Read + Write + Report
Home | Start a blog | About Orble | FAQ | Blogs | Writers | Paid | My Orble | Login

Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Steven Stamkos

10/2011 Player Profile: Mat Latos

October 31st 2011 15:31
To celebrate Halloween, I have another exclusive Player Profile/Scouting Report of a current MLB player. Appropriately, for the holiday, my shuffled song is currently "Enter Sandman". It would have been plain freaky if I was planning a piece about Mariano Rivera, but I have an equally interesting piece written about a young pitcher on the Padres.

Last season, Mat Latos was a 4 WAR pitcher who was getting a ton of recognition as one of the best young pitchers in baseball. His fastball was sizzling as his slider electrifying. This season, his fastball is still relatively effective but is considerably worse. Last season, he was just mowing down hitters. All of his pitches have been worse this season, especially his curveball. Each of his pitches have also been much slower this year, and it is obviously a concern when a pitcher's fastball is ticks below what it was the previous season.

Although his BABIP rose this year, that is negated by a slight decrease in walk rate as well as a decrease in HR/FB ratio. Not only that, but his peripherals were worse in 2011 (9.21 K/9 to 8.57 K/9 and 2.44 BB/9 to 2.87 BB/9). I don't think he has been tired, and I actually think he was struggling from the lingering effects of an injury at the beginning. His FIP got much better as the season wore on. In fact, if you took out the first month, Latos was just as good this year as he was last year in terms of FIP.

Arguably the best stat out there for pitchers, Latos's FIP rose by only 0.16 this season. His WAR went down to 3.2, but he still pitched well this season and should continue to do so. I don't have any concerns for Latos's pitcher at this point, and I think he can continue to do well. While he was certainly nowhere near his 2010 form, Latos wasn't exactly awful this season either.

Watch for a bounce back year

Last season, the Padres were baseball's surprise story and were in first place in their division for most of the year. Their devastating collapse at the end of the year- and the incredible comeback by the Giants who would eventually win the World Series- has continued on to this season. The Padres are last in the poor but competitive NL West.

It's no surprise that their hitting has been awful, and that's the reason why they are last in their division. Their rotation has been disappointing, especially when you consider that their ballpark is PETCO. The Padres do have one of the best bullpens in baseball with Heath Bell, Mike Adams, Chad Qualls, Luke Gregerson, and Pat Neshek.

Nick Hundley, who has been good this year, is on the 15-day DL as is free agent signing Orlando Hudson who has not been so good this year. Cameron Maybin has been great in the field and the best player on the team so far, but I really hate is contact. I think he's going to bat under .240 for the season with his strikeout rate. He's got a high BABIP, and he's still barely hitting over .250. It just shows how pathetic the Padres are offensively.

The thing is that Maybin has been the best fielder and baserunner on the team, so that's what makes his WAR 1.8. Kyle Phillips is getting more time with Hundley out. The former prized Blue Jays' prospect has shown some nice flashes of power, and I think he needs to get more playing time over Rob Johnson. What do they have to lose?

Ryan Ludwick leads the team in homers, but he also has the highest fly ball rate in the majors. He's also hitting .257 which shows you that he is still the same old Ryan Ludwick. A guy who hits fly balls and doesn't get on base. Jorge Cantu has been a bust signing so far because he's been doing nothing of note lately besides sucking.

Chris Denorfia and Chase Headley have been the only other players that have been hitting well. Denorfia has been the team's best hitter so far. He's getting on base, but he's definitely in for a huge regression on the contact side which would mean he would go back to being his usual subpar hitting self. Headley is producing runs, but he can't field. His BABIP is .347 and his BA is .275. That may seem way off, but his career BABIP is .333. So I think he'll end up hitting about .270 for the year.

On to the pitching side of the Padres. Tim Stauffer has been very unlucky so far this year, and he's been pitching better than the numbers indicate. Stauffer has been his team's best pitcher so far, but I can't see Mat Latos not getting back on track and pitching very well the rest of the way. These are both two pitchers to keep an eye on.

I think Pat Neshek will regress, and Clayton Richard is going to keep pitching poorly. There's nothing to indicate that things will improve for the young hurler. Although Chad Qualls has a .242 BABIP, he has been able to induce groundballs. I think Qualls still remains effective as the year goes on. Mike Adams is a guy who will definitely see his sub 2.00 ERA go up. He's a very good set-up man who gets K's, but he has been far too lucky this year with a .197 BABIP, a 92.1 LOB%, and a 41.3 GB%.

Pat Neshek and Chad Qualls are polar opposites in terms of pitchers whose fastballs have been more effective. Neshek doesn't use his fastball very much, and for good reason because it is barely over 85 miles an hour. Neshek does make good adjustments because his slider is his most-thrown pitch and his most effective this year. It's been downright nasty so far, while Clayton Richard has struggled with it. Well, he's struggled with all his pitches except his fastball and average curveball.

Dustin Moseley has been solid so far this year thanks to his cutter and curveball, but he should cut down on his changeup usage because he's not fooling anybody with it. Part of it may be because he hasn't successfully used his fastball to set up his change. Having an average fastball velocity just a tick under 89 miles an hour also doesn't help too much either. Mat Latos and Tim Stauffer's have also struggled because their off-speed stuff has been quite up to par yet, but I'm confident that their overall stats will get better.
Numbers Will Be Better

5/2011 Starting Pitcher Rankings

May 22nd 2011 14:01
1. Tim Lincecum
2. Roy Halladay
3. Josh Johnson
4. Cliff Lee
5. CC Sabathia
6. Adam Wainwright
7. Jon Lester
8. Felix Hernandez
9. Justin Verlander
10. Dan Haren
11. Josh Beckett
12. Ubaldo Jimenez
13. Jered Weaver
14. Clayton Kershaw
15. Chris Carpenter
16. Cole Hamels
17. David Price
18. Matt Cain
19. Zack Greinke
20. Tommy Hanson
21. Francisco Liriano
22. Yovani Gallardo
23. Roy Oswalt
24. Trevor Cahill
25. Wandy Rodriguez
26. James Shields
27. Chad Billingsley
28. Jaime Garcia
29. Clay Buchholz
30. Ryan Dempster
31. John Danks
32. Max Scherzer
33. Jake Peavy
34. Mat Latos
35. Johan Santana
36. Jorge De La Rosa
37. AJ Burnett
38. Shaun Marcum
39. Brett Anderson
40. Phil Hughes
41. Ricky Romero
42. Zach Britton
43. Michael Pineda
44. Jeremy Hellickson
45. Ricky Nolasco
46. Matt Garza
47. Jonathan Sanchez
48. Johnny Cueto
49. CJ Wilson
50. Madison Bumgarner

Joe Soriano's Blogs

153 Vote(s)
7 Comment(s)
4 Post(s)
26731 Vote(s)
81 Comment(s)
294 Post(s)
78 Vote(s)
0 Comment(s)
3 Post(s)
Moderated by Joe Soriano
Copyright © 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 On Topic Media PTY LTD. All Rights Reserved. Design by
On Topic Media ZPages: Sydney |  Melbourne |  Brisbane |  London |  Birmingham |  Leeds     [ Advertise ] [ Contact Us ] [ Privacy Policy ]