Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mat Latos: 2010 NL Cy Young Award Winner?

As most of you guys know, I am a die hard Padre fan.  I love this team like I'm related to it, however i do try to remain objective in what I write.  I believe that the 22 year old ace of the first place Padres, should be a legitimate candidate for the Cy Young Award.  I am not making this case to be a "homer," but to shed some light on a player who hasn't received a lot of national recognition. 

During the Spring, Latos was the favorite to win the 5th spot in the Padres rotation, behind Jon Garland, Chris Young, Clayton Richard, and Kevin Correia.  Latos showed flashes of brilliance in his rookie campaign, going 4-5, with an ERA of 4.62.  This season however, Latos has been the ace of a stellar Padres staff, putting up numbers not often seen from a 22 year old.

Latos currently leads all of Major League Baseball in ERA with a microscopic mark of 2.21.  He also leads baseball in WHIP, with a disgusting 0.95, and allows just slightly over six hits per nine innings.  His 14 wins place him 7th in the NL, although behind a better offense, Latos could easily have more.  He has shown he has the ability to be dominant, as his 170 K's in 162 innings can can confirm.  He also became the first pitcher in the modern era to have 15 straight starts of at 5 innings, giving up two runs or less.  Think of all the great names that have pitched since then, and the only pitcher to achieve this fate is Mat Latos.  Impressive work for a 22 year old.
 
Mat reminds me of last year's AL Cy Young Award winner, Zack Grienke of the Royals.  Both play in small markets, and both had terrible run support.  Grienke won the award despite having only 16 wins.  Grienke's overall body of the work was just too good to ignore.  Latos may fall into the same category.

Of Course Latos is not the frontrunner in the chase for the award.  Roy Halladay, Tim Hudson, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Josh Johnson are all worthwhile choices.  However, at the end of the season, Latos may be too good to ignore.

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