Pittsburgh Pirates: Next Wave of Top Pitching Prospects

4 of 5

<img class=”size-large wp-image-86673″ src=”https://rumbunter.com/files/2016/08/9331775-ray-searage-mlb-pittsburgh-pirates-colorado-rockies-850×560.jpg” alt=”Ray Searage” width=”590″ height=”389″ /> Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Gage Hinsz

Another prep pitcher taken in the 2014 draft, Hinsz fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the eleventh round due to signability concerns.  However, the Pirates were ready to pay him a significant bonus to join their organization.  Hinsz is a big pitcher as he stands at 6’4” and 210 pounds.  He puts that size into his fastball that hits as high as 96 miles per hour.

This year at Low-A, he has been very hit or miss.  Hinsz has had some really good starts and some poor starts.  Inconsistency has given him earned run average of 4.12 in 14 starts.  Hinsz is very raw at this point in his career.  One thing that will lead him to be better is if he can start missing more bats.  This year he is only striking out six hitters per nine innings pitched.  If he can improve on this as he develops, he should start to develop into a future work house.

Taylor Hearn

Taylor Hearn could be a very intriguing prospect.  Like Hinsz, Hearn has a big frame behind his pitching.  The left-handed thrower stands at 6’5” and 215 pounds.  His fastball has reached as high as 100 miles per hour, in an appearance out of the bullpen. Typically as a starter, Hearn’s fastball sits 95-97 miles per hour.  He is very raw and can struggle with command at times.  So far, since being acquire in the Mark Melancon deal, Hearn has been pitching long relief out of the bullpen for Low-A.  He has 18 strikeouts in 11.2 innings pitched.

Obviously, the big frame, and fastball from the left side is going to produce a lot of swings and misses. The question around Hearn is whether he will make it as a starter in the bigs.  If he does he most likely will be very dominant.  However, if the Pittsburgh Pirates do not feel he will be successful in the Major Leagues as a starter, they will move him to the bullpen.

Next: Honorable Mentions!