Uber-prospect Teheran makes quick impression

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – He’s rated one of the top three pitching prospects in all of baseball, and Braves right-hander Julio Teheran made a few more believers in the opening week of spring training.

The Colombian right-hander drew plenty of attention while throwing batting practice against Braves hitters on a backfield.

Top Braves prospect Julio Teheran made a believer out of veteran catcher Scott Ross in the first week of camp. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

Top Braves prospect Julio Teheran made a believer out of veteran catcher David Ross in the first week of camp. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

“I usually don’t like to buy into all the hype, but I was pretty impressed,” veteran backup catcher David Ross said. “When he located – and he did it on probably 10 of the 30 pitches he threw – it was, in my opinion, pretty unhittable.”

Ross was  referring to pitches thrown exactly where Teheran wanted them. A hard thrower who only turned 20 three weeks ago, Teheran has what scouts call “electric stuff,” coupled with pinpoint command of three pitches.

“Real live [arm],” new Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said after seeing the organization’s top prospect for the first time. “Lotta, lotta life.”

Teheran is a non-roster invitee to spring training and isn’t a candidate for a major league job out of camp. Because of his age and inexperience – he’s not pitched above Double-A — the Braves are likely to have him spend another season the minor leagues.

General manager Frank Wren has not ruled out the possibility that Teheran or Randall Delgado, another top prospect in his first major league spring training, could be called up during the season if the Braves have a rash of pitching injuries.

For now, they will work to make an impression while they’re in big-league camp.

“You hear all the hype all the time about guys,” Ross said. “It’s like with [right fielder Jason] Heyward — you don’t want to give them credit till you watch them perform. But [after seeing Heyward last spring] it was like, OK, you’ve got it. Hats off.”

Ross got a similar feeling while catching Teheran’s batting-practice session. Among the hitters he faced was outfielder Brent Clevlen, who’s spent parts of four seasons with Detroit and Atlanta.

“He told Clevlen what was coming and I think he was going to swing at one of the fastballs,” Ross said. “He threw him three fastballs, but I don’t think he could swing. It was in my mitt before I could really think. He went to swing and I think he was like, ‘Not only is it by me, it’s painted.’

“Not only does he throw hard, it was on the black.”

Clevlen didn’t dispute that account.

“The first three pitches I saw were just right there, knee-high on the black, kind of away. I wasn’t ready for that. Not this early.”

Asked about Teheran’s “live” arm, Clevlen said, “Yeah.  Nice and easy, looked like he wasn’t trying to put too much effort into it. The ball came out of his hand real well.”

49 comments Add your comment

bigjew

February 20th, 2011
7:50 pm

Joe P

February 20th, 2011
7:55 pm

Whos Scott Ross?

Asheville Dawg

February 20th, 2011
8:01 pm

WV Braves Fan

February 20th, 2011
8:05 pm

This sounds like great news for the Braves. Thanks for the report, David.

TAC

February 20th, 2011
8:12 pm

Good to here. Can’t wait to see this kid pitch in ST. Haven’t been this hyped for a prospect since waiting to see Tommy Hanson pitch! Damn I love our pitching, especially in the future as well.

TAC

February 20th, 2011
8:13 pm

Oops hear*

@Joe P…yeah I was gonna ask the same thing.

extremus

February 20th, 2011
8:14 pm

Great to hear the Braves have yet more high-caliber help just a year or so away. The only concern I have at this point is whether the so called “market price” being forced by the players’ union will allow the Braves only a few years’ window before Heyward, Teheran, Hanson, and all our other young stars move elsewhere.

Hey, maybe this anti-union thing going on right now could be extended to MLB and the other pro sports. Ahhh, we can only hope…

jp

February 20th, 2011
8:20 pm

He, Tommy Hanson and Randall Delgado are going to make a furious `1,2,3 for years to come. Can’t wait with the hitters we have

The Monger

February 20th, 2011
8:21 pm

The Braves are going to be absolutely stacked for the next couple of years with pitching…AND THIS IS AWESOME NEWS!! We could easily return to the 5 WS appearances of the 90s with a great staff and some good, clutch hitting. I am predicting at least 97 wins the next two seasons, based on mainly dominant pitching….and we have possibility of another WS ring this year or next. We will be stacked with Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, Derek Lowe, and either Mike Minor or Brandon Beachy, both impressive youngsters. That is 6 guys I have complete confidence in to go out and dominate a game and pitch a shutout, not to mention a 7th in Kris Medlen, who could be back (and its looking good) as soon as August, just in time for the last two months of the playoff run. Also next year, we should have all those guys plus the additions of Teheran and another young, hard-throwing uber-prospect in Aroyds Vizcaino (who we got in the Vazquez trade), who was the yankees #1 prospect when we got him, they will both be at least 21 next year, and probably ready for the pros, even though they probably wont have an open spot in the rotation…

Block

February 20th, 2011
8:23 pm

It’s nice having an excellent prospect because he won’t cost you 15 million a year if he comes up and tears it up!

The Monger

February 20th, 2011
8:27 pm

Just to put it in print how dominant our staff is going to be, (and thanks jp, i forgot about randall delgado), delgado is another young arm that has amazing stuff. Doesnt he have a younger brother thats even better too?? Isnt it Ramon Delgado or something? Anways here is our staff for the next several years…

1. Tim Hudson
2. Tommy Hanson
3. Jair Jurrjens
4. Kris Medlen
5. Derek Lowe
6. Mike Minor
7. Brandon Beachy
8. Julio Teheran
9. Aroyds Vizcaino
10. Randall Delgado

Pretty good potential, eh?

urban redneck

February 20th, 2011
9:30 pm

i love our pitching staff. and any article about teheran makes me go from six to midnight.

Kat

February 20th, 2011
9:46 pm

I hope Teheran makes it to Gwinnett in August when they play the Syracuse Sky Chiefs in upstate NY.. I’d love to see him pitch.

billmaier

February 20th, 2011
10:00 pm

tHE MONGER COULDNT AGREE MORE–NOT ONLY WE WILL BE IN THE WORLD SERIES BUT WE HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF MOVING UP IN THE PLAYOOFS BECAUSE WE will have a manger that makes good strategy decions– bobby blew a bunch of playoffs with the most dominating pitching staff in all baseball in the 90s because of his poor decison making in close games– willnot be the case in the future.-ie- liebrandt to pitch to kirby puckett, and jerking kimbrel with two outs and one one run lead last year just two of hundreds of examples– the future is brighter than our past.-

Brave New World

February 20th, 2011
10:34 pm

Me thinks the Phillies aren’t the only pitching-rich team. But while the Phils might be dominant for a year or so, the Braves look stacked for many years.

castle

February 20th, 2011
11:30 pm

@5150 UOAD:

“the old days”? hanson, mccann, prado, heyward…quite a few of the big names on our current team came up through our organization.

The Iranian

February 21st, 2011
12:11 am

is his name pronounced like the city in my homeland?

Union Joe

February 21st, 2011
12:37 am

Really, break the MLB union? The players are the reason that people watch, why break up their union? So that the fat cats that buy these teams can get fatter? If a player wants to stay in a city, then they’ll stay. If they want to make tons of money and don’t care where they play then you see how loyal they are. Simple. And Unions are important so that workers get a fair share, but it seems like so many states, like Georgia don’t mind that their workers have less rights while companies have more rights.

Steve From Dalton

February 21st, 2011
12:46 am

What the latest on Arodys Vizcaino? When will be able to pitch?

scottbravesfan

February 21st, 2011
2:14 am

5150,

What are you talking about? The Braves system has been putting out players for years. They have the 3rd rank system right now. Of our starters Prado, Heyward, Chipper, Freeman, McCann are all Braves farm system products. On the pitching staff Hanson, Minor, Beachy, Venters, Kimbrel, Moylan are all products of the Braves farm system and scouting. Add Teheran, Delgado, Vizcaino, JJ Hoover, Matt Lipka who are all prospects that could be contributing within the next few years.

extremus,

Seriously? The unions make the players get contracts that are market price? The players decide when or where they want to stay. Chipper could have gotten more money he decided he wanted to stay in Atlanta. Same with Hudson, same with Maddux. The Yankees offered Maddux more money and he turned them down because he did not want to pitch in NYC. Atlanta is the 7th largest market in the country and have one of the largest fan bases in baseball. Liberty could easily add 20 million to the payroll if they wanted to but it would cut into how much profit they make so they don’t. And the players are the ones that play the game they should get paid, there are only a few people in this world that can do what they do at the level that they do it at.

ALBERT

February 21st, 2011
2:45 am

UNA PESONA MARAVILOSA NOSTRANDO LA PARTE BUENA DE NOSOTROS LOS COLOMBIANOS EN U.S.A GRACIAS JULIO Y LO HACES MUY BIEN

Bamafan

February 21st, 2011
6:03 am

Pitching is not the problem it is the offense and outfield that is holding back the braves. RTR

Thinking Deeply

February 21st, 2011
7:04 am

Derek Lowe & the 30 million owed him are expendable – now

RichieRich86

February 21st, 2011
7:44 am

thinking deeply,

I completely agree with you man I really wish we could move Derek Lowe off our books now. We just have too many young pitchers to keep him around this year. Maybe we can trade him to the Yankees where they are in desperate need for pitching help. Sorry but Beachy and Minor are both too good to be in the bullpen or sent to the minors because of his over paid under acheiving a$$!!

Disbott 3000

February 21st, 2011
8:46 am

Oh,TD, I don’t think that’s necessarily fair. Lowe proved late last season that, if someone else does all the thinking for him, he is capable of much better things than we have at times seen. I wouldn’t turn around tomorrow and give him another big, fat contract, but if he pitches all season like he did late last, he will be worth what he’s paid.

And this article is about a great future prospect, and the future looks good.Huzzah!

swhite

February 21st, 2011
8:49 am

Dave, please delete or block or whatever the Union Joe comment. Remember, we talk about anything but politics and religion. Seems to me Union Joe is trying to sneak a comment in….uh, just like a unionista.

JoeBravesFan

February 21st, 2011
8:55 am

We’ll be great this year and for many years to come. When Chipper finally retires and Lowe’s contract is up, we’ll have some money to work with and get even better!

DaveInDallas(NC)

February 21st, 2011
9:27 am

Correct about Lowe being expendable…pretty much. Lowe won some games but it was usually on nights when the offense put a good many runs on the board. I think you could trade him but the question I have is about how many innings a guy like Teheran could eat at this point. That is key. You certainly wouldn’t want to throw him out there expecting him to throw as many innings as a Derek Lowe. He would end up like Stephen Strasburg…on the shelf.

bvillebaron

February 21st, 2011
9:29 am

Bamafan:

Pitching is 75% of the game and the Braves’ offense will be fine.

Unknown Hinson

February 21st, 2011
9:47 am

Can’t wait for ST

Future Star

February 21st, 2011
10:32 am

Teheran is a future star and I am glad he is pitching for the Braves instead of against them……The Future is Bright for the Braves!

marietta mustard

February 21st, 2011
10:32 am

very exciting to hear about Teheran’s progress, i for one cant wait to see him pitch at the ted.
personally i dont think lowe is as expendable as many commenters seem to. while there is little question that he is overpaid, he’s out there every 5 games, usually for 6 innings or more. having a guy that throws 230 innings every year is invaluable to the bullpen. that said i would like to see some of our young talent on the big league club sooner rather than later

Future Star

February 21st, 2011
10:34 am

In a few years the Braves staff will be anchored by Teheran with Minor,Beachy,Venters and Kimbrell all excelling………….reminds me of the Braves around 1990!

Thinking Deeply

February 21st, 2011
10:54 am

Trade Lowe to the Yankees for a top 3rd base or OF prospect; use that money to beef up the offense.

Lowe was great the second half of last season but he cannot be counted on to repeat that performance, especially after his high ERA in 2009. He’s 38 & won’t be getting better !

ColoradoBravesFan

February 21st, 2011
12:21 pm

Lowe is not expendable this year… We have Lowe, Hudson, Hanson, JJJ and Minor as our starting 5. We only have Beachy as another starter, unless you are including Kawakami/ \R. Lopez(I’m not). Teheran/Delgado have not pitched enough innings at AA or AAA. We need to bring them along slowly. Now this coming off-season if Lowe has pitched well, we should look to trade him, as we will have Medlen, Beachy, Teheran and Delgado/Vizcano all looking to break into the rotation. We can use Lowe’s salary as well as KK and Nate’s salary coming off the books, to lock up Prado long term, and hopefully get a good SS, LF or 3rd base prospect.

DangerousDan885

February 21st, 2011
12:44 pm

Glad you guys haven’t forgotten Kris Medlin. I hope he’s healthy because he’s a beast on the mound and will be in the mix.

Brave New World

February 21st, 2011
1:16 pm

Enough with the underappreciation of Derek Lowe. The guy saved our butts during the stretch drive – we would not have made the play offs without him. He has also delivered 15 and 16 win seasons. About the only negative thing one could say is that Derek’s desire to pitch caused him to pitch in pain, and that lessened his effectiveness. Derek Lowe has the same lifetime ERA as Cliff Lee (3.88). Compared to Lee’s contract, Derek is a bargain. Oh, and who was the better pitcher throughout the playoffs? When their teams needed them most, Lowe was a stud, and Lee (although good in the first round) was a World Series dud.

Brave New World

February 21st, 2011
1:23 pm

Correction: Both Lee and Lowe have career ERA’s of 3.85

Roja

February 21st, 2011
1:53 pm

We southerners pronounce it “tea run”

Chief Pitchanono

February 21st, 2011
2:19 pm

Great to hear, the phills better win it all while they can because we are gonna be strong for a long, long, time. These guys should be more than ready to take over for Lowe and Hudson when the time is right and then we still may not have enough room. They better make some more room on the outfield wall, I see allot of hardware comeing to Atlanta in the near future. Go Braves

ramblingman

February 21st, 2011
2:36 pm

People will continue to clamor for Chipper and Lowe to be traded to free up money for the mythical “OF help”. They think they can snap their fingers and get KK and McLouth traded to somebody who will not only take all the salary on, but will part with a good prospect as well. Or they want to trade two A league benchwarmers for an All-Star or three.

It’s fantasy league fever. Posters think the most outrageous lopsided trades can be made with no fuss.

BREAMKING

February 21st, 2011
4:41 pm

BamaFan please stay away from all trees when visiting Atlanta. I saw a bama fan all decked out at a youth baseball tournament this weekend and one guy said we should make him stand in the sun since they do not like trees. lol… I thought I was gonna lose it laughing…

ChillyMutt

February 21st, 2011
4:54 pm

The future looks bright for Braves pitching. Depleted just a few years ago. We now look stacked.

ramblingman

February 21st, 2011
5:08 pm

That jackwagon who killed the trees is no Bama fan

scbravefan

February 21st, 2011
6:07 pm

Derek Lowe for Michael Young

Rick_Matula_Tics

February 21st, 2011
8:43 pm

I would do that deal in a heartbeat BUT Young does not want to be a super-util. Which is what we would have to have him as considering we are wed to Chipper. The salary numbers and need match but we can’t seem to shake our Chipper jones.

Swede

February 22nd, 2011
3:27 pm

I totally agree with your post Feb 21 2:36 pm, Ramblingman

I think we are in a pretty good position now, without fantasy deals!

bfred

February 22nd, 2011
3:49 pm

I look at that rotation and see tradebait. I’m not talking about Lowe, or in the field any of our deadweight position players that people seem to believe we can somehow trade for anything of value. I’m talking too many good young pitchers to fit in one rotation, so we finally have some chips to use to get after a real 1st baseman (if Freeman doesn’t work out, that is) or heavy-hitting outfielder. Even those who complain every time we trade a prospect have to admit we now have a surplus of talent on the mound.

goski99

February 22nd, 2011
6:47 pm

hey, how about KK and McLouth for Pujols…the Cards should be looking to dump him since they won’t be able to sign him…yeah, yeah, that’s a great trade for the Braves!

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