Scout's View: Julio Teheran
Julio Teheran, who entered the season as the top pitching prospect in baseball, will make his big league debut Saturday night against the Phillies. To get a sense of what to expect, here's the views of a scout who has seen Teheran multiple times over the past several years.
"For the first year, you'll see a higher walk total than you may expect with a good number of strikeouts and some games where he gets beat up because of the command. But he'll have probably 75-80 percent good games if they protect him the right way, which they will because that's what the Braves do.
"His breaking ball is inconsistent, which will make him a two-pitch pitcher in some games. Pitch-to-pitch the breaking ball in inconsistent. He'll fire three or four in a row that are pretty good, then lose it for an inning or two. Sometimes he has the ability to just go fastball/changeup in the minors, but I don't think anyone can do that in the majors.
"He is good. He has really good stuff, but I think people need to not think he's going to be Pedro right off the bat. He has two plus pitches with below average command and fringy big league average control right now. As a big league guy it's different. He's 30-35 command right now with 45 control. He can go to one side of the plate. He goes armside and plays off his changeup."
Will he develop command to his gloveside?
"I think so eventually. Once he learns he doesn't have to throw 97 every pitch. That will come with time. He's going to be really good. He might eat them up the first game because of the two plus pitch mix and they don't have video on him. He can go fastball-change on them. I wouldn't be surprised if he went seven innings pitched, punches out 10 and walks five or three innings and walking five.
"I don't think people understand the huge difference between the Triple-A and the big leagues. He's got a pretty good feel on the mound, which helps. He's 20 years old with a plus changeup and potential for a plus breaking ball. His delivery does lead to some inconsistency. If he was just going to throw 97, sitting 95-96 up in the zone, he'd have no chance, but he has a changeup he can drop in there. And sometimes the curveball is there. The changeup is a swing-and-miss pitch. He could have an outing where you go, 'Wow,' or you could say, 'He's too young.'
"His command is not good enough yet, but I think it will get to the point where it's playable. And the breaking ball isn't there where he will have games where he'll be beat up. That OK, that will help him listen when they tell him, you have to work on your command.
"He's 20. He's younger than a lot of this year's draftees. I think it's great. He needed a challenge. But in the majors the strike zone is smaller and the hitters are better. This guy is going to be really good, but I'd temper it a little bit. He'll be 20 the whole year. I think he's going to be a No. 2 in the big leagues, but he's 20."