Texas Rangers: Three Pitching Prospects to Hit the Majors this Season

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05: C.D. Pelham #64 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Los Angeles Angels in the seventh inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 5, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05: C.D. Pelham #64 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Los Angeles Angels in the seventh inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 5, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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1. Taylor Hearn

Taylor Hearn was acquired by the Rangers this past season as part of a trade deadline deal that sent closer, Keone Kela, to the Pittsburgh Pirates. A hard-throwing lefty, Hearn immediately slotted into the Top 10 Rangers’ prospects according to MLB Prospect Watch upon arrival in the organization.

A local product, Hearn saw his stock grow with an impressive year for the Pirates Double-A affiliate before being traded to Texas. For the Pirates’ affiliate, Altoona, Hearn impressed in 19 starts. Keeping his ERA at just 3.12, Hearn racked up 107 strikeouts in 104 innings of work and held opponents to just a .198 batting average. With a WHIP of 1.09, Hearn did a fantastic job keeping runners off base limiting his ERA.

Once being traded to the Texas Rangers and being placed with Double-A Frisco, Hearn did struggle a bit in his 5 starts throwing just 25 innings in total. His 5.04 ERA was a bit disappointing and he struggled missing bats with opponents hitting .284 against him. His strikeout total remained impressive however sitting down 33 in 25 innings of work.

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At only 24 years old, Hearn still has plenty of room to develop as a pitcher. There are questions raised about his ability to remain a starter despite working exclusively as one in Double-A last season. Hearn does struggle with command and also lacks a true strikeout-quality breaking ball. His explosive fastball paired with a decent changeup make him effective, but limit his ability to work multiple times through the order.

At the end of the 2018 season, Hearn is ranked as the 6th prospect in the Rangers’ organization by MLB Prospect Watch. He likely will start the season in Triple-A to get some more work in before cracking the Major League roster. He is a part of the 40-man roster and likely will get some good work in Spring Training. Depending on whether the Rangers really want to push him as a starter or move him to the late-inning bullpen will decide how quickly he makes it to Arlington.

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