Taylor Hearn is a big leaguer, with the Rangers announcing he will be promoted to start tomorrow night’s game in Seattle. Dude status: revoked. For those unfamiliar with this weird parlance, “dude” is a term I co-opted from actual scouts and I use it to describe someone I think will play in the big leagues one day. Once that fella appears in a big league uniform for a regular season game, their dude status is permanently revoked and they’ll forever be seen in my eyes as a big leaguer. They made it. I don’t care how long they stay up, that ain’t my beat. For me, once they’re up, they’ve achieved one of the biggest goals of their life. And Taylor Hearn, Royse City’s own Taylor Hearn, has achieved the goal.
There’s no shortage of words about the long and lean 6’5” lefty. He was acquired in the Keone Kela deal last year and immediately finished a successful AA season with Frisco. You can read words I wrote about his very cool and VERY Texas background here: https://www.lonestarball.com/2018/7/31/17634652/texas-rangers-prospects-taylor-hearn-pitcher
But this is less about where he’s from than it is about where he’s going and where he is right now. Make no mistake, Taylor isn’t a finished product. He’s really damn good and he’s gotten better each year in the pros and further refined his craft, but the 24 year-old ain’t quite yet where he’s gonna be in a few seasons. That said, prepare to get a glimpse of what he’s capable of. Expect a FB to comfortably sit 93-96, but he’ll throw harder than that anytime he wants to, and probably even when he doesn’t want to thanks to the mad pulse of MLB adrenaline kicking in. I’m expecting some pretty dang loud cheddar in his first inning. And it’s easy gas. And he’s got a frame that will add more (good) weight. And he’ll continue to learn all the little things that make a really good MLB starter. How to control the running game. How to limit the damage when you get into trouble. How to take the easy outs if they’re there. How to get ahead and stay ahead of hitters. As for secondary offerings, his CH is bit ahead of his SL, but the SL improved in his time with Frisco and I imagine he’s grown even more comfortable with it in Nashville. Part of Taylor developing will be him being able to back-foot that badboy to righties. MLB hitters are sequencing wizards and all too often they know what a young guy is gonna throw even before the pitcher himself knows. So don’t freak out if there’s a mega-bombo or a crooked number. But also don’t be surprised when he strikes out more batters than his innings pitched.
If I had any advice as to how to enjoy a kid like Taylor’s first taste of the big leagues it would be to focus less on the results, and more on the stuff. Focus more on the projection and much much more on what this must mean to his family, his friends, all of his old teammates and the fine people of Royse City, and most of all to Taylor himself. It’s not very often in life that we get to be a witness to a dream coming true. But when this happens, when a kid first gets to the big leagues, that’s exactly what it is. So congratulations to Taylor Hearn. Dude status: revoked.
As Always, Enjoy Baseball!