DENVER - With the 8th overall pick of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft tonight, the Colorado Rockies selected left-handed pitcher Kyle Freeland from the University of Evansville. Freeland was rated the 7th overall player in the draft by MLB.com and the 5th overall player in the draft by Baseball America.
"Kyle is a two plus-pitch lefthander that's a strike thrower," said Rockies Vice President of Scouting Bill Schmidt. "He's a Colorado kid and we're excited to bring him into the organization."
Freeland, 21, was selected to the Louisville Slugger All-America Third Team, the ninth player in Evansville's history to be selected for an All-America team. He was one of 21 players to be named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, presented to the top amateur baseball player in the U.S, but was not named a finalist. Freeland finished the 2014 season with a 10-2 record, 1.90 ERA and 128 strikeouts to just 13 walks. Those strikeouts rank tied for fourth among all Division I pitchers. He went 6-0 in conference play with a .211 batting average against. Evansville won the Missouri Valley Conference Regular Season Title with a 15-6 record. The Purple Aces went 34-21 overall on the season.
Baseball America dubbed Freeland with the best command by a college pitcher entering the 2014 draft. They list him at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, up from his 170 pound listing when he was drafted in 2011 out of high school in the 35th round by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Kyle was born in Denver and attended Thomas Jefferson High School in southeast Denver. As a senior, he posted an 8-2 record with a 1.39 ERA in 65.0 innings. In his four years, he held a 1.96 ERA and 208 strikeouts. Freeland was named an All-State player in 2011 while also earning All-District honors his junior and senior seasons.
He was named to Baseball America's Preseason All-America Second Team and entered the season ranked 9th on the College Top 100 Draft Prospects. Much of his preseason acclaim stemmed from his performance in the Cape Cod Summer League where he was named an All-Star as a member of the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. He led the league with 48 strikeouts and owned a 2.25 ERA through 9 games (6 starts).
The Rockies have two more selections tonight, the 35th selection, which comes in the Competitive Balance Round A, and 48th pick, coming in the 2nd round.