The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs have announced their signing of MLB veteran Mat Latos, as well as a couple of first timers to the Atlantic League, Adam Choplick and Michael Kelly.
Latos arrives in Southern Maryland with an impressive resume in hand. The 6-6 right-hander pitched in the MLB for nine seasons with eight different teams. He made his MLB debut in 2009 at the ripe age of 21 with the San Diego Padres, and his career took off from there. In his sophomore season, his 2.92 ERA landed him 8th in the 2010 MLB Cy Young voting. A few years later he was the headliner in a trade that sent him to the Cincinnati Reds, a team he posted a dazzling 28-11 record, and 3.32 ERA with over the next two seasons.
The DMV native accumulated an astonishing 3.64 ERA in his nine MLB seasons. For comparison, this is better than both CC Sabathia and Bartolo Colon’s career ERA’s. Latos most recently pitched in the Canadian American Association for the New Jersey Jackals, and last pitched in the MLB in 2017 for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Adam Choplick is a daunting figure when perched atop the ten-inch tall pitching mound. It’s not often you find a left-hander that stands at 6’9’’ as Choplick does. The list of players with such attributes in MLB history can be counted on one hand, and is headlined by Randy Johnson. He got his professional start with the Texas Rangers organization when he was drafted in the 14th round of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft out of the University of Oklahoma. The southpaw pitched four seasons in the Rangers system, reaching as high as the AA affiliate Frisco RoughRiders in 2018. Choplick’s parents both played basketball at the University of North Texas, and their son has made quite the career in athletics of his own. He has done nothing but excel on the baseball diamond since going pro, combining for a 16-7 career record to go along with a 3.61 ERA.
Michael Kelly was a first-round draft pick by the San Diego Padres in the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft out of West Boca Raton Community High School. 2019 will be the right hander’s first year outside of affiliated ball after spending six seasons in the Padres’ organization, and one in the Baltimore Orioles’ system. The 6’4” fireballer found his groove in 2017, a season he in which he posted a combined 10-4 record between AA San Antonio and AAA El Paso. Kelly spent the 2018 campaign split between AA Bowie and AAA Norfolk, both of which are within a three-hour drive of Regency Furniture Stadium.
The trio of freshly caught Blue Crabs all emphasized their excitement for the 2019 season. “I’m excited for my next baseball opportunity!” said Latos. “I am excited to stay in Maryland this summer, looking forward to a great season with the Blue Crabs and fun nights at the ballpark,” Choplick articulated. Kelly added, “I’m looking forward to getting up to Waldorf, meeting the team, and putting together something special.”
The team opens the 2019 season on May 3rd at home against the Lancaster Barnstormers. To save your seat at the ballpark for the upcoming season and other team news, visit www.somdbluecrabs.com or call 301-638-9788.