Local boy makes good.
It’s a story that plays out in young athletes’ fantasies all over the world. Making all the way to the big time with your local team. For Kyle Freeland, the rise to the Rockies seemed pre-ordained.
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Colorado drafted Freeland with the eighth pick in the 2014 draft. He rose through the minor league system rapidly, hitting the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes in just his second season. Freeland made his move to the “Show” for the 2017 season opener and has been Colorado’s best pitcher since. He has taken a no-hitter into the ninth inning, he finished the 2018 campaign fourth in NL Cy Young voting.
It truly has been like that childhood fantasy on steroids. What’s better is that Freeland remains a fiercely loyal Coloradoan, sporting mountain and ‘5280’ tattoos and making cameos at other local venues and sporting events. Like fellow Denver Public School product Phillip Lindsay, Freeland’s commitment to his hometown coupled with his outstanding on-field performance has made him a fan favorite.
Freeland received a spirited ovation at the Denver Nuggets home opener, starting off with a free-throw make to add to his legend. Free is locked up until 2023 with the Rockies, though he can enter arbitration in 2020. HIs love of Colorado and contract status make him a pillar for the Rockies future.
If he continues to be the Rockies best pitcher, he’ll rapidly climb the ladder of local sports stardom. Just like I’m sure he drafted it up in his back yard as a child.