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Is Mat Latos better than Jake Peavy?

September 8th, 2010 by Ray

What a stupid question. Jake has more than twelve hundred innings on Latos. We’re not even close to being able to make such calls. But let’s try anyway.

Last night, Latos set a major league record by pitching in his fifteenth straight game of five innings or more while allowing two runs or less. The last time he gave up three runs was on June 4th, which was also the last time he allowed three runs in a game since April 26th. Since May 1st, his ERA has been 1.64. He may be young, but Latos has muscled his way into Great talk.

I don’t know about you, fellow Padres fans, but my barometer for great Padre pitching is Jake Peavy. The break up may have been less than amicable but he’s still the greatest Padre I’ve ever seen toe the rubber in the first inning. So how does new hotness measure up?

Here’s a sampling of what the tattooed one has done this season, at age 22:

2010
FIP 2.96
xFIP 3.25
ERA+ 163
K/9 9.41
BB/9 2.38
WPA 4.4
WAR 3.7

Not bad. For starters, let’s look at how Jake did at age 22.

2003
FIP 4.99
xFIP 4.35
ERA+ 96
K/9 7.21
BB/9 3.79
WPA 0.32
WAR 0.3

I think it’s safe to say that Latos found his feet a little earlier. Now, Jake’s Cy Young season.

2007
FIP 2.54
xFIP 2.84
ERA+ 158
K/9 9.67
BB/9 2.74
WPA 3.50
WAR 6.1

Latos actually holds his own. Jake’s got him at FIP and xFIP, the big kahunas of the moment, strike outs, and WAR (it should be noted here that WAR is a cumulative stat on Latos is on pace for less than 200 innings this year) but Latos takes ERA+, walks, and WPA so far. His K/BB also bests Jake’s, 3.95 to 3.53. It’s highly doubtful that Latos will get the award this year, Johnson and Halladay have just been too dominant, but that takes nothing away from what he’s accomplished this year.

In case you were wondering, Latos has set career highs in every category this year. How do they compare to Jake’s career highs, you ask? Let’s find out.

FIP 2.84 2007
xFIP 2.99 2009
ERA+ 171 2004
K/9 9.74 2009
BB/9 2.22 2005
WPA 3.59 2005
WAR 6.1 2007

With the exception of WPA, Latos still has a ways to go before he reaches Jake but he’s off to a fast-start. It should be interesting to see how much ground he gains next year, don’t you agree Tom Verducci?

Posted in players, statistics | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Is Mat Latos better than Jake Peavy?”

  1. Randy Ready says:

    Insofar as the barometer of Padres pitching great, it has to be Peavy based on longevity and career averages. And, not to quibble, but the greatest pitcher I’ve ever seen toe the rubber for the navy/white (and, in this case, orange) was Kevin Brown in 1998.

    As far as your question is concerned, when comparing where both were at age 22, I think Latos is better just based upon his production relative to Peavy. I guess the question is, how far do you expect Latos’ star to fall in the future?

    • Ray says:

      Touche.

      Just to throw some numbers out, cause that’s what we do baby, Brown’s WAR that year was 9.3. Since 02, only three pitchers have broken nine (Schilling 02, Johnson 04, Greinke 09). The highest any Padres has gone since is Adrian’s 6.6 last year.

  2. Zach says:

    If you throw out Mat’s horrible April, when it looks like he was still finding his feet in the big leagues, he’s been absolutely filthy. His K/9 from June-now is over 10.00. With a walk rate of under 3.00 and homer rate of under 1.00, he’s been absolutely dominant since the summer began.

  3. [...] Is Mat Latos better than Jake Peavy? (Sacrifice Bunt). I love these kinds of questions. As I’ve noted elsewhere, Latos is way ahead of Peavy at a similar stage of development. Good stuff from Ray and the gang. [...]

  4. Larry Faria says:

    One important comparison (well, two) is their relative size and delivery. Peavy is smaller and has a violent delivery that observers frequently cited as making him injury-prone. His current injury is a case in point.

    Latos is a big kid with a smoother delivery that looks well within his physical ability. The comparison so far works, but as Randy Ready noted, what’s the projection? I’m betting Latos exceeds Peavy’s overall stats through his career, assuming he doesn’t sneeze or get the flu too much.

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