Left-hander Kyle Freeland, the Rockies' first-round pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, threw five scoreless innings Tuesday in his debut with Class A Asheville. His strong start helped lead the Tourists to an 8 -1 victory at Lakewood.
Freeland, ranked No. 74 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, struck out six batters, walked none and held the BlueClaws to two hits. The Rockies' No. 4 prospect picked up the victory and finished his night with an exclamation point, striking out the final two batters he faced.
The Rockies selected Freeland, a Denver native, with the eighth overall pick. He starred for Evansville this spring and was named Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year after going 10-2 with a 1.90 ERA and helping the Purple Aces to the regular-season conference championship.
After signing, Freeland began his professional career with Rookie level Grand Junction last month and made five starts in the Pioneer League. He went 1-0 with a 1.56 ERA and struck out 15 batters in 17 1/3 innings before he was promoted to Asheville this week.
Outfielder Raimel Tapia, the Rockies' No. 5 prospect and No. 95 on the Top 100, went 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs to lead the Tourists offense Tuesday. He also drove in a run and stole his 28th base of the season. The 20-year old is hitting .334/.389/.466 in 101 games this season.