Julio Teheran is far from a stranger to high expectations. He’s one of those guys that has been expected to be great since he first threw a ball in front of a scout. For the most part, he has dealt with that pressure pretty well. It seems that the guys that carry the extra weight of ‘Top Prospect’ around with them always seem to have heavier load when Triple-A comes along. Teheran was no different.
His 2012 Triple-A season was dismal. He posted a 7-9 record, with a ballooned 5.08 ERA. That isn’t good; not even a little bit. What happened?
Maybe the extra weight of carrying everyone else’s expectations around with him just became too much at the highest minor league level.
Honestly, it doesn’t really matter. He had a swagger. He held his chin up maybe a little too high for a young guy. Then, bang! Triple-A brought that down a little bit.
What matters most though? Here he is in Atlanta Braves spring training, already expected to grab the fifth and final rotation spot. Does he have doubts because of last year? Does he question or change his stuff? The answer is basically no. He might change a few things, but overall he trusts his stuff and he knows what he is capable of. It has been said that sometimes failure is the best teacher. That is certainly going to be the case with Teheran.
That chin of his is down a little bit more this year but it’s not out of shame. It’s because he is focused. His boyish grin might not show up quite as much as it once did during certain times, but it isn’t because he has no joy. It’s because he has a job to do now.
Teheran isn’t the same pitcher he was before his terrible Triple-A season; he’s better. He’s well on his way to proving it to the world.