2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 70: How Good Is San Diego Padres' Mat Latos?

Nick Kappel@@NickKappelAnalyst IIIMarch 7, 2011

ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 17: Starter Matt Latos #38 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on September 17, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

In 2009, Baseball America raved about Mat Latos’ “ridiculously good raw stuff,” and they weren’t lying. Latos flashed a devastating fastball/slider combo in 2010, which led to some of the best plate discipline stats in the majors:

  • O-swing rate: 33.9 percent (6th)
  • Contact rate: 76.1 percent (7th)
  • Swinging strike rate: 11.0 percent (5th)

During a 15-start stretch from June into September, Latos allowed one run or fewer 10 times and yielded exactly two runs in the other fives starts. During this streak, Latos posted an eye-popping 1.50 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 10.65 K/9, 2.24 BB/9 in 96 1/3 innings.

For the season, Latos ended with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. His strikeout rate (9.21) was eighth-best among qualified starters, while his advanced command led to a walk rate of 2.44.

Oh, and by the way, he accomplished all this in his age-22 season.

Of course, Petco Park certainly aided Latos’ incredible production, but his 2010 FIP (3.00) and xFIP (3.36) suggest he was, and will continue to be very good.

While it’s difficult to project any major improvement in 2011, Latos shouldn’t regress much. Expect elite strikeout totals, excellent command and a low-threes ERA in his second full season.

2010 stats184.2149.212.442.921.08
2011 FBI Forecast195159.002.703.251.15


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