Rather abruptly, the Texas Rangers have promoted #11 prospect Taylor Hearn to the major leagues. He will make his debut tonight vs. the Seattle Mariners.
Starting pitcher Taylor Hearn, the Texas Rangers’ #11 prospect, will make his major league debut tonight against the Seattle Mariners. He’s a 24-year-old left-hander known for having an easy mid-90s fastball and a pretty good changeup. His debut will be a true test, as the Mariners lead Major League Baseball in home runs and runs scored. They also rank 2nd in stolen bases with 23.
The decision to promote Hearn was abrupt. Not even the insiders saw it coming until the midway point of yesterday’s game vs. Oakland. Texas had to send starter Drew Smyly to the IL on Tuesday, leaving the rotation a man short. Getting just three innings from Kyle Dowdy as the spot starter yesterday, the Rangers were forced to bring in Adrian Sampson, who was supposed to start the opening game of the Seattle series.
Sampson’s appearance led to the realization that Texas would have to dip into the minors if they wanted to keep their big league starters on schedule. That’s when the Taylor Hearn murmurs began.
Hearn’s debut will mark the first of the next wave of prominent prospects. Willie Calhoun‘s was highly anticipated, though that came before the Rangers waved the white flag and declared rebuild. They’ve spent the last couple of years stockpiling the minor leagues with prized talents, in hopes that the franchise will gradually turn around as each talent climbs to the majors.
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The majority of the top-tier prospects are currently playing in Single-A. However, a handful of them span Double-A and Triple-A. It’s possible that Joe Palumbo (#7 prospect), Brock Burke (#9) and Jonathan Hernandez (#8) join the Rangers at some point this year as well.
It’s important to understand that just because these players are beginning to emerge, does not mean they are here to stay. We shouldn’t be setting the bar too high while they’re here either.
Special circumstances have led to Taylor Hearn’s debut. The Texas Rangers probably don’t feel he’s ready to stick around, but they do feel he’s more ready than their other options. Keep in mind, the Rangers are 2.5 games out of first place in the AL West. They want to keep winning to stay in the early hunt.
They could have promoted Ariel Jurado again, but would he give them as good of a chance to win as Hearn? Maybe the Rangers don’t want to burn another option for Jurado. You could argue they’ll be doing so with Hearn, but there’s a good chance he stays up if he pitches well. After all, a few current starters aren’t exactly making a positive impact.
It will be interesting to see how this promotion plays out. Tonight’s outing will certainly have Rangers fans tuned in, full of intrigue and full of hope. Hearn may only be up for a few starts, but at the very least, we’ll have some tangible evidence to refer to regarding the future of the Texas Rangers.