Braves Midseason Report
High expectations have been held for righthander Julio Teheran
since he was signed out of Colombia in 2007. He started to excite the masses last year as the top prospect in the Rookie-level Appalachian League and has continued this season by overpowering Class A hitters while splitting his first 14 starts between low Class A Rome and high Class A Myrtle Beach. Overall, he was 5-4, 2.04, surrendering only 66 hits in 88 innings. The 19-year-old also gave up just 18 walks, fanned 97, and limited hitters to a .213 average.
"He throws three pitches for strikes and uses them at any time in the count," Braves farm director Kurt Kemp said. "His fastball sits in the mid-90s, and his changeup and breaking ball have a chance to be excellent pitches. There's just a lot to like about what he's doing right now."
Biggest Leap Forward:
Since being the 38th overall pick in 2006, Cory Rasmus
had pitched in only 20 games with the Braves upon entering the current campaign. He missed all of the 2007 season and most of 2008 prior to making six starts among his 13 outings at Rookie-level Danville in 2009.
The 2010 season has been a different story for the 2006 supplemental first-round pick. Twirling at Rome, Rasmus was a South Atlantic League all-star after dividing the first-half between starting and relieving. Through his first 61 innings, the righthander allowed only 50 hits and struck out 51 batters. He was 5-4, 2.82, and his fastball resided in the mid-to-upper 90s. While command is the key to his continued development, Rasmus finally has the chance to show what made him a supplemental first-round pick four years ago.
The Braves hoped Cody Johnson
would make the necessary adjustments to using the entire field in order to augment his prodigious power. Instead, Double-A pitching has limited the outfielder's progress, and his power numbers have suffered as well.
Through the end of June, Johnson had 97 strikeouts in 205 at-bats and was hitting just .210. More shocking has been his lack of pop. After leading the organization with 32 homers last year in the Carolina League, the former first-round draft pick hit 10 through May 15, then didn't homer again through the end of June.
• Shortstop Mycal Jones made a seamless transition to Myrtle Beach after being promoted from Rome in early June. Jones batted .362/.392/.507 with eight extra-base hits in his first 69 at-bats with the Pelicans.
• First baseman Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg returned to the Rome lineup following the SAL all-star break after suffering a broken bone in his left hand on April 12.