Left-hander Taylor Hearn has freakish athleticism that you might usually see in a tall and lanky basketball prospect.
I have already told you about his long arms, hands and fingers: the tale of when you shake his hand, his fingers almost touch your elbow. So you can imagine how he can manipulate a baseball to move around the strike zone to befuddle a hitter.
Low Single-A Hagerstown Suns manager Patrick Anderson said Hearn reminded him of right-hander Ira Brown, a 6-foot-4, 215-lbs., pitcher from Willis, Tex. Anderson had Brown in the Kansas City Royals organization from 2001-2004. Brown was an eighth-round selection for Kansas City in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.
“He was a really raw athlete who played basketball at Gonzaga (2007-2009)”, Anderson said. “He played overseas as well. He had the longest arms and his hands were huge. He was on the right side. Eventually, he didn’t have to feel to be able to repeat his delivery.”
Hearn is a 6-foot-5, 210-lbs., southpaw from Royse City, Texas. He was a fifth-round selection in 2015 by the Nationals out of Oklahoma Baptist. He also pitched for San Jacinto College. Oklahoma Baptist had him listed at 6-foot-6, 215 lbs.
Anderson said while Brown was a right-hander, Hearn comes from the left side and is further along than Brown was when he first arrived with the Royals.
“This is the opposite,” Anderson said. “Hearn has the body just like Ira, but he already has the feel. He can command the plate a little bit, still has a ways to go with that. He has a plus breaking ball I saw instructional league and down here (in early camp). He just needs to go out and log some innings. He is a really intriguing young man.”
* Here is some more insight on Dominican 18-year-old speedy outfielder Victor Robles as we continue to break down each of the early camp outfielders. Robles slashed an amazing .352/.445/.507 with 24 stolen bases in 61 games last season.
“He’s coming along really, really well,” says Nationals outfield coordinator Gary Thurman. “He’s a raw ballplayer with a lot of tools. We just need to harness those tools and make him the best that he can be.
“He is a hustler. He’s very aggressive on the bases and in the outfield and at the plate, but he does have strike zone discipline. He’s very fun to watch as all the rest of them. He brings a lot of energy to the game and to his teammates, and they kind of feed off of that from him.”