The Pittsburgh Pirates sent Hearn and another prospect for Texas Rangers closer Keone Kela at the non-waiver trade deadline.
Almost every player, regardless of if you are in the major or minor leagues, has a chance to get traded on deadline day. For Royse City, Texas native Taylor Hearn, being traded to the Texas Rangers is a dream come true.
“It is definitely a blessing,” Hearn said. “I am very thankful and happy to come back home and play for the Rangers, the team that I grew up rooting for and always wanted to play for.”
Hearn, who spent a little over two full seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization after being traded for the first time in his career by the Washington Nationals on July 30, 2016, did not get to celebrate his move to Texas right away.
“It was actually two in the morning when I got the phone call, and I was shocked and happy at the same time,” Hearn said. “I was like ‘wow, I got traded again’ but also getting to go back home. It was early in the morning so I had to wait, so I was up all that night.”
The next morning, Hearn called his mom and dad and other family and friends, and as anybody could imagine, they were stoked and happy that he was coming home.When @thearn14 was traded to the Texas @Rangers, the left-hander from the Lone Star State got a chance to go back home. Click To Tweet
Hearn said pitching at a ballpark that he is familiar with, Dr. Pepper Ballpark, the home of the Frisco RoughRiders helps a little bit, but the 24-year-old left-hander said he is always confident in his abilities on any mound.
“Honestly that is not that big of a factor,” Hearn said. “I am always comfortable wherever I pitch, whether it is home or away. But being able to pitch in front of family and friends is pretty awesome and that makes me think a little bit better knowing that I’ve got family and friends in the stands.”
— Frisco RoughRiders (@RidersBaseball) August 23, 2018
The right fit
After going 3-6 with a 3.12 ERA in 19 starts with two complete games for the Altoona Curve, the Pirates’ Eastern League Double-A affiliate, Hearn is 1-2 with a 5.04 ERA in five starts for Frisco, the Rangers’ Texas League Double-A affiliate.
Opponents only hit .198 against Hearn when he pitched for the Curve, but opposing batters are hitting .284 off of him since the trade. He may be struggling at the moment to find his footing with a new team, but Hearn is focused on finishing the season strong.
“I haven’t really been working on anything (in particular),” Hearn said. “(I’m) just trying to stay consistent and finish the season strong.”
In order for Hearn accomplish both of his goals for the rest of the season, he said pitching to his strengths not the opponent’s weaknesses is important.
Hearn, the seventh-best prospect in the Rangers system according to MLB Pipeline, can throw his fastball in the 97-98 mph range and complements his best pitch with a changeup.
Here is what MLB Pipeline said about Hearn’s outlook:
Projected as a reliever by many scouts, Hearn has fared well as a starter in Double-A. To remain in the rotation, he’ll need to improve his control and command as well as his slider. If he does head to the bullpen, he could be a high-leverage option.
Regardless of what his future holds, Hearn is happy to be a member of the Rangers organization.
“They have had really open arms and helped make the transition easier,” Hearn said. “They are a great organization. They are really relaxed and it fits my personality.”