How fitting. Kyle Freeland, a 2011 graduate of Thomas Jefferson, was selected by the hometown Colorado Rockies in the first round of the MLB Draft on Thursday.
The Rockies took Freeland, now a junior at the University of Evansville in Indiana, with their No. 8 overall pick. He is the tenth Colorado product taken in the draft's top-10 -- and the third from Thomas Jefferson.
"Beyond blessed to now be part of the Rockies organization!" Freeland wrote on Twitter on Thursday night. "Thank you for the opportunity! #hometownkid"
Freeland, a 6-foot-3, 170-pound left-handed pitcher went 10-2 with a 1.90 ERA in 99.2 innings this season. He struck out 128 against just 13 walks, and didn't allow a home run. According to an MLB.com scouting report, he has a fastball in the low-90s and a "plus" slider.
Freeland was 8-2 with a 1.39 ERA as a senior at TJ. He was also a four-year letter-winner in golf. After he graduated, he was picked by the Phillies in the 35th round of that year's draft. But Freeland didn't sign out of high school, and instead decided to head to Evansville -- where his stock has since skyrocketed.
Thursday, he became the third Spartan to go in the draft's top 10.
TJ alum John Stearns, a catcher who graduated in 1969, was taken No. 2 overall by Philadelphia in the 1973 draft out of the University of Colorado, back when the Buffs had a baseball program. And former Spartans pitcher Tyler Green, a 1988 grad, was the No. 10 pick by Philadelphia in 1991 out of Wichita State.
Colorado's other top-10 MLB Draft picks are:
- Rampart alum Jeff King, a third and first baseman (No. 1 overall in the 1986 draft out of Arkansas)
- Former Fowler pitcher Luke Hochevar (No. 1 overall in the 2006 draft out of Tennessee)
- Northglenn's Kyle Sleeth, a pitcher (No. 3 overall out of Wake Forest in 2003)
- Grandview alum Kevin Gausman, a pitcher (No. 4 overall out of LSU in 2012)
- Cherry Creek alum John Burke, pitcher (No. 6 overall out of Florida in 1991)
- Columbine alum Darrel Akerfelds, pitcher (No. 7 overall in 1983 out of what was then Mesa State)
- Cherry Creek's Matt Brunson, a middle infielder (No. 9 overall straight out of high school in 1993)
Other high picks who went to high school in Colorado include:
- Lamar's Doug Brocail, a pitcher, at No. 12 overall in 1976 out of Lamar Community College.
- Cherry Creek product Brad Lidge, a pitcher, went No. 17 overall in the 1998 draft out of Notre Dame.
- Arvada West product Roy Halladay, a pitcher, was also the No. 17 overall pick. His selection came in 1995, straight out of A-West.
- Former Bear Creek pitcher Dennis Rasmussen, also at No. 17 overall, in 1980 out of Creighton.
- Rocky Mountain's Marco Gonzales, a pitcher, went No. 19 overall in 2013 out of Gonzaga.
The draft features the first, second and compensation rounds on Thursday. Rounds 3-10 are Friday, and rounds 11-40 are Saturday. A number of other local products figure to be selected.
Watch Freeland's selection below: