Freeland set to debut Wednesday

His dad, mom and brother are driving over from Denver, and his girlfriend flew to Grand Junction from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Kyle Freeland is finally going to pitch for the Grand Junction Rockies.

On Wednesday, the Colorado Rockies’ first-round draft pick in June’s Major League Baseball draft, taken No. 8 overall, will make his professional debut against Missoula.

And the big left-hander is pumped.

“Definitely excited,” Freeland said. “I can’t wait, honestly. It’s been a long time since I’ve been live on the mound against competition. I can’t wait to get started.”

Grand Junction pitching coach Ryan Kibler said Freeland threw side sessions in the bullpen and a couple of batting-practice sessions during the Rockies’ road trip last week.

“We’re trying to keep him sharp and build his arm back up a little bit after the break between college and now. We need to make sure he has the feel, and that he’s ready for this,” Kibler said.

Freeland was the ace of the University of Evansville pitching staff after a standout prep career at Thomas Jefferson High School, where he broke the Colorado high school strikeout record.

Freeland emerged as a likely first-round draft pick after a strong showing last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he had a league-high 48 strikeouts and a 2.25 ERA.

“I’m excited to see him get out there,” Grand Junction manager Anthony Sanders said. “He’s the last guy out of all of our guys to get his feet wet. He’s eager to get out there, and his live BPs look unbelievable. His ‘pens look great. At this point he just has to get out there and play.”


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