Hard-throwing left-handers always attract scouts and Hearn lit up radar guns enough to get selected in four consecutive Drafts: by the Pirates in the 22nd round in 2012 out of a Texas high school, by the Reds in the 36th round in 2013 and the Twins in the 25th round in 2014 at San Jacinto (Texas) JC, and the Nationals in the fifth round in 2015 out of Oklahoma Baptist, an NAIA program. Washington sent him to Pittsburgh a year later as part of a package for Mark Melancon, and the Rangers acquired him last July along with third baseman Sherten Apostel for Keone Kela.
Hearn's fastball sits in the mid 90s when he starts and has tickled triple digits, featuring riding action and high spin rates that get swings and misses up in the strike zone. Hitters who gear up for his heater are vulnerable to his changeup, which can be a plus pitch at times. He never has had great feel for spinning a breaking ball from his low-three-quarters arm slot, but he's making progress with an 82-85 mph slider that still gets slurvy.
Despite a history of elbow issues as an amateur, Hearn hasn't had any arm problems as a pro, though he has missed time with foot (2016) and oblique injuries (2017). He stayed healthy last year, worked a career-high 129 innings and improved his control and command, all developments that enhance his chances of remaining a starter. If he heads to the bullpen, his fastball might park in the upper 90s and make him a late-inning factor.
Statcast - Pitching
Hard Hit %
Texas Rangers transferred LHP Taylor Hearn from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list. Left elbow tightness.
Texas Rangers placed LHP Taylor Hearn on the 10-day injured list. Left elbow tightness.
Texas Rangers recalled LHP Taylor Hearn from Nashville Sounds.
Texas Rangers optioned LHP Taylor Hearn to Nashville Sounds.
Texas Rangers selected the contract of Taylor Hearn from Frisco RoughRiders.
Frisco RoughRiders activated LHP Taylor Hearn.
Texas Rangers traded RHP Keone Kela to Pittsburgh Pirates for Taylor Hearn and Player To Be Named Later.
Frisco RoughRiders placed LHP Taylor Hearn on the reserve list.
LHP Taylor Hearn assigned to Altoona Curve from West Virginia Black Bears.
LHP Taylor Hearn assigned to West Virginia Black Bears from Bradenton Marauders.
Bradenton Marauders activated LHP Taylor Hearn from the 7-day disabled list.
Bradenton Marauders sent LHP Taylor Hearn on a rehab assignment to GCL Pirates.
Bradenton Marauders placed LHP Taylor Hearn on the 7-day disabled list.
LHP Taylor Hearn assigned to Bradenton Marauders from West Virginia Power.
LHP Taylor Hearn assigned to West Virginia Power.
Washington Nationals traded LHP Felipe Rivero and LHP Taylor Hearn to Pittsburgh Pirates for RHP Mark Melancon.
LHP Taylor Hearn assigned to Hagerstown Suns from GCL Nationals.
LHP Taylor Hearn assigned to GCL Nationals from Hagerstown Suns.
Hagerstown Suns placed LHP Taylor Hearn on the 7-day disabled list.
LHP Taylor Hearn assigned to Hagerstown Suns from Auburn Doubledays.
LHP Taylor Hearn assigned to Auburn Doubledays from GCL Nationals.
How this works: Every pitch is affected by the forces of gravity, which means that every pitch drops on its way from the mound to the plate. These numbers are reported with gravity, which makes them larger and different than other pitch movement numbers you may have seen. Since gravity requires time, and slower pitches aren’t ‘better’ just because they have more time to move, the movement of a pitch is compared to ‘average’ movement by comparing it to other MLB pitch types within +/- 2 MPH and from within +/- 0.5 feet of extension and release.