Despite his youth and relative inexperience as a 19-year-old, Myrtle Beach Pelicans pitcher Julio Teheran professed to being quite comfortable during his appearance in the California-Carolina League All-Star Game on June 22.
He looked it in his two innings of work, striking out two batters on a 97 mph fastball and 76 mph breaking ball, and allowing just one hit on a ground ball.
But that game was at his home stadium, BB&T Coastal Field. The 12th annual All-Star Futures Game today is at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, home of the Los Angeles Angels, and it will be nationally and internationally televised on ESPN2. "I'm going to be a little nervous, but since I'm not going to start I'm going to watch a little bit of the game, so once I go in it will be like normal for me," said Teheran, through Pelicans teammate and translator Angelo Paulino.
Teheran will also be wearing an Atlanta Braves cap, further reminding him of the stage he's on, and he's expecting to pitch in front of his father and uncle, who are scheduled to visit from his native Colombia to see him play.
He's excited to see them, as well as the rest of the game's young stars. "I'm real excited about it, getting to know them and talk to them, and getting to know more about baseball and learn the knowledge that they have," Teheran said.
Teheran is one of 50 players in the game - 25 each on the U.S. and World teams. He's on the World Team.
Former Pelican Jason Heyward, Brian Matusz, Starlin Castro and Pedro Alvarez are among the nearly two dozen participants in last year's Futures Game who are already on Major League rosters. In total, there are more than 200 players who competed in one of the first 11 Futures Games and are now on Major League rosters.
In eight starts with the Pelicans, Teheran is 3-3 with a 2.92 ERA, 58 strikeouts, 12 walks and 45 hits allowed in 491/3 innings. On Memorial Day, he whiffed a career-high 14 Frederick Keys batters in a season-high eight innings, tying Kyle Davies for the Pelicans franchise record for strikeouts in a single game.
Before his promotion to Myrtle Beach, Teheran compiled a 2-2 record with a 1.14 ERA in seven starts at low-A Rome. He struck out 45 batters in 391/3 innings while walking just 10 and holding opponents to a paltry .168 batting average.
Another Atlanta farmhand will join Teheran in the game as Braves' 2009 first round pick Mike Minor, who is second in Minor League Baseball in strikeouts with 109 in just 87 innings with Double-A Mississippi.
Former Pelicans center fielder Gorkys Hernandez, now in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, is also participating in the game.