Exclusive: Julio Teheran Interview

Back in spring training, The Braves Show sat down with seventeen-year-old Julio Teheran, who set the world on fire last year in the Instructional League and could be sent to Rome in the next few weeks.

The Braves Show: Tell us about signing with the Braves. How long did they look at you?
Teheran: The Braves started looking at me in January of last year. They were looking at me and watching me practice and train. Other teams were also looking at me. I went to Venezuela and was there for a week. All the bosses were there. I was lucky that I could show them what I could do.

The Braves Show: Who all was looking at you?
Teheran: The Yankees, Cardinals, and Rangers.

The Braves Show: Did Johnny Almaraz have something to do with you signing with the Braves?
Teheran: He influenced me because he was always around trying to help me and I saw that he was trying to help me and I signed with the Braves.

The Braves Show: How did you learn the game to where you could sign at such an early age?
Teheran: I had my uncle that from early on helped me to learn the game and was my trainer and coach. When I was in Columbia and here he always is calling and asking how I'm doing and if there is anything he can do to help me.

The Braves Show: When did you start pitching?
Teheran: I have been pitching since I started playing. I also played centerfield and third base. Since I was a good hitter the teams also noticed that.

The Braves Show: When did you know that pitching was your future?
Teheran: I knew at 13 years old. I started increasing how fast I was throwing very rapidly and I said that's it with the bat. I turned the bat loose and started only pitching.

The Braves Show: How fast have you thrown?
Teheran: In the instructional league I threw 95 a few times, but I am consistently at 92, 93, or 94 mph.

The Braves Show: Have you noticed that is rare for a person that young to have such velocity?
Teheran: Yes I know it is rare, but since God gave me the opportunity I'm taking advantage of it every day. I take care of my arm because that is part of nature and I thank God for that.

The Braves Show: How did you learn to throw the breaking stuff and how did it get so good?
Teheran: I'm throwing fastball, change, and curve. Since I was 13 I was throwing change up and fast, the last one was the curve. I practice them every day.

The Braves Show: Can you talk about when you came to the instructional Leauge?
Teheran: The Instructional League was very good to me. I pitched thirteen innings. I was able to throw all my pitches and tried to make them better.

The Braves Show: Did you notice that you had everybody talking about you with the way you pitched?
Teheran: Yes I noticed the people, but that motivated me to keep on working harder to get better.

The Braves Show: When you are pitching on the mound you have such a presence, such confidence. Where does that come from?
Teheran: The confidence comes from trusting what I have and believing that everything will be okay.

The Braves Show: What are you doing about school?
Teheran: I had to abandon the studies in Columbia because I had this opportunity. In the future I don't know what I will do. That depends how much time I have free, I also want to work more on my English.

The Braves Show: Where do you think you are going to pitch this year?
Teheran: I think I'm going to start in Danville for me to get some confidence. I'm not in any hurry.

The Braves Show: What do you think about Rome?
Teheran: I feel that there is a possibility that I can pitch there, but the braves are telling me not to get in too big of a hurry. So I'm taking it as they tell me.

The Braves Show: How have you gotten better since you signed as a Brave?
Teheran: I feel more relaxed and happy with everything, that they have been giving me good opportunities and they have good intentions toward me. That makes me feel good.

The Braves Show: The other day there were a lot of people from the front office watching you, including Frank Wren. How did you feel? Did it put pressure on you?
Teheran: Yes I knew they were here, but I did not feel extra pressure. I tried to demonstrate to them what I've got. It's about trying to do everything the same, no matter who is watching you.

The Braves Show: There have been comparisons of you to Felix Hernandez. Is there pressure in being compared to someone who came up so early and has done so well?
Teheran: Yes I've heard it, but there is no pressure. I'm proud to be compared to such an excellent pitcher with good velocity. I want to do my best and keep improving. My goal is to be good.

The Braves Show: You know the Braves always have some very good pitchers and there are many here in camp. Do you think you can learn from them?
Teheran: Sure I want to learn from all of them. We are always learning.

The Braves Show: Did you play other sports in school?
Teheran: Yes sure in school during physical education I played basketball and football (soccer), but I started realizing that baseball was going to be my thing I quit the other sports.

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