MLB Draft: Colorado Rockies select Kyle Freeland no. 8 overall
The Colorado Rockies got their Colorado guy in the 2014 MLB Draft.
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With the no. 8 overall selection in the draft, the Rockies selected left-handed pitcher Kyle Freeland. As far as his college baseball is concerned, Freeland comes to the Rockies out of Evansville, IN. But in our hearts and his, he is staying home in Colorado.
Freeland has been compared to Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale in terms of his great stuff, especially a wipe-out slider, and also in terms of mechanical concerns with his unconventional delivery. Many mock drafts had him landing in Colorado in this spot.
Freeland is 21 years old. He stands 6’4″ and a lanky 185 pounds. In 99.2 innings as a junior, he struck out 128 hitters and walked only 13. There is still work to do, of course, but the Rockies have a great place to start with their newest pitcher: he pounds the strike zone, he has a swing-and-miss pitch with his slider, and he is from Colorado.
The concern is with Freeland’s arm slot, which is described as “lower than usual” for big league starters by Nick Faleris of Baseball Prospectus (subscription required). That is probably one of those things where it is a bigger deal to some people than others, but ultimately doesn’t stand to be a huge deal (hopefully).
Besides, the arm slot might be part of his deception, and how many guys with nice deliveries get hurt anyway? The Rockies went with a guy who throws a ton of strikes and has three pitches. I’m happy with that.
Here is a video of Freeland in action, courtesy of the Baseball Prospectus team: