Julio Teheran, SP, Atlanta Braves
Julio probably isn’t going anywhere this offseason as Braves General Manager Alex Anthopoulos has said his club is in wait and see mode, but, this shouldn’t stop Cashman from calling.
Teheran is 58-58 with a 3.59 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in his young career. Last season was a struggle for the right-hander as he went 11-13 with a 4.49 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He did, however, make 32 starts, fired 188.1 innings and struck out 151 opponents in comparison to 72 walks. He was also much better on the road. Away from SunTrust Park, the Columbian pitched to an 8-3 record with a 3.14 ERA.
I scouted Julio in his last start of the season and came away with mixed results:
The good – He pounded the strike zone to begin the evening, throwing first-pitch strikes to nine out of the first 10 batters. Teheran ended up throwing 70 out of 110 pitches for strikes. He controlled the running game very well despite a few, uncharacteristic wild pitches. His 2-seam fastball showed plus-plus arm side run and his slider showed flashes of plus potential. He works quick and in a good rhythm, even when he’s in trouble. When he started off, he was painting the corners, and hitting spots left and right. When his command dissipated, he got hit hard. Julio got off to a rough start to 2018 but bounced back his last four-to-five starts. He limited home runs and walks, leading to newfound success. No question, in my humble opinion he is a top 25 starter in all of baseball. According to the Bill James Handbook, Teheran ranked 26th overall even with his down season in their 2018 Starting Pitchers Rankings.
The bad – He showed feeble mound presence, which was a huge turnoff. Julio was visibly frustrated with the home plate umpire and pouted when things didn’t go his way. His command dissipated the second and third time through the lineup – leaving balls up and not finding the strike zone hurt him in this start against Maimi. The amount of home runs and walks given up would be a definite ‘red flag’ especially if he were to make ½ his starts in Yankee Stadium. He is also much more of a fly ball pitcher compounding this worry. Essentially, he has two above-average pitches, his changeup and curveball need work and development still.