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Sunday, July 19, 2009
Deciding whether Mat Latos, making his major league debut tonight, is right for your fantasy team? Here are some links for you to digest:
Fantasy Ball Junkie (personal blog of our own Eriq Gardner)
Jason Grey (ESPN Insider required)
First Inning Stats
My take? Well, Latos has only thrown 47 innings at Double-A and none at Triple-A, so a projection system would have a hard time recommending him. Jason Grey said "he may be a year or two away." Still, his numbers in the low minors were very impressive with K/9 rates near or above 9.00 at every stop (and sometimes above 11.0). This translated to a solid 8.8 K/9 at Double-A, and his control has been tremendous everywhere. His ground ball rates, however, have been all over the place (but league average at worst).
Scouts seem to like Latos a lot, and his PITCHf/x data from the Futures Game shows some promise. While we're dealing with very small sample sizes here, his fastball was blazing at 96+ MPH with great rise (9.2 inches). Baseball America calls his fastball "one of the best in baseball." A scout Jason Grey talked to called it "as filthy as I've seen". The data certainly makes it look like a good one.
He would definitely need at least one more good pitch to succeed in the majors, but he only threw one breaking ball during the game. It was classified as a curveball but was more likely his slider. It came in completely straight at 83 MPH and had a little downward movement. We have hardly seen enough to pass judgment on him, but we do know that Latos won't succeed by throwing all fastballs to major league hitters. He apparently also throws a two-seamer and changeup (and maybe a knuckleball), so it'll be interesting to see what the PITCHf/x data looks like after his first couple starts.
Overall, I'd say he needs to be picked up in all NL-only leagues. In mixed leagues, I'd probably pass unless you really need a high-variance pickup (and even then, I might wait for someone like O's pitcher Chris Tillman... more on him tomorrow, though). One more consideration is that Latos threw just 56 innings last year and is at 72.1 already this year. How many more innings will the Padres let him throw before they shut him down for the year?
Posted by Derek Carty at 2:27pm
Orlando Cabrera's 1-for-4 effort on Saturday snapped an impressive six game multi-hit streak he had going. The 34 year old shortstop played disappointingly through the first three months of his first season with the A's, finishing June with a .247 batting average, two home runs, and just two steals in six attempts. Now in July Cabrera has cranked his game up a notch (maybe two), batting .400 in the month so far with two home runs and most importantly six steals in as many tries. Cabrera will not provide much in terms of home runs but can hit for a respectable .280 average and steal a good amount of bases making him a solid fantasy option at shortstop for those in need of one.
Posted by Paul Singman at 12:35am
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Trade RumorsFrom MLB Trade Rumors
Mets Links: Davis, Wheeler, Bargain Signings
Dodgers Notes: Ethier, Mattingly, Puig, Pederson
Red Sox Sign Rafael Perez
Orioles Designate Alex Burnett For Assignment
White Sox Place Angel Sanchez On Waivers
Jocketty Discusses Choo
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