After being drafted and spending the first four years of his professional career in the San Diego Padres system, Mat Latos is now entering his second season pitching for the Cincinnati Reds.
Latos, who originally hails from Alexandria, Virginia was drafted by the Padres in the 11th round of the 2006 draft but did not sign a contract with the squad until 2007, as San Diego wanted a year of maturation for young Latos at Broward Community College in Florida.
In 2007, at the tender age of 19, Mat Latos made his first stop in minor league baseball in Eugene, Oregon, playing for the Eugene Emeralds.
During the 2007 season, he appeared in 16 games with a 1-4 record and a 3.83 ERA. In 2008, Latos was quite busy, splitting time with three minor-league squads, mostly Eugene again and Fort Wayne, a single A Padre affiliate.
Apparently, the Padres were impressed with Latos and his pitching ability so they invited him to Major League spring training in 2009. However, after spraining his ankle during spring training he started the season back in Fort Wayne. Latos made the best of his assignment and was later sent to the Padres AA team in San Antonio later in the season.
Latos was beyond impressive during his brief stint in Texas, appearing in four games, going 3-0 with a 0.36 ERA. While in San Antonio, he was also selected to the 2009 All-Star Futures team and after that earned a call up to the majors. Latos made his professional debut against the Colorado Rockies on July 19, 2009.
He appeared in 10 games that year for the Padres, somewhat struggling in his first foray in the majors, going 4-5 and boasting a 4.62 ERA.
2010 however, was a much better effort for Latos. In his first full year at the professional level he appeared in 31 games for San Diego boasting a 14-10 record and a sub three earned run average. Unfortunately, 2011 was not as kind to Latos as was 2010. His 2011 season consisted of a losing 9-14 record and a 3.47 ERA.
Following the 2011 season, San Diego shipped Latos off to the Cincinnati Reds for two pitchers and two position players. During his first year in Cincinnati, Latos had the best year of his professional career, boasting a 14-4 record and a 3.48 ERA.
The early 2013 season has been a tumultuous one for Latos. He has started four games for the Reds and has pitched relatively well, his current ERA for the Reds today stands at 2.73. However, even though he has a sub three earned run average and has had decent command of his stuff, his record still stands at 0-0.
The Reds are a trendy pick to once again win the NL Central and make the playoffs, and the continued emergence of Mat Latos could be paramount to this occurring.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.