Taylor Hearn is a Ranger and let’s not bury the lede here. I asked a pack of scouts last night and this morning for their thoughts and, well, here: “Legit rotation upside.”
That’s all I needed. I freakin’ love Keone. I’ve known him his whole career and have a unique bond with him. But I get the move. Bullpens are wild-ass and vary from year to year like no other component of the game. You think you have a good one in March and it sucks by July. You think you’ve got an average one in April and it’s nails in August. Wild-ass. But Kela’s a good one and I truly believe he’s gonna be shuttin’ the door in PIT before too long and that fan base will come to love him as we have. I’m gonna miss him a lot. But Texas needed to look for potential starters. They’re beyond desperate and rail thin at starting pitchers in the upper levels. We know that, they know that, so it’s time to take some chances and see what’s poppin’.
And oh mama did they bring home a juicy story. Hearn is from Royse City, east of town. It’s about an hour’s drive to Arlington. Taylor grew up a Rangers fan and his most recent tweet prior to this morning is a RT of the gawd himself, Dirk. And it gets even more Texan. His grandfather, Cleo Hearn was the first African-American to attend Oklahoma State on a rodeo scholarship. He was one of the first African-Americans to serve in the Presidential Honor Guard under JFK. He’s known as “Mr. Black Rodeo”. He was the first black Marlboro Man! This man and this family are literal rodeo legends! https://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-magazine/2005/october/cowboys-of-color/ Taylor can rope and ride, obviously, but gave it up around 17 to focus on baseball. https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/sunday-notes-taylor-hearn-and-the-tale-of-the-black-rodeo-cowboy/ Stops at San Jacinto College and Oklahoma Baptist eventually led to being drafted by the Nationals who then dealt him for Mark Melancon.
The 6’5” 220lb lefty has improved every year in the minors and has spent this season in AA. 38BB/107K in 104ip give you a pretty decent idea of the season he’s had. An All Star last month, he’s worked hard to refine his delivery and throw more strikes. Here’s what scouts said:
“Big FB, chance for a plus CH, SL should be avg and is progressing. Athletic and driven-getting better. 4 in a championship club, chance for better for most.”
“93-96 FB with a future plus CH and solid avg SL. Its all downhill and the SL could be nastier than what I saw. 6’6” athletic lefty up to 96? Sounds like Amir Garrett”
“He’s long and loose; plus FB, feel for SL and CH. Legit rotation upside.”
“Big Rangers fan growing up. Power lefty whose gotten a little better each year, great dude, you’re gonna love him.”
So here we go. Power lefty who’ll be added to the Rangers 40-man roster this offseason and given every chance to be a starting pitcher. A true Texan. Probably a huge fan of Whataburger. And maybe your new best friend.
Meet Taylor Hearn. Welcome home, dude.
(courtesy of 20-80 Baseball)
As Always, Enjoy Baseball! Love Ya!