Prospect Taylor Hearn impresses vs. Texas Rangers in friendly tune-up

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 31: A general view of the Nashville Sounds Baseball signage on March 09, 2013 in Nashville TN. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 31: A general view of the Nashville Sounds Baseball signage on March 09, 2013 in Nashville TN. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images) /
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The Texas Rangers took on their Triple-A team yesterday afternoon. What stood out most in the matchup was the performance of their #7 prospect.

In preparation for the upcoming regular season, many of the Texas Rangers players traveled to Nashville on Sunday to take on the Triple-A squad. The Nashville Sounds defeated the Rangers 4-3. It was a victory secured by starting pitcher and #7 prospect Taylor Hearn.

Hearn, 24, pitched five very strong innings. He fanned seven and allowed two hits and zero runs. He didn’t face anything close to the projected Texas opening day lineup, but there were definitely some formidable names included, such as Nomar Mazara, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Ronald Guzman and Delino DeShields.

Hearn didn’t fare well in spring training. He pitched a total of four innings, posting an 11.25 ERA and allowing opposing hitters to hit at a .313 clip against him. It would have taken a lights out spring for the lefty to make the team anyway.

The Rangers know they have a great talent in Taylor Hearn and a struggle of a spring span certainly didn’t waver their confidence in him or their excitement for him.

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If any member of the organization was concerned about Hearn, their concerns surely subsided after Sunday’s performance. What a time for Hearn to put forth an impressive start. He did it against multiple big leaguers and with manager Chris Woodward observing from the other dugout.

It’s not like he slipped through multiple threatening innings either. The lefty’s start was essentially stress-free. Strikeouts are the best way to keep batters off base and to get out tough spots. Seven from Hearn in just five innings speaks volumes about his stuff and his command.

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The Texas Rangers have high expectations for Hearn. He was the big piece that came over from Pittsburgh in the Keone Kela trade last summer. He brings heat from the left side and boasts great control of each of his pitches. Texas is developing him into a big league starting pitcher. He may break the major league scene some time this year, but expect next year to be his full-time calling.