Colorado Rockies: 3 Non-Roster Players Who Could Make An Impact
He’s a candidate to be Colorado’s fifth starter at some point this season. We talked about him in our five predictions for spring training in this article. We think solid things are ahead for the 23-year-old southpaw this season.
Here’s what our own Nolan Lees said about him in his Rox Pile article earlier this year…
Freeland will likely start the 2017 season in Triple-A, but it doesn’t seem like there’s much left for him to learn there. His minor league track record, particularly the way he pitched last season, shows a guy who attacks the strike zone while also managing to keep the ball in the park. That’s an effective combination for a guy looking to make Coors Field his home stadium.
Of course, nearly every prospect has some flaws, and Freeland is no exception. One of the largest concerns is longevity. Some scouts are less than enamored of Freeland’s mechanics, and the fact that he’s already experienced discomfort in both his elbow and his shoulder (maybe the two worst spots possible for a pitcher) is something the Rockies will have to monitor closely.
Freeland also doesn’t exactly have the explosive repertoire of a future MLB ace. Freeland is a four pitch guy (fastball, slider, curveball, change-up), and while they’re all decent offerings, none of them really stand out either.
So why could Freeland make an impact this season? Raw talent, which is one of the reasons why the Rockies took him with the number 8 overall pick in the 2014 draft.
Colorado has had success in recent months with young pitchers like Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson. It’s also witnessed some of the struggles of Jeff Hoffman when so much was expected of him late last season. Young pitchers are never a sure lock to be in the Majors by a certain date. That’s a point to remember with a lot of Colorado’s prospects on the mound.
Next: 5 Must-Read Articles Before Spring Training Begins
If Freeland makes a big impact in spring, his road to Denver could be completed sooner than later. He may not start the year with the Rockies, but we believe he’ll make an impact by the end of the season.