Julio Alberto Teheran Pinto
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 175-205 lb.
Teheran signed with the Atlanta Braves and scouts Miguel Teheran (Julio's uncle) and Carlos Garcia in 2007 for $850,000, inking his deal on the first day eligible for foreign amateur signees. Baseball America named him Atlanta's #10 prospect before he threw a pitch as a pro. With the 2008 Danville Braves, Julio struggled with a 1-2, 6.60 record but struck out 17 in 15 innings before tendonitis shut him down. Baseball America upgraded him to Atlanta's #9 prospect.
The Cartagena native split 2009 between Danville (2-1, 2.68) and the Rome Braves (1-3, 4.78). Baseball America rated him as the top Appalachian League prospect and the #3 Braves prospect. MLB.com rated him the #34 prospect in the minors despite a 4-6, 4.11 record in his first 20 minor league games with 96 hits and 84 strikeouts in 96 1/3 innings.
Teheran began to show what the praise was about in 2010. He began 2-2 with a 1.14 ERA for Rome with 23 hits allowed in 39 1/3 innings and 45 strikeouts. He moved up to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, going 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 39 frames. He was named to the World team for the 2010 Futures Game. He relieved Alexander Torres in the fourth inning of that game, with a 2-1 deficit in what would become a 9-1 loss. He walked Brett Jackson on five pitchers and Logan Morrison on six, but Jackson was picked off by Wilin Rosario in between. Drew Cumberland popped out and Desmond Jennings struck out. Henderson Alvarez replaced Teheran in the 5th. For the year, he was 9-8, 2.59 between three teams, reaching AA at age 19, where he went 3-2, 3.38 in 7 starts for the Mississippi Braves. With Mississippi, he teamed with Ty'Relle Harris on a no-hitter against he Mobile Bay Bears. He was named the #5 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America after the season.
Julio was called up by the Braves to make a couple of emergency starts in May of 2011. In his major league debut on May 7th, he was a 3-0 loser to the Philadelphia Phillies, giving up all of the game's runs in 4 2/3 innings on the mound, then on May 18th, he started a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks and left with a no-decision, having given up two runs in 4 innings. He went back to the minor leagues after that, and was once again named to the World Team for the 2011 Futures Game. He got the prestigious starting assignment, but gave up a home run to the first batter he faced, Jason Kipnis. At the end of the minor league season, he was called back by the Braves. He earned his first major league win in the second game of a doubleheader sweep of the New York Mets on September 8th, giving up one run in 5 1/3 innings in a 5-1 win. He had been absolutely brilliant for the Gwinnett Braves of the International League, compiling a record of 15-3, 2.55 with 122 strikeouts in 144 1/3 innings. He led the 2011 International League in wins and lost the ERA title by mere percentage points to Jeanmar Gomez; he won IL Pitcher of the Year honors. He came back to Atlanta late in the year, and was a 1-1, 5.03 in 5 major league appearances, pitching 19 2/3 innings.
Teheran spent most of 2012 in the minor leagues again, but had much worst results with Gwinnett. In 26 starts, his record was only 7-9, with an ERA of 5.08. He gave up 146 hits in 131 innings, walking 43 and striking out 97, while giving up 18 homers. As a result of his lack of success in AAA, he made only two appearances in Atlanta, one of them a start, with no record and a 5.68 ERA in 6 1/3 innings.
However, he made the Braves' staff out of spring training in 2013, and took a regular turn in the starting rotation. He was 3-2, 3.71 after 10 starts, then showed some of the stuff that had made him one of baseball's hottest prospects in a start against the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 5th. He took a no-hitter into the 8th inning, giving up his only hit of the night when pinch-hitter Brandon Inge lined a two-out single. He walked only 2 and struck out 11 over the 8 innings, before turning the ball over to David Carpenter in the 9th; the two combined on a one-hitter, winning 5-0. He finished the season at 14-8, 3.20, pitching 185 2/3 innings. He tied for 10th in the 2013 NL in wins, tied Mike Minor and Cliff Lee for 9th in homers allowed (22), was 9th in K:BB ratio (between Minor and Homer Bailey) and was second with 13 hit batsmen (behind only Charlie Morton. He finished 5th in voting for the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year Award behind Jose Fernandez, Yasiel Puig, Shelby Miller and Hyun-jin Ryu. He started Game 3 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers on October 6th but was not at his best, giving up 6 runs in 2 2/3 innings to be charged with the 13-6 loss.
On February 14, 2014, he signed a six-year contract extension with the Braves, worth $32.4 million. He was then named the Braves' opening day starter for the first time. On April 16th, he was particularly dominant in defeating the Philadelphia Phillies, 1-0, by pitching a three-hit shutout - the first of his career - in out-dueling Cliff Lee. He ws named to the All-Star team for the first time as he went 14-13 with a 2.89 ERA in 33 starts. He also struck out 186 batters in 221 innings. Things did not go as well in 2015, however, as the Braves struggled after a good start. Teheran's ERA shot up to 4.04. He went 11-8 and led the NL with 33 starts, reaching 200 2/3 innings.
The Braves went into 2016 looking to rebuild, and as a result, wins were few and far between in the early going. Julio was one of the main victims of this as he won only 2 of his first 14 starts, against 7 defeats, in spite of an ERA of 2.93. On June 19th, however, there was no denying him a win as he allowed only one baserunner - a 3rd-inning single by Michael Conforto - in shutting out the New York Mets, 6-0. He was then named the Braves' representative to the 2016 All-Star Game in spite of an unimpressive 3-7 record, as he had clearly been one of the best starters in the NL over the first half. In a typical outing in his first appearance after pitching a perfect inning in the mid-summer classic, he gave the Braves 7 scoreless innings in a start against the Colorado Rockies on July 17th, but came out with the game still scoreless as his opponent, Jon Gray, had done the same. The Braves eventually won the game, 1-0, in the bottom of the 9th.
- 2011 Pitcher of the Year, International League Gwinnett Braves
- 2-time NL All-Star (2014 & 2016)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (2014 & 2015)
- 2010 Braves Media Guide
- 2010 Baseball Almanac