8. Julio Teheran, SP, Atlanta Braves
Rebound year ahead?
After excelling at Triple-A Gwinnett in 2011 with a 2.55 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 144 2/3 innings (24 starts), the Braves had big hopes for him in their rotation. However, he underwhelmed in just 6 1/3 innings in Atlanta, with a 5.68 ERA in one start. It carried over to Gwinnett, where he went 7-9 with a 5.08 ERA and 97 K's in 131 frames (26 starts). Teheran was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2007.
The Columbian 22-year-old entered 2012 as the majors' No. 1 rated right-handed hurler, but he didn't carry himself that way. Lack of motivation, mental lapses and faulty mechanics were likely to blame for his rough spell last year. On the surface, Teheran has electric stuff, good movement on his pitches and perhaps one of the better changeups in the minors. His change is especially effective because of his lightning quick arm speed that generates high-90s heaters. If he can develop his curveball to complement his fastball-changeup combo, he will miss bats with regularity at the next level.
Teheran is the favorite for the fifth rotation spot this spring over Sean Gilmartin. His spring results (1.29 ERA, 18 K's and four BBs in 14 IP) are encouraging given some mechanical adjustments he made late last season. If his confidence is indeed back, he could be returning to the top prospect we saw back in 2011. Teheran figures to spend plenty of time in the Bravos' rotation this season if he continues to pitch like he's capable of, and he'll probably return nice value in drafts thanks to his regression a year ago.
On to No. 9
Top fantasy baseball prospects - AL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
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About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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