Colorado Rockies: Five bold predictions for the 2019 season
Kyle Freeland wins 22 games … and the N.L. Cy Young
Rockies fans need not be reminded about the years of disastrous starting pitching that has come through the hallowed walls of Coors Field. Sure, there have been some quality starters who have produced quality seasons, but it stops there. Now, finally, it seems as though Colorado has begun to figure it out and it continues with their young star Kyle Freeland.
Freeland made his debut for the Rockies in 2017, starting 28 games as a rookie and finishing the year with a respectable 4.10 ERA. Honestly, what more could you ask for the Denver native who lived out a lifelong dream of pitching in front of his hometown on a regular basis?
Last season, however, Freeland took his game to another level and it was glorious. In 33 starts, Freeland entrenched himself in the National League Cy Young talks, as he finished with a 2.85 ERA, winning 17 games as well as pitching the team past the Chicago Cubs in the National League Wild Card game.
Freeland increased his strikeout percentage from 15.6% in his rookie season to 20.5% last season. He also decreased his walk rate from 9.2% to 8.3% as well as his HR/FB clip from 12.5% to 8.5%. To add to it, last season in 93.2 innings pitching in Coors, Freeland posted a ridiculous 2.40 ERA.
As of now, Freeland is off to a solid start. His Opening Day gem helped start the Rockies off in the right direction, and he will hopefully continue to build on his beginning. It is apparent Colorado finally has their “ace.”