International Scout's View: Julio Teheran




The international free-agent market opens on July 1, when teams can sign players over the age of 16 internationally.

In the past, we at Baseball America would hear news of a signing and then get a breakdown on each player. This season, we hope to get ahead of that curve somewhat, breaking out scouting reports on international players prior to the July 1 opening date.

We start the international free-agent frenzy with Julio Teheran, a 16-year-old righthander from Colombia who is being courted by both the Braves and Yankees according to several sources.

Teheran has been on our radar since January, when officials from the Dominican Winter League raved about the 6-foot-2 righthander at the Caribbean Series in Puerto Rico. But then, all we knew about the young Colombian pitcher was his fastball was 88-90 mph and he had two workable breaking balls.

We turned to an international scout to give us the lowdown:

"There are several teams on him, and we're talking around the range of $1 million," the scout said. "If it were below $500,000 I think it'd be more worth the risk.

"A lot of people see this kid as really filling out in his frame and being able to touch 92, 93 (mph), but I'm not on that. He's got a short arc on the back end of his arm action and throws with some effort. It's not violent, but it's not easy either.

"When he's 86-90 (mph) he's got good arm side run on the fastball. His curveball has above-average depth--probably grades as a 50 or a 55 (on the 20-80 scouting scale). But he's got a real good feel for his changeup. His changeup grades as a 70 easy.

"He's a good worker, seems like a good kid, but I just don't see anything beyond a No. 4 or No. 5 starter in the big leagues. I'm not crazy about the arm action and I don't think he's going to increase velocity very much from where he is. I think he's going to stay and work at 90-91 with good secondary stuff.

"But for upwards of $1 million I wouldn't do it. You give me all the great arms to ever come out of Colombia . . . There are none. I think Teheran is OK, but nothing more than a back-end-of-the-rotation guy or a middle guy--which is more likely."