Latos receives Padres' final offer

The cream of the draft-and-follow crop, right-hander Matt Latos, will not receive any more offers from the San Diego Padres.

On Tuesday, the Padres increased their offer for the third and apparent final time. Latos, 19, went 10-3 with a 2.03 ERA for Broward Community College. In 75.1 innings, he struck out 102 batters against 58 hits and only 17 walks, allowing 17 earned runs.

Holding his rights as a draft-and-follow after drafting him in the 11th-round in 2006, the Padres have until Wednesday night at 9:01 PM to sign him.

"We have made our final offer," Grady Fuson, Padres' vice president of scouting and player development, said. "I am not optimistic."

Latos combines a fastball that sits in the mid-nineties and tops out at 99 MPH with a power slider and changeup. He is polished for his age, and some believe he could be quickly pushed through the minors.

"I think issuing only 17 walks in 75 innings was the most impressive, especially when you consider that this is a power pitcher who is bringing it to the plate in the mid-90's," Broward coach Bob Deutschman said. "Usually at this age you see someone that is much more of a thrower and I think that is what separates Matt from the rest is his command to go along with his velocity."

And his secondary pitches aren't just show me pitches for the 6-foot-6 righty.

"The change has been my out pitch this year, so I feel pretty good throwing it," said Latos. "My coaches took away my slider last summer to force me to throw the change as my other pitch, so that has really helped my development."

The Padres will know by the end of the day on Wednesday whether they can call Latos a Padres' prospect. If not, he will be headed back into the 2007 MLB Draft and is predicted to go somewhere in the bottom half of round one.

San Diego remains interested in signing right-hander Jeremy McBryde out of Rose State, taken in the 26th-round last season. McBryde, 6-foot-2, went 4-5 with a 4.01 ERA over 76 innings this year, allowing 65 hits and 22 walks while striking out 82.

"We are still in negotiations to sign McBryde," Fuson said of the 20-year-old.

San Diego also put in an offer for Jett Hart, 18, a middle infielder playing at Lower Columbia Community College. Fuson said he did not believe the Padres would be able to meet his demands.

The last player of interest to the Padres is Bryce Lefebvre, but he was still playing in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II baseball championship in Millington, Tennessee for Scottsdale Community College (SCC).

The Padres will have a 48-hour window to negotiate with Lefebvre after SCC plays its final game on Wednesday.

Lefebvre, a third baseman picked in the 45th-round, hit .314 with 13 doubles, 10 homers and 45 RBIs over 48 games for SCC.


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