At the young age of 22, Atlanta Braves pitching prospect Julio Teheran has already had plenty of lofty projections heaped on top of him. Though he faltered a bit in 2012, Atlanta's brass still has high expectations for the right-hander's future.
After an impressive 15-3 record and 2.59 ERA at Triple-A Gwinnett in 2011, Teheran struggled when his mechanics wavered in 2012, leading to a 7-9 record and 5.08 ERA. Braves fans have good reason to be concerned, but assistant general manager Bruce Manno says it's all part of the process for the Braves' top-ranked prospect.
"Sometimes you go through some growing pains and players will start to – for whatever the reason, whether it's mechanical, whether it's mental, whether it's physical," Manno told braves.com, "they may face a little more adversity the second time around. It's not a bad thing. … We think he's ready and we think he's got a chance to be one of our five starters."
And with Randall Delgado shipped to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Arodys Vizcaino traded to the Chicago Cubs last summer, Teheran is the last of the "Big Three" that were untouchable for so long. And with Brandon Beachy out for a good chunk of the season, Teheran has a real chance to make an impact in Spring Training and secure a spot in the rotation for a few months.
So, provided Teheran doesn't put too much pressure on himself to live up to the hype and straightens out his delivery, the Braves could have a very good problem of having too many consistent starting pitchers
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