Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
To say that Mat Latos was a disappointment least season would be an understatement. After an injury plagued 2014 season, Latos was expected to be a key part of the Miami Marlins rotation, helping keep the team afloat until Jose Fernandez could come back. Instead, Latos struggled before being shipped to the Dodgers at the trade deadline. After six disastrous outings, he was released before being picked up by the Angels for the end of the season.
All told, Latos put together a miserable 4-10 record with a 4.95 ERA and a 1.305 WHiP. Those numbers would not appear to be the kind that would lead to a solid offer during free agency, but Latos was expected to be much better than his end results. Latos posted a strikeout to walk rate of 3.13, striking out just under eight batters per nine innings while posting a 3.72 FIP.
Before his injury woes in 2014, Latos was one of the more promising young pitchers in baseball. He posted a 55-40 record with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.170 WHiP, striking out 785 batters against 257 walks in 849.2 innings. Can a healthy Latos get back to that level once again?
That is the question that the Kansas City Royals, and other interested teams, will have to ask themselves. At 28 years old when the regular season begins, Latos is supposedly at the beginning of his prime. On a one year contract, he could certainly be the type of pitcher that would outperform his contract. With the Royals defense behind him, Latos could have that resurgent season he would hope for.
Next: Was his injury worse than reported?