Many fans of the Atlanta Braves might wonder why the organization's top prospect, one of the top prospects in all of baseball, and a pitcher who posted a 15-and-3 record with a 2.55 ERA at age 20 in triple-A last year is back at triple-A this year and not in the Majors. Is there something that the numbers don't reveal about Julio Teheran?
"He still has a lot to learn," Gwinnett manager Dave Brundage said. "He can show his age at times, especially when things aren't going his way, and that's something he needs to harness.
"The velocity is still there -- he was throwing 94-96 [miles per hour] the other day. But it wasn't 'quality' 94-96. But that comes with confidence and focus together, and that's something he will get." [...]
"You don't want to let this opportunity get away," the manager said. "I told him he needs to prove to [the Braves] that they made the wrong decision [to send him down]. Prove to them now that you are ready."
So far Teheran hasn't proven he's ready. His ERA is over a run higher. He's walking more batters and getting hit more often (especially the long ball). Much of that is due to two really bad starts, so we probably shouldn't read too much into his numbers (nor begin to panic about them). It sounds like the Braves have a plan they want Teheran to follow, it may also sound like a little bit of tough love for their top prospect. But if his plus-plus stuff is not quality stuff, then it will get hit, no matter what level he's playing at.
We'll know he's ready when he puts several better-than-quality starts together back to back to back. He's got time to get better, and in the learning (or re-learning) how to pitch department he's got some new company that just arrived from Atlanta. That demotion of Jair Jurrjens should be a sign to every player in the organization that the Braves aren't messing around about wanting quality production from even their All-Star players.