August 6, 2009 at 12:01 am by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Farm System, Pitching, Prospects, Scouting
If you didn’t hear, The Cartagena Kid was promoted to Rome after his last performance and made his South Atlantic League debut tonight. I had the pleasure of being able to attend. Teheran made a few mistakes, but the stuff was incredible and though he gave up a few XBH, I felt like he was in control for most of the game. A quick recap:
As I walked into the stadium the game was about to start. I sat down and immediately began to watch Teheran work. The first inning was unbelievable. He was using both his fastball–which he throws effortlessly in the 92-95 range but can hit 97 with that features a great deal of arm-side tail and some sink–and his sharply breaking curve to simultaneously fool and dominate the hitters. He was hitting his spots, locating his fastball to both sides of the plate, and he was just awesome. He struck out all 3 batters he faced that inning. All three looking. Every batter arguing the call. Every one of them wrong, they were just well placed pitches with a lot of movement that the batters had no chance of getting to.
Teheran figures to get a lot of ground-balls at the big-league level due to the movement on his fastball, and he showed he’s capable of doing this tonight as well. Though things didn’t go as well as they did in the 1st, I was still very impressed. He gave up a double to Joshua Satin, the 2nd batter he faced that inning (after previously getting a groundout). It was the fly-ball down the right-field line type, but it was hit very well. Not to take anything away from Satin, the “kid” has enormous bat speed, which he would also display later. The pitch wasn’t a bad one, fastball in on him. Of course, it tailed in, which probably allowed Satin to put good wood on it. Teheran was then charged with a wild-pitch, but I was sitting 2nd row directly behind home plate and the Catcher should have, by all means, stopped that ball. Satin advanced to 3rd, Teheran walked the batter he was facing, then made one of the mistakes he would that night to some French-Canadian dude. He hung a curveball and it got lined through the 5-6 hole for a single. But with runners at 1st and 2nd Teheran got a double play ball that the incompetent South Atlantic middle infield couldn’t turn and the runners advanced to 2nd and 3rd. Didn’t matter. He got another ground ball to get out of the inning.
Teheran worked a perfect 3rd with a ground out and 2 weakly hit air outs.
The 4th was a three-true-outcomes inning. He struck out the first batter he faced swinging, the allowed a solo homer to the next batter he faced. It was Joshua Satin. Again, the pitch was in. This time it was high and tight. Not a bad pitch at all, Satin was just able to turn on it and pull it over the LF fence. Credit the hitter for that one. The next batter was called out on strikes. Next, the aforementioned French-Canadian hit another solo homer. This was a mistake as well. He left a fastball over the plate. Then the last batter was called out on strikes.
In the 5th, he struck out the first two he faced, then his control started to wobble and he hit a batter and made another mistake that got hit off the wall in the deepest part of the park. The runner at 1st easily scored–running on contact with 2 out. He got a weakly-hit fly ball that Francoeur 2.0 was able to run in and make a nice play on to end the inning and his night.
Overall I was very impressed. He made a few mistakes, sure. But the stuff was phenomenal, the command and control was there for most of the night, and he had the mound presence of a veteran making a rehab start. He worked quickly the entire outing. He’s long and lanky. As long and lanky as everyone says he is. Oh, did I mention he’s eighteen years old(!)? Save the batter Teheran hit, everyone reached base off of him tonight is at least 3 and 1/2 years older than him. The guy who had 6 total bases off of him? He was born in 1984. (Teheran? 1991)
Like I said, I was extremely impressed with this kid. I’m hoping we see more of the same. He gets ground balls, loads of K’s, shows craftyness, dominance, pure stuff, the whole package. This kid’s the real deal. I haven’t been this excited about a prospect that passed through Rome since, well, ever. The Cartagena Kid. Mark it down. Future MLB star.