The July 31st non-waiver trade deadline saw a lot of major leaguers leave the Texas Rangers organization, but even more minor league prospects came in. One of the exciting new additions was 23 year-old left-handed pitcher Taylor Hearn. Upon request from Dallas Sports Fanatic, Hearn was kind enough to share his thoughts on a few topics.
Hearn was the highest rated prospect the Rangers received in any trade last month. He was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in the deal that sent closer Keone Kela back to the Bucs. It varied upon which list you read, but most sites had Taylor Hearn as one of the top ten prospects in the Pirates’ system.
There are a lot of reasons to be excited about the potential of Hearn as a player for a team that is starving for quality starting pitching as much as the Rangers, but there’s even more to like about the young lefty as an individual since he’s one of our own: a DFW native.
A graduate of Royse City High School east of Dallas, Hearn went on to pitch at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas and then Oklahoma Baptist University just east of Oklahoma City. Now pitching in Frisco for the Rangers Double-A affiliate the Frisco RoughRiders, Hearn is appreciative to be near home again.
When asked how it felt to pitching close to home again, he was excited for family to be able to see him play relatively easily.
“It means a lot and feels good to be back… Some have always wanted to watch my games.”
In his first start with the RoughRiders, Hearn gave up just one run and struck out eight batters in 5 and one-third innings. It was an important tone to set for a pitcher in a new organization.
“If it was good or bad outing, (it’s) just good to get the first one out the way.”
The trade that sent Hearn to Texas happened late after the Rangers’ July 30th game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the players involved in the trade couldn’t be announced until they were notified by their organization, somewhat inferring that they might be asleep for the night at that point. Hearn went on to confirm that via Twitter but you can’t always tell if someone is serious when they put emoji’s at the end of a tweet, so we asked Taylor to confirm that he really was asleep.
Yeah I was knocked out 😴😴 https://t.co/NptVO8N9nJ
— Taylor Hearn (@thearn14) July 31, 2018
“I really was asleep and (if it weren’t for) my roommates waking me up to check my phone, I would have found out when I woke up” Thanks to those roommates for getting Rangers fans the news faster than the next morning.
For those unfamiliar with Hearn’s work in the minors so far, we asked him to describe his approach on the mound. He described himself as “aggressive towards hitters” and that he likes to attack the zone and get hitters out “in three pitches or less.” Even though his second start with Frisco wasn’t quite as clean, he still showed off that aggressive approach with seven strikeouts to bring his total to 15 K’s in two starts for Frisco. Compare that to just two walks in two starts and you have someone who is definitely pounding the zone.
Being from the DFW area, Taylor is bound to have a few similar interests with the average fan from around these parts. In addition to being a baseball player who rooted for the Rangers (and going through their heartbreaking 2011 World Series loss like the rest of us), he’s also a #MFFL. It’s actually in his Twitter bio! I took the chance to ask him about his thoughts on the exciting Mavs offseason. He confidently said he was “really excited” about the drafting of Luka Doncic and getting DeAndre Jordan “was a big pickup as well.” Like the rest of the #MFFL, he’s excited to watch their games this season.
If Hearn is able to work his way up through the Rangers system, he won’t have to leave Texas again with Double A being in Frisco, Triple A being the Round Rock Express just north of Austin, and then the big leagues in Arlington. Listed at 6’5″ and 210 pounds, Taylor Hearn has a chance to become an anchor for the next generation of Rangers pitchers. A hometown kid with a frame as big as the state itself, it would certainly be a feel-good story.
If you have the chance, catch Taylor and many other up-and-coming prospects up in Frisco before their season ends at the beginning of September. You never know who might be the next Rangers All-Star.
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