It ain’t often you see a game report ‘round these parts. Generally speaking that ain’t our bag. But when Texas unloads a couple of beloved big league relievers and both return agents are pitching on the same night, you better believe we got boots on the ground.
The first thing that stands out with Taylor Hearn is his size. He’s bigger and broader than I expected. On the mound he looks wiry, but up close he’s stout. I’d guess he’s a tad denser than his listed 210lbs, but he’s every bit of his listed 6’5”. He’s got very broad, very straight shoulders. The kind of build that could easily support 15-20 more lbs. And he’s got eeeeeeasy cheese. I mean, this is simple looking velo.
Hearn sat comfortably in the 94-96mph band for the first 2 innings, but lost a touch of velo as the night wore on. And the CH is a big league pitch. He was FB heavy for the first few innings, throwing only 4 offspeed pitches of his 26 1st inning beans. The second inning was his best. 3 swinging Ks in the frame all on FBs of 94, 95, and 96mph. Throughout the evening, Taylor was slowly easing off his FB use as he worked through the lineup a couple of times and the SL improved quite noticeably as his outing wore on. In the 5th, he got 2 swinging Ks with his best SLs of the night. Tonight the SL looked the 3rd of his 3 offerings, but it’s got more than enough staying power to project big league usage, and given the way his arm works, it might ultimately pass the CH in effectiveness. 0 walks and 8Ks in 5.1ip is pretty dang salty. There’s plenty to dream on here and the ceiling is absolutely that of a MLB rotation member. If the offspeed pitches continue to progress and the walks remain, well, zero or so, he’s got mid-rotation mojo. He gave up a bombo on a 2-1 92mph FB, but I don’t care. This is a dude of high order, and this is a guy with the potential to be a MLB starting pitcher. So, yeah, all in.
You can make a lot of money being left-handed and throwing SLs like this one:
Great googily moogily is Wei-Chieh Huang (pronounced “WAY-jay Wong”) fun to watch. A windup that begins with a rock back, is interrupted by a pause, then proceeds to inject his knee nearly into his armpit, all leading to some rather uncomfortable at-bats. And there’s stuff! Huang’s FB was 92-94 tonight with a good spin rate and really good downhill plane (especially for a guy listed at 6’1”). The FB is good, the CB might be better. 77-79mph with a 2800+ spin rate, and it looks like he can throw it for a strike or chase, at will. He threw a few SLs too. But the CB ain’t the money maker. Neither is the FB, or the SL. It’s the CH. Holy moly. This might be the single best offspeed pitch in the entire Rangers farm system. I’m racking my brain and can’t think of another offering on par. It was flopping in around 83mph with a rather unthinkable 2600rpm spin rate and it moves and it sinks and it is confusing to hitters. It’s a cookie to their eyes, until it’s a rat turd to their bats. Huang is small, and he’s not overpowering, but he’s got big league shit. He’s a dude, and he’s gonna pitch for Texas.
Look at this damn curveball!
NOW LOOK AT THIS DAMN CHANGEUP!!!
Oh, yeah, also, CD Pelham came in for the 9th and threw 98. But you already knew that.
So there ya go. A couple of young hurlers begin their Texas Ranger careers with VERY good outings in AA. THEY MISSED BATS! It’s a transitional time for our favorite team and some fellas we loved are no longer plying their trade with the “T” on their lids. But there’s hope here. There’s something to dream on. There’s new players with big league potential at the upper levels. And perhaps most importantly right now, they’re pitchers.
As Always, Enjoy Baseball!