This week’s spotlight is on the new ace of the Atlanta Braves, Julio Teheran. The 24-year old right-hander will be entering his third full season in the Braves’ rotation. Teheran has grown from a back of the rotation guy to the leader of an overall young starting staff. He is just entering his prime, and the potential is there for Teheran to reach that elite front-line status.
Teheran will likely be the Opening Day starter for the Braves. Over the course of the season, he will be asked to stop losing streaks, and to perform at a high level every fifth day, which is a lot to put on a young starter. With Alex Wood (24), Shelby Miller (24), Mike Minor (27), and Michael Foltynewicz (23) also in the mix to make up the Braves starting five, Atlanta will collectively have one of the youngest rotations in the league. While the potential will be there for the Braves, being in the NL East will not make things any easier, as the Nationals are expected to run away with the division title.
In the last two seasons, Teheran has reached 30 or more starts, held an ERA under 3.25, and back-to-back 14 win campaigns. He has shown that he can log a lot of innings while missing a ton of bats. In the last two years, Teheran has a better than 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio. If spring stats mean anything, in two outings, he has fanned six batters and allowed only one earned run in five innings. The righty has shown the ability to not allow many free passes, and is capable of getting a strikeout when needing it the most.
After being named an All-Star last year, Teheran will need to replicate that body of work and then some for the Braves to stay in the playoff mix. Last year, in 23 of his 33 starts, Teheran allowed just two earned runs or less. Comparing that to Clayton Kershaw, who posted 20 out of his 27 starts of two earned runs or less, proves that Teheran can compete with the best. With the National League suddenly loaded with number one starters, Teheran will be in the spotlight to show that he to can also stare down his opponents and reach that next level of stardom.