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The Inescapable Brilliance Of Braves Prospect Julio Teheran

The guy who will be the number-1 prospect in the Braves organization is currently listed number-1 on this week's Baseball America Hot Sheet. Here's what they have to say about the young fire baller:

The only question seemingly surrounding Teheran is how high will he go this season.

The Braves promoted the Colombia native on May 19 after going 2-2, 1.14 in his return to the low Class A South Atlantic League (Teheran made seven starts with Rome at the end of the 2009 season). He hasn't gone any easier on Carolina League hitters, posting a 3-1, 1.38 mark over seven starts. The righthander has 49 strikeouts and just seven walks in 39 innings—and he gave those numbers a significant boost in his most recent start on Wednesday. Working with a 92-97 mph fastball and an above-average changeup and curveball, Teheran struck out 12 Potomac batters, including seven of the last nine he faced, over seven innings during an 8-0 Myrtle Beach victory.

"To do what he's doing at 19 is insane," a Braves official said, adding that a promotion to Double-A is not out of the question if Teheran continues at this pace.

It's quite a pace to maintain. Teheran has yielded just six earned runs with Myrtle Beach (including one home run) and has held an opponent scoreless three times. His performance against Potomac marked the third time he's reached double-digit strikeouts with Myrtle Beach—he registered a season-high 14 over eight shutout innings against Frederick on May 31.

Just think, he's a better prospect at this level than Tommy Hanson was, and he's a year younger.


Chat wrap with J.J. Cooper of BA:

Dan (Chicago): Is Teheran the best pitching prospect in all of the low minors? Who are some low/high class A guys who are in the same class or at least close to it?

J.J. Cooper: You could argue Teheran's the best pitching prospect in the minors. As far as low/Hi-A guys who are close to him his teammate Arodys Vizcaino is pretty special. [...]

More after the jump:

Jim (Tampa): How would you rank Freddie Freeman, Jonathan Singleton and Eric Hosmer, long term?

J.J. Cooper: I'll go Freeman, Hosmer, Singleton, but there isn't a whole lot of distance between No. 1 and No. 3 there. The main edge to me for Freeman is that he's managed to make it to Triple-A at the same age that Hosmer is raking in high Class A. Hosmer is obviously having a better season, but the tools are pretty similar and it's hard to say that Hosmer would be having a better year than Freeman if he was playing in the International League right now. Singleton has showed plus tools as well, but we're still talking about a guy with less than 100 games in the minors right now. There are a lot of reasons to be excited, but he's still a ways away. [...]

Andrew (Baltimore): Who are some top prospects who you could see moving at the upcoming trade deadline?

J.J. Cooper: If the Braves need to make a move they have plenty of pitching to pull off a swap, I wouldn't see them dealing Teheran or Vizcaino, but there are a number of other pitchers in their system (delgado, Hoover, etc.) that could be solid trade chips. [...]

tom n (New Mexico): You were awfully gracious to Teheran & Viszciano, but to a T Matzek fan, that's a snub!

J.J. Cooper: It's not meant as a snub, but Teheran is a little younger with success at high Class A under his belt, with similar stuff and better command (although Matzek being a lefty is a big plus in his favor). Matzek is just getting his feet wet in low Class A. Matzek's in that discussion too of best A-ball pitching prospect, but I'd rather have Teheran.

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