Teheran joined the Atlanta Braves in 2007 as an amateur free agent. Little did the Braves know that what they were getting was one of the best pitching prospects in the league who would be surrounded by an army of elite arms to lead Atlanta into the future.
Teheran has seemed to get better and better as he moved up in the minors. Finally, he has topped off his minors career with a spectacular stay at AAA. With the Gwinnett Braves, Teheran has won 15 games with an ERA of only 2.55. His strikeouts are a little bit down, but he has given up only four home runs in 141 innings pitched. Teheran has pitched three games for the Atlanta Braves this year with solid results. He is 1-1 with a 3.86 earned run average. The blemish in these games are his six walks to five strikeouts and two home runs allowed in just fourteen innings.
Teheran may have some trouble when he first arrives in the majors, but his stuff seems to have #1 starter potential. If he hits his ceiling, we could be seeing a player who leads his rotation for the next decade or more.
How Julio Teheran Can Change the Franchise
When Teheran comes up, we could be seeing the next great rotation of starting pitchers in Atlanta. Everyone remembers Maddox, Glavine and Smoltz leading the Braves in the ‘90s; the question is, can Teheran lead a young rotation that can compare to them at all? In 2012 the Braves will have many starting pitchers at their disposal; some young and some old. Tim Hudson will be around in 2012 and has a team option in 2013. The way that the Braves young pitchers perform could make Hudson trade bait. It might be smart to keep him around as a mentor. The Braves would also love to get rid of Derek Lowe, who is getting paid $15 million in 2012.
Once 2013 rolls around we will see the youth revolution in Atlanta begin. With pitchers like Jair Jurrjens (25 years old), Tommy Hanson (25), Mike Minor (23), Brandon Beachy (24), Randall Delgado (21) and Arodys Vizcaino (20) to pitch around Teheran, there really is not a scenario where they do not succeed. It will be fun to watch a series against Philadelphia where you have match ups like Teheran vs. Halladay, Jurrjens vs. Lee and Delgado vs. Hamels.
The major league hitters in the National League East, as well as the rest of the hitters in the major leagues, are going to have a tough time as this rotation grows and matures over the next five years. Teheran looks to be right in the mix, if not leading the charge, as the Braves try to take down the Philadelphia Phillies, the annual pre-determined winners of the NL East and National League.
Best Outcome – Teheran becomes the #1 starter for the Atlanta Braves and contends for the Cy Young award throughout the prime of his career. While doing this, Teheran leads the youthful Atlanta Braves to the World Series multiple times before 2020.
Worst Outcome – MLB players catch on to his changes in delivery for certain pitches, and he is not quite as unhittable as he was in the minors. He becomes the third or fourth starter for the Braves behind any of the young pitchers named above. Still puts up solid enough numbers to remain in the rotation, but not as reliable as expected.