Royals Acquire Pitcher Taylor Hearn From Atlanta For Infielder Nicky Lopez

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have acquired left-handed pitcher Taylor Hearn from the Atlanta Braves for infielder Nicky Lopez. Hearn, who is on the 40-man roster, was optioned to Triple-A Omaha.

Hearn, 28, made Texas’ Opening Day roster this year, but has spent most of the season at Triple-A Round Rock, where he had a 3.66 ERA (16 ER in 39.1 IP) with 54 strikeouts (12.4 K/9) in 24 appearances (2 starts). He was acquired by Atlanta last Monday and has pitched in 5 big league games this season, including 4 with the Rangers and 1 with the Braves.

Hearn made his Major League debut with the Rangers in 2019 and recorded at least 100.0 innings at the Major League level in both 2021 and 2022. He was named Texas’ Roberto Clemente Award nominee in 2022 and was the Jim Sundberg Community Achievement Award recipient that year.

Kansas City will be Hearn’s fifth organization since he was selected by Washington in the 5th round of the 2015 Draft. He was traded to Pittsburgh in 2016 and to Texas in 2018. In 93 career appearances (25 starts) over parts of five big league seasons, Hearn is 12-15 with 1 save and 219 strikeouts in 229.1 innings (8.6 K/9).

Lopez, 28, was selected by Kansas City in the 5th round of the 2016 Draft and has spent his entire professional career in the Royals organization. He made his Major League debut in 2019 and was named the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award recipient in 2021, after batting .300 (149-for-497) in 151 games. In 2022, Lopez was the Royals Roberto Clemente Award nominee for his involvement in the Kansas City community.

In 68 games this season, Lopez has hit .213 (34-for-160) while making starts at third base (24), second base (22), shortstop (4), left field (2) and first base (1). Over the last three seasons (since 2021), Lopez leads the Majors at all positions with 47 Outs Above Average.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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