is ridiculously good. His fastball sits at 94-95 mph and touches 97 with tremendous downhill plane by virtue of the leverage created by his 6-foot-5 frame. It's at least a 70 pitch on the 20-80 scouting scale. He cleaned up his hard, late-breaking slider, which features fierce two-plane movement coming out of his high three-quarters arm slot. He came into pro ball with a spike changeup, which he used as a chase pitch, but he took to a straight changeup grip in 2008 and his new pitch shows promise. He showed improved control last season. Though Latos shows strong competitive makeup when pitching, it's a different matter entirely between starts. He tends to reject structure, lacks a commitment to improve and rubs teammates the wrong way with his flippant attitude. His command isn't as good as his control. Latos could pitch at the front of a rotation or in a critical bullpen role, and he could reach the majors as early as 2010. If he stays healthy and focused, he should reach Double-A at some point this year.
Latos had one of the best pure arms in the 2006 draft, but he fell to the 11th round because of questionable maturity and unrealistic bonus demands. After initially committing to Oklahoma, he kept his draft options open by attending Broward (Fla.) CC. He agreed to a $1.25 million bonus as a draft-and-follow just hours before the signing deadline. Though raw, Latos shows the potential for three plus pitches. It all begins with a 92-97 mph fastball that he throws with excellent leverage and downhill plane, affording him plus life down in the zone. He delivers his hard breaking ball, which most closely resembles a curveball, from a high three-quarters arm slot. He spikes his changeup with the knuckle of his forefinger and uses the offering as a chase pitch. His mound presence improved dramatically during his pro debut. Though he gets good rotation on his curveball, Latos tends to throw it too hard and loses his release point. The Padres left his spike changeup alone this summer, but they're teaching him a straight change grip. The effort in his delivery offers some natural deception but also costs him control and command. Latos has the stuff and competitiveness to pitch at the front of a big league rotation, and all he lacks is feel. If he doesn't find it, his stuff will play just as well at the back of a bullpen. He'll advance to low Class A Fort Wayne in 2008.
Minor League Top Prospects
Latos was known for his raw power arm and immaturity coming into the year, but he did nothing but dominate after missing the first month with an ankle injury. He opened with a cameo in the low Class A Midwest League, then made a nine-start run through the TL before stepping into the San Diego rotation. Latos was absolutely untouchable in his nine starts, commanding a 94-95 mph fastball, a sharp breaking ball and a good changeup. He gets great downhill angle on his pitches with his big frame. "It just took one inning of seeing him pitch in the (Texas League) all-star game to show me he was the top pitching prospect in the league," Arkansas manager Bobby Magallanes said. Because of Latos' delivery and arm action, it's possible he could end up in the bullpen down the road. He answered the questions about his makeup by bouncing back from his injury quickly and sailing through the system.
Because of questionable makeup and unrealistic bonus demands, Latos fell to the 11th round of the 2006 draft. He opted not to sign immediately with the Padres, a decision that paid off when he got $1.25 million as a draft-and-follow this spring. Latos' stuff is firm, beginning with a fastball he dialed up to 97 mph and showed fair control of at 92-93 mph in the majority of his outings. His curveball, slider and changeup are inconsistent, though his curve shows occasional plus break with good downer action. His delivery isn't flawless, but his arm works well enough and his fastball has some life when it's down in the zone. Most of the NWL managers thought Latos' mound presence improved as the year went on. He lacks maturity but isn't regarded as malicious. "He improved in every aspect of the game," Eugene manager Greg Riddoch said. "It was like climbing the ladder. In the beginning you could see it when he got frustrated, but it's going to be a process. He came a thousand miles as far as that was concerned."
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Fastball in the Texas League in 2009
- Rated Best Fastball in the San Diego Padres in 2009
- Rated Best Fastball in the San Diego Padres in 2008