Cliff Diving With Julio Teheran
In the Fake Teams mock draft I’m participating in, Braves Julio Teheran fell to me with the 62nd overall pick between Kyle Zimmer and Lucas Giolito. Earlier in the round, Kyle Crick, Max Fried and Aaron Sanchez were taken as well. I found this ironic considering Teheran was the A-ball pitcher fantasy owners were in a tizzy over just a couple of years ago and now he’s an afterthought. Take a look at the five pitchers sorted by age, professional innings pitched and level.
Regardless of Teheran’s sub par 2012, the right-hander has a long track record of success and legitimate shot at the rotation this spring. Zimmer might see a big league rotation in 2014, but the other pitchers on this list are 2015 guys at the earliest. In general the theory of TINSTAAPP is regarded as too absolute for my liking, but the general premise holds true. Pitching prospects in the lower minors are much more likely to collapse than a pitcher who’s already close.
As for Teheran, I scouted him in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and his secondary stuff was better each time. In reflecting on the pitcher I regarded as best pitching prospect I’d ever seen prior to Dylan Bundy, I should have raised more concerns about a lack of fastball movement. With more time at the park, I’ve learned the importance of a pitcher being able to sink, fade and cut a fastball to induce weak contact. I’m sure the Braves understand this as well which may be the reason for tweaking Teheran’s mechanics.
One thing to consider when deciding whether or not to attempt to buy low on Teheran is pitchers take longer to develop than hitters do. Those of you familiar with my work have read about my 22-24-26 rule for position players. Stars surface at 22 or younger. Regulars are promoted by 24. Bench players reach the Major Leagues at 26. For pitchers, their development curve is a year or two later on average. This means Teheran could spend two more years in Triple-A and still be the age many above average starters are when they debut.
No doubt Teheran had a rough 2012 and is still working to find success at the MLB level. However, a prospect followers overreaction is your opportunity to pounce at a potential premium talent for less than half of his 2012 value when he was considered all but untouchable.
24 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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