Teheran has a lively-moving 90-97 mph four-seam FASTBALL that he places on both sides of the plate. He has an 89-94 mph two-seamer with a sharp sink. His 80-83 mph SLIDER is very goo. He has a fair 71-74 mph biting, downer 73-75 mph CURVEBALL with above average depth and rotation, and excellent feel for his devastating 82-85 mph sinking and tailing CHANGEUP.
Julio has good arm-side run on his heater and maintains his velocity late into games. And his change grades out at 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. That changeup has screwball-like movement and fading action.
2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 46.4% of the time; Sinker 9.5% of the time; Change 8.5%; Slider 26.4%; and used his CURVE 9.2%, of the time.
The ball comes out of Teheran's hand very easily. He has a loose right arm. His arm action has been smoothed out when the Braves reduced the bend on his back leg during his windup. He had been turning and coiling his body to generate more momentum toward the plate, placing additional strain on his right knee and elbow. Atlanta worked with Teheran on keeping his back leg straighter in order to create a better center of balance, particularly in his core.
Julio repeats his three-quarters arm slot and arm speed. And he has very good mound presence.
Teheran is very coachable. And he has good mound presence and excellent poise: confident and composed. And he knows how to pitch, working both sides of the plate and the top and bottom of the strike zone. He keeps the ball on the hitter's knees most of the time, occasionally moving it around to change their eye level.
He has a very good feel for all three of his pitches. And he knows how to exploit a batter's weaknesses. He commands his fastball on both sides of the plate.
His confidence on the mound borders on cockiness. The most impressive aspect of Teheran's game is his ability to set up hitters and force them to swing at his pitches. He mixes his pitches very well and throws quality strikes.
His makeup and poise on the mound are impressive. He has terrifice mound presence and is a solid competitor.
- Teheran has excellent instincts and maturity beyond his years. He makes getting hitters out look easy because he now knows how to set up hitters.
Comments on his improvement coming into 2013 season: The sinking two-seam fastball appears to be the most influential addition to the enhanced arsenal utilized by Teheran, who had little more than a four-seam fastball to rely on during spring training in 2012.
He pitched with his [four-seam] fastball and occasionally had a good curveball. Now he's got the two fastballs—the two-seamer and the four-seamer. He's got the curveball. The changeup is in there, and his slider is working well. (March 2013)
- 2013 improvements in Teheran's changeup: He credited his improved ability to command the pitch on the decision to go back to the grip he utilized during his early Minor League days, when his changeup helped establish him as one of the game's top pitching prospects.
"I think the one thing Major League hitting coaches can't do with a Major League hitter or any hitter is take him down in the cages and say we're going to work on hitting a changeup today," Braves bench coach Carlos Tosca said. "It's such a key pitch for a starting pitcher. It allows you to get to your other pitches. It allows you to keep them off-balance."
At the beginning of the 2013 season, Julio Teheran focused on honing his slider into a Major League-quality pitch, a process which culminated in his dominant June 5 start against the Pirates, when he leaned heavily on the pitch while striking out 11 batters and allowing just one hit over eight innings.
After taking a backseat early in 2013, Teheran's curveball has been the most effective complement to his mid-90s fastball since midway through the season, thanks in part to the evolution of that slider earlier in the season.
"At the beginning, [my curveball] was good, but I didn't use it as much because I was using more of my slider," Teheran said. "Now I feel like I can throw any count, because my slider made my curveball better."
Late in 2013: "Julio's been a prospect for his whole career in the Minor Leagues," reliever and Braves teammate Luis Avilan said. "He looks different (in 2013). He finally looks like he understands he's pitching in the big leagues, and he knows what you have to do in each game."
Avilan has known Teheran since 2007, when the pitchers grew close as teenagers playing for the Braves' Dominican Summer League team. From there, they rose through the organization on nearly parallel paths—Teheran would advance a level, then Avilan would rejoin him a few weeks or months afterward, or vice versa.
"He looks so mature now," Avilan said. "He was kind of shy in the beginning of the season, and then after the first couple of months, he's acting like a veteran now. He's been pitching really well. He looks like he trusts in his pitches, and he's making really good pitches."
The refrain of Teheran's first full season (in 2013) has been his growing self-confidence as he has stumped some of the best hitters in the game with a range of pitches that, in an unnerving proposition for the rest of the league, can still be refined. Only this year has Teheran used his two-seam fastball and slider with regularity, helped along by veteran catcher Gerald Laird, who caught Teheran nearly exclusively during Spring Training and the first two months of the season. In that time, both pitches have developed into impressive offerings.
"I think when young guys tend to get in trouble, they try to overthrow fastballs, and in this league, you can't throw things by guys, you've got a lot of good hitters," Laird said. "I think now he's become more of a pitcher, and [he's] relying on his secondary stuff to get out of jams, and the main thing is just staying calm out there. You'd see some times when he got in trouble earlier in the year, you could see him rushing and trying to do too much. Now he just kind of takes that deep breath and lets the game come to him and just tries to make a pitch."
Teheran has referenced the effects of that newfound confidence in nearly every postgame interview, whether the topic has been honing his slider, sharpening his command or navigating a treacherous lineup.
"He's a confident guy out there, and I think that's the way you have to be," outfielder Joey Terdoslavich said. "You can just tell when he's going out there to pitch that he's going to be successful. He's just a confident guy, and obviously he has a reason to be." (Single - mlb.com - 9/05/13)
- Teheran started the 2017 season with a 47-40 career record and a 3.39 ERA, having allowed 739 hits, and 97 home runs in 821 innings.