Padres scout Bochy discovered Latos
Brother of Giants manager still tracks Florida product
SAN DIEGO -- San Diego Padres professional scout Joe Bochy, the brother of Giants mangager Bruce Bochy, hasn't heard a peep from his brother and suspects that he won't anytime soon.Family feud? Not at all, though Joe Bochy did recommend the Padres draft 22-year-old pitcher Mat Latos in 2006 -- the same Latos who hasn't allowed a run in two previous starts this season against Bruce Bochy's Giants. "I don't get a chance to talk to Bruce much during the season because we're both busy," Joe Bochy said from Daytona, Fla., where he was on his way to scout a game in the Florida State League. It was five days ago when Latos -- the player Joe Bochy first noticed in 2005 as a prep pitcher for Coconut Creek High in Florida -- tossed a one-hit shutout in the Padres' 1-0 victory at AT&T Park. On Tuesday, Latos faced the Giants for already the third time this season. In two starts this season, Latos was 2-0 and hadn't allowed a run in 16 innings against the Giants. In his last start against the Giants on Thursday, Latos took a perfect game into the sixth inning. If that wasn't enough to get Bruce Bochy to phone his brother for a little good-natured ribbing, then maybe nothing will. Joe Bochy has a longer history with Latos than anyone in the organization, having seen him in the spring of 2005 when Latos was a junior. "He was strong, he was very flexible, well coordinated and an outstanding athlete," Bochy said. "He stood out as the best player on the field. He held runners, fielded his position. He got a guy in a rundown and he was quick as a cat, with great instincts and he knew how to commit the runner and made the tag himself. "He was a live body, with a lot of physical maturity." The Padres selected Latos in the 11th round of the 2006 Draft. He originally signed a letter of intent to pitch for the University of Oklahoma but ended up staying locally, pitching at Broward Community College. The Padres held Latos' rights for a year under the old draft-and-follow rules. He signed before the 2007 First-Year Player Draft for $1.25 million. Bochy is no longer an area scout looking for high school players. His territory is the Florida State League and the Eastern League, where he watches players from other organizations. "I follow Mat's game reports," Bochy said. I listen to his games on the XM radio. I think his progress has been, the old adage is it doesn't matter if you come out of high school or college, the good ones rise fast. "It's easy to see why a player like Mat has moved quickly. For me, he was a guy who needed to be challenged."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.