Why You Should Watch: With Teheran and Vizcaino, the Braves have the two top pitchers from the 2007 international free agent market, with Vizcaino coming to the organization from the Yankees in the Javier Vazquez trade. Both of the 19-year-olds have thus far lived up to the hype. They will have to show they can handle a full season's workload, with Teheran having 96 career innings and Vizcaino 86 innings in their two years in pro ball. Lopez and Delgado are two more promising but more under-the-radar Latin American arms in the rotation, and all three will throw to a Spanish-speaking catcher, Panamanian Christian Bethancourt. It's a ridiculous amount of top international talent.
Now Dimaster Delgado won't be pitching for any team this year after his car accident over the winter. Even without him this team looks to run out a good starter every day of the week. Rome opens their season tonight (along with all minor league ball clubs) against Kannapolis with Julio Teheran taking the hill. I am almost as excited as when Jason Heyward hit his home run on opening day. And just in cased you missed it, here is a link to our Rome Braves 2010 Team Preview.
Addendum: They had more to say about Rome's rotation under their "most anticipated debuts" section. I should have kept reading.
Braves unleash pair of hard-throwing 19-year-olds on Sally League
The Braves bumped Colombian righthander Julio Teheran to low Class A last August, after he had proven to be too much for Appalachian League batters to handle. While his South Atlantic League debut wasn't exactly seamless (4.78 ERA in seven starts), the 19-year-old can look forward to a return engagement with Rome this season. Teheran joins fellow 19-year-old Arodys Vizcaino, a Dominican righthander who served as the lynchpin in the Javier Vazquez trade with the Yankees last winter.
Vizcaino carved up New York-Penn League batters a year ago, striking out 52 batters over 42 innings and holding batters to a .211 average. His hammer curveball and easy velocity ought to complement Teheran's similarly fast fastball and breaking ball/changeup tool kit.
But the Rome rotation does not begin and end with Teheran and Vizcaino. The best pitchers from last year's Danville squad, the Appy League champs, will also be making the jump to Rome. Righthander David Hale, an '09 second-round pick from Princeton, will join lefties Brett Oberholtzer and Chris Masters.