Quick glance at Latos through PITCHf/x

Top Padres prospect Mat Latos made his Major League debut Sunday, striking out four and walking just one in four innings of work. I didn’t see a pitch, so I figured I’d take a quick look at his PITCHf/x data (though others have already done an excellent job at that). Here’s his movement graph:

latos

You can see the fastballs clustered up top (with a change up or two), and the sliders and curves toward the middle of the graph. If anything, this graph shows just how much Latos relied on that fastball (about 80% of his pitched recorded by PITCHf/x).

Here’s a peek at his velocity, pitch-by-pitch:

latos2

Latos was relentless with the fastball early, throwing it almost exclusively (though the camera missed a few early pitches). The most impressive thing here is the velocity – he averaged about 95 with the fastball, and almost hit 98 a few times. You can see that his fastball velocity gradually decreased as the game went on, as expected, but his last two pitches still reached 95.

We can talk about movement and pitch selection and mechanics all day long – and I’m sure we will – but when a guy can throw 95+ as a starter, and has a decent idea of what he’s doing, well, there’s reason to believe the hype. One start certainly means very little, but it does show us that this guy can really bring it. That is a good thing.

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