The Colorado Rockies starting pitching has kept them afloat and, for a period, on top of the National League West in the early going of 2018.
Even with the recent struggles, the quintet of Kyle Freeland, Chad Bettis, Tyler Anderson, German Marquez and Jon Gray have been the life vest keeping Colorado atop the standings. They have been lauded as a young, talented group that is playing a major factor in the team's success now and will do so for the foreseeable future. And none of them have worn an MLB uniform other than the purple pinstripes. All, except for Marquez, were drafted by the Rockies.
With Yency Almonte, Peter Lambert and Riley Pint lining themselves up to join the next wave of starters in Colorado, has the team added another Phase Two of the contention window?
When they made Ole Miss ace Ryan Rolison their first pick of the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the consensus was yes, they had their next MLB-potential pitcher in the ranks.
In a stacked draft class, what drew the Rockies to this particular arm to prolong their chances to win in the future?
Makeup and background
Rolison is 20 years old and watched the No. 4 Rebels, a team he's led all year, lose in an upset in the regional round of the College World Series as a true sophomore.
After a successful high school campaign, he was selected in the 37th round of the 2016 draft, opting instead to go to college and instantly installed himself as an essential part of Ole Miss's pitching core. His freshman season he posted an ERA of 3.06 in 19 games and 61.2 innings. Over that span, he struck out 64 hitters and walked 24.