2. Texas Sends Kela to Pittsburgh for Stud Pitching Prospect
This deal was the biggest headline maker for the Rangers this year as they sent 25 year old star closer, Keone Kela to the Pittsburgh Pirates for top pitching prospect Taylor Hearn and a Player To Be Named Later. Kela, who has been among the best late inning relievers in baseball, was a controversial player to move because he is under team control through 2020. However Texas opted to capitalize on his sky high value and bring in a legit pitching prospect with starter potential.
The headline acquisition for the Rangers, lefty Taylor Hearn electrifies with his high velocity fastball. Though some project him as a reliever, hopes are that he can develop into a viable starter. For Double-A Altoona, Hearn made 19 starts going 3-6 with an impressive 3.12 ERA. Holding opponents to a .198 batting average and striking out 107 hitters. Thoughts are that Hearn’s floor is a late inning reliever, possibly a closer, and his ceiling is a middle rotation starter. Either way, Texas got a good pitching prospect that is ranked 7th it the Rangers system by MLB Prospect Watch.
Hopefully the Player To Be Named Later is also a Top 30 prospect which could take this deal from good to great. Initially, we gave this trade a B- with the potential to be an A.