#24: Julio Teheran

#24: Julio Teheran

See the 44 Greatest Atlanta Braves here.

When this list was created, we just weren’t quite as reactionary. You can thank Twitter and Facebook and other sites that beg for your immediate hot take. And I wonder if you’re reading this saying that Julio Teheran is not one of the 44 Greatest Atlanta Braves, let alone #24. Well, he definitely is.

The last two years, sure, Julio Teheran has largely been a league average starter, a 5th starter on a contending team. Also, the knock on Julio Teheran historically has been that he’s not an Ace(TM), a pitcher that will throw 8 shutout innings when you need them. He’s only made two All-Star teams, one of which in 2016 when he was one of the few — maybe only — players deserving to be the team’s lone representative during a horrible season. He’s had an ERA over 4 twice, and just barely missed having two straight seasons with an ERA over 4 in these last two years. And he’s currently viewed as one of the less talented starting pitchers in an organization that currently has a lot of talented starting pitchers. He’s never gotten any Cy Young votes.

But Julio slides in at 41 on this list because he has quietly developed quite a body of work as an Atlanta Brave. He’s won 14 games twice and 10 games four times. He’s made at least 30 starts 6 years in a row. He’s pitched at least 175 innings 6 years in a row, including 200 innings twice (maybe that wasn’t such a good idea). He owns a 3.64 career ERA, every inning with the Braves. In his six full seasons, he’s accumulated 17.7 bWAR, just short of about 3 WAR per season. Should he continue his Braves career, he’s still in his peak at age 28.

He also did this while signing a very team-friendly contract. Over those 6 full seasons, the Braves have paid him a total of around $20M. Part of him being one of the Greatest Atlanta Braves is that his performance compared to his contract allowed the Braves to supplement the roster elsewhere. He’ll get a little bit more expensive — $11.1M in 2019 and $12M in 2020 — but he’ll still be worth it if he can avoid a decline. But as it sits, he’s on the list.

He’s also been a really good teammate. I say that because sometimes being a really good teammate has been taking the ball every 5th day, staying out of the news, staying off the disabled list, and staying off the social media sites. His teammates seem to really like him; this past year you’ve seen pictures of him with Acuna, Albies, Dansby, and Charlie out on the town.

He’ll never be Greg Maddux or even Tim Hudson, but he’s the 41st Greatest Atlanta Brave.

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