Commentary

Colombia growing as a hotbed

MLB's global reach is expanding, and these 10 prospects could soon make a splash

Originally Published: January 17, 2011
By Kevin Goldstein | Baseball Prospectus
HerediaRich Pilling/Getty ImagesAtlanta's Julio Teheran -- a right-hander from Colombia -- might be the top pitching prospect in the game.

The overwhelming majority of big league rosters are still stocked with Americans, Canadians and players from the two Latin American pipelines of Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Still, the game continues to expand its global reach, with particular emphasis placed lately on both Europe and Africa. With that in mind, here are 10 prospects -- of varying abilities -- who could end up in the majors in the near future. In addition, the wide range of home countries of the guys on this list serves as evidence of the changing international market.

Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Colombia)

Venezuela's neighbor to the west has yet to become a hotbed for baseball talent, but it has produced veteran shortstops Orlando Cabrera and Edgar Renteria. Mound talent from Columbia consists of Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Emiliano Fruto and San Diego Padres reliever Ernesto Frieri. Teheran, whose uncle is a scout, was the best pitcher in the 2007 international signing class, and three years later he's arguably the top pitching prospect in the game. His combination of power stuff and advanced command gives him true ace potential, and he has struck out more than a man per inning in his minor league career. Although he is still a few days shy of his 20th birthday, Teheran is slated to begin the year at Double-A, and could be in the big leagues before he's 21.


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