Posted by Mike Rice

DENVER – With the 8th overall pick of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft tonight, the Colorado Rockies selected left-handed pitcher Kyle Freeland from the University of Evansville. Freeland was rated the 7th overall player in the draft by MLB.comand the 5th overall player in the draft by Baseball America.
“Kyle is a two plus-pitch lefthander that’s a strike thrower,” said Rockies Vice President of Scouting Bill Schmidt. “He’s a Colorado kid and we’re excited to bring him into the organization.”
Freeland, 21, was selected to the Louisville Slugger All-America Third Team, the ninth player in Evansville’s history to be selected for an All-America team. He was one of 21 players to be named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, presented to the top amateur baseball player in the U.S, but was not named a finalist. Freeland finished the 2014 season with a 10-2 record, 1.90 ERA and 128 strikeouts to just 13 walks. Those strikeouts rank tied for fourth among all Division I pitchers. He went 6-0 in conference play with a .211 batting average against. Evansville won the Missouri Valley Conference Regular Season Title with a 15-6 record. The Purple Aces went 34-21 overall on the season.
Baseball America dubbed Freeland with the best command by a college pitcher entering the 2014 draft. They list him at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, up from his 170 pound listing when he was drafted in 2011 out of high school in the 35th round by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Kyle was born in Denver and attended Thomas Jefferson High School in southeast Denver. As a senior, he posted an 8-2 record with a 1.39 ERA in 65.0 innings. In his four years, he held a 1.96 ERA and 208 strikeouts. Freeland was named an All-State player in 2011 while also earning All-District honors his junior and senior seasons.
He was named to Baseball America’s Preseason All-America Second Team and entered the season ranked 9th on the College Top 100 Draft Prospects. Much of his preseason acclaim stemmed from his performance in the Cape Cod Summer League where he was named an All-Star as a member of the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. He led the league with 48 strikeouts and owned a 2.25 ERA through 9 games (6 starts).
With the club’s compensatory pick in the first round (35th overall) in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, the Rockies selected infielder Forrest Wall from Orangewood Christian High School in Maitland, Florida. In the second round (#48th overall) the Rockies selected right-handed pitcher Ryan Castellani from Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, Arizona.
Wall (6-foot-1, 180 pounds), 18, played in 21 games during his senior year at Orangewood Christian High School batting .500 (28-for-56) with 16 RBI, 31 runs and an on-base percentage of .610. In his four-year high school career, the left-handed hitting infielder hit .461 (106-for-230) with 25 doubles, 8 triples, 9 home runs, 70 RBI and 98 runs in 79 games. He also went 70-for-71 in stolen base attempts over his high school career.
He was rated as the #34 prospect in the draft and the #1 second baseman by Baseball America and the #42 prospect by Wall signed a letter-of-intent to play baseball at North Carolina.
Castellani (6-foot-4, 190 pounds), 17, went 1-0 with a save and a 1.59 ERA (22.0 ip, 5 er) in five games during his senior season for the Broncos. He led all Brophy Prep pitchers with 23 strikeouts and in innings pitched. The right-handed hurler was a 2014 Perfect Game 3rd Team All-American and West Region 1st Team. He was rated as the #98 prospect and #3 player in the state of Arizona by Baseball America. He is committed to play baseball at Arizona State University.
The draft continues Friday at 11:00 a.m. MDT with rounds 3-10.
Kyle Freeland
University of Evansville (IN)
Forrest Wall
Orangewood Christian HS (FL)
Ryan Castellani
Brophy Preparatory College (AZ)