Taylor Hearn Impressing At Double-A For The Pittsburgh Pirates

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

It is time for the Pittsburgh Pirates to promote another of their young arms to the Triple-A level

The Pittsburgh Pirates have already promoted three pitchers from the Double-A level to Triple-A this season. J.T. Brubaker, Brandon Waddell, and Mitch Keller are the trio. Due to the way he has pitched thus far for the Double-A Altoona Curve, lefty Taylor Hearn may be joining these three at Indianapolis at some point this season.

Hearn was acquired along with Felipe Vazquez in the Mark Melancon trade in July of 2016. In his first taste of Double-A ball Hearn, thus far, is passing the test with flying colors.

In 15 starts for the Altoona Curve this season Hearn has logged 79 2/3 innings. He has continued to be a heavy strikeout pitcher with a 26.8% strikeout rate this season. To go along with the strikeouts his 9.2% walk rate is the second lowest of his professional career. He has also limited home runs to the tune of 0.68 HR/9.

To go along with his improved control Hearn has a 63% strike rate this season. Most importantly, he is not just throwing more strikes he is throwing quality strikes that opposing hitters are struggling to hit.

Overall, Hearn has posted a 3.50 ERA and a 3.27 FIP for the Curve this season. But in his last 10 starts he has started to dominate the Eastern League.

In these 10 starts Hearn has allowed just 34 hits and three home runs in 53 1/3 innings pitched. He owns a 58:20 strikeout-to-walk rate, his ERA is 2.36, and his FIP is 2.88. With Keller now at Triple-A, Hearn has become the ace of Altoona’s staff.

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If the 23-year-old Hearn continues to pitch well at Double-A, look for him to reach Triple-A at some point this season. If not, he will surely be ticketed to begin the 2019 season with the Indianapolis Indians.