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Rockies sign 1st-round draft pick Freeland week after taking the left-hander from Evansville

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DENVER - First-round draft pick Kyle Freeland signed with the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, less than a week after the club made the left-handed pitcher the eighth overall selection.

Terms of the deal were not immediately available.

It's great to get this process over with and look forward to playing baseball," Freeland said at an introductory news conference prior to the Rockies' game against the Atlanta Braves.

Freeland was 10-2 with a 1.90 ERA for the University of Evansville this season. He had 128 strikeouts in 99 2-3 innings and did not give up a homer.

The Rockies were familiar with Freeland from his days as a star pitcher for Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver. He was drafted in the 35th round by the Phillies after going 8-2 with a 1.39 ERA as a senior.

It's always been my dream to come back to my hometown and play for them, and when the eighth pick was there and I heard my name it was the best feeling ever," said Freeland.

Freeland recalled coming to Coors Field many times with family and friends as a youth to watch the Rockies play, but this time, he got an inside look, touring the clubhouse and gazing at the walls covered with photos of players past and present.

It's a little intimidating but seeing all those pictures, thinking one day I can be here, it's exciting."

Freeland will begin his career with the Grand Junction Rockies of the Pioneer League.

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