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Latos Reposter - Mutually Assured Terrificness

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Straight up.  
Via his better half's Twitter feed.
Straight up. Via his better half's Twitter feed.

There's been plenty of reaction around the media, blogosphere, and twitterverse to the Reds' acquisition of Mat Latos. RSC's excellent Latos White Paper is a necessary read about the team's new number 2 (1?) starter. Below are some older articles that help explain how Latos has become one of baseball's most promising younger pitchers, while shedding some light on his reportedly mercurial nature:

- This early scouting report discusses some of the makeup questions that have dogged Latos since high school. The Padres took a chance on him in the 11th round of the 2006 draft, but still waited to sign him for nearly a year (which is no longer permitted). Latos exhibited enough maturity while pitching for a Florida community college to convince the Padres to pay him a $1.25M signing bonus.

- During Latos' breakout 2010 campaign, he received plenty of media focus on his meteoric rise to stardom. This Yahoo article sums up the maturation process:

He stopped yelling at teammates for making errors, stopped snatching at return throws from the catcher when he believed an umpire missed a call, and toned down the self-loathing when he didn't perform up to his own expectations. "I learned to breathe through my eyelids," he said. "When I was younger, I always had an excuse. Now, I throw a pitch and I can accept that I made a mistake and somebody hit it. How can I be mad at somebody else on the field? I'm never going to be perfect, so how can I expect anybody else to be perfect?" "I still have that hotness in me. There are plenty of times I want to let it out."

- Latos received some tough love from a Padres minor league instructor early in his career. It very well be responsible for the growth that enabled him to succeed in the big leagues:

Latos got away with his me-first attitude until he collided with Padres roving pitching instructor Mike Couchee.... After a poor bullpen session one day, Latos and Couchee bickered until Couchee decided he'd had enough. He asked Latos if he would be mouthing off like this to Padres manager Bud Black. Latos said no. "Then grow up," Latos remembers Couchee telling him, "and go about your business as if you were in the majors." "A light turned on," Latos said. "I decided to quit acting like I was 16 years old."

- ESPN the Magazine also went into some depth about Latos' new-found maturity in 2010. Latos' professional nadir may have occurred during a game in Cincinnati, shortly after his 2009 big league call-up:

[Heath] Bell had little patience for such an attitude that day in Cincinnati, and almost immediately after hearing Latos, he yelled, "Listen to us! We know what we're doing here. You're a talented pitcher but we can make you that much better. You walk around here like you're a veteran thinking like you're somebody. You have to be humble. We have to work as a team."

It's a long but interesting article, and well worth the read.

After the jump, other hot stove news.