Congrats Spartan Juniors on another successful season!!!
The Spartan Junior program is designed to prepare middle school aged kids for the high school level. Through the Fall Instructional program players are instructed on every aspect of the game (by the TJ coaching staff) as well as advanced high school technique such as strength training, power training, speed, agility and mental toughness. While also preparing players to play on a high school field. TJ is the only school in the city that offers a feeder program as well as a fall program for the Denver community. If interested in being a part of either program contact Robby Bales at firstname.lastname@example.org and register at www.spartandiamondclub.org
Michael Allsup (9th- TJ)
Bobby Macias (8th-Hamilton)
Austin Stoltz (9th-TJ)
Nolan Synnott (9th-Cherry Creek)
Kieran Williams (9th-Regis)
Aeden Price (9th-Regis)
Joe Renner (8th-Prairie Middle)
Eric Webb (9th-GW)
Lucas Dines (9th-TJ)
Dylan Van Sky (10th-TJ)
Nate Sitzman (8th-Hamilton)
Wyatt Hunsaker (9th-TJ)
Connor Day (8th-Morey)
Bryan King Named Head Coach at Barstow Community College
Former TJ Assistant Coach Bryan King has accepted the Head Coaching Job at Barstow College, after two seasons with the Spartans. King is pleased to be back in the college ranks. “My time at TJ was a great experience, Coach Bales is running an outstanding program here and I’m grateful to have seen the high school side of coaching, but the college level is where I belong”. “Glad to be goin back to Cali” King added. King has also had stints at Colorado Northwestern CC, College of Southern Idaho and Cerro Coso College. Of course King has to take a little bit of TJ with him as since catching word of Kings hiring TJ grad and 2011 All American Evan Walter has chose to sign with Barstow. “He’s an awesome coach Walter said, he’ll help me get to where I want to go in the game”
Congrats Coach King!!!
Grand Junction, Co. Wednesday July 9th 2014
Nearly 2 months after his last start for The Evansville Purple Aces of the Missiouri Valley Conference, Kyle Freeland made his first start as a professional for The Grand Junction Rockies Wednesday. He’d debut against the Missoula Osprey in a Pioneer League bout. Freeland gave the Junction crowd a taste of the future for the parent club Colorado Rockies as he was slated to throw 2 innings or 35 pitches. The former TJ ace and 1st rounder was as efficient as he was in High School. Throwing 17 pitches (15 strikes), scattering 3 hits, no runs and 3 strike outs. Kyle would also answer any questions on the health of his arm with his fastball ranging from 94 to 96 while also showcasing a devastating slider. His Grand Junction team mates would give him plenty of run support, going on to beat the Osprey 12-2.
Grand Junction CO, 6/14/14
Former TJ lefty and Rockies first round draft pick Kyle Freeland and TJ Head Coach Robby Bales would take the same field together one more time Saturday night at Suplizio Field in Grand Junction in Freeland’s first game as a pro. Only this time Bales and Freeland were in opposite dugouts. Bales also the Head Coach of the Denver Titans of the Mile High Collegiate Baseball League whose top team earns the opportunity to play the Grand Junction Rockies in there first game of the season the MHCBL winner squared off against the Colorado Rockies Low A affiliate at 6 PM Saturday. “This is a special place for me” Bales Said. “My coaching career began here, many of my mentors are from here and I won the 2005 state title here with Grand Junction High School, this experience adds to the great memories. I’m so proud of Kyle and grateful to be a part of his first pro game.”
Freeland who was selected with the 8th pick in the 2014 MLB draft was sent to Grand Junction of the Pioneer League. He would not take the mound however as Rockies prized investment has been placed on a strict throwing program and may not see live action until mid July. “It was good for us to get out as a team” Freeland said. “Most of us are just meeting for the first time and there are guys coming from all over the globe.” Freeland would add. “It was good to see Coach Bales, he came to TJ my Senior year and challenged me with a college approach that prepared me for the next level.”
The Rockies went on to win 9-8
DENVER — Kyle Freeland let the emotions flow as he grabbed his father, Don, and held on tight.
The Rockies selected the 21-year-old Denver native, a left-handed pitcher from the University of Evansville, with the eighth-overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft on Thursday night. MLB Network cameras caught the heartfelt moment in the Freeland family living room.
“Leading up to it, what was going through my mind was I didn’t know how I was going to react or what was going to happen,” Freeland said. “It was just a roller coaster of emotions when they called my name. I just had to grab my dad and give him a hug.”
The Rockies had to be just as happy that they could use their top pick on Freeland, who was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 7 prospect heading into the Draft. He went 10-2 with a 1.90 ERA and posted 128 strikeouts against 13 walks as a junior for Evansville and earned Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year honors.
Before going to college, Freeland set the Colorado state high school strikeout record with 145 for Thomas Jefferson High in southeast Denver.
“I had a little feeling that I might end up with the Rockies, but for me wherever I landed I knew I was going to be extremely happy,” he said. “To be drafted by the Rockies and land back in my hometown is just amazing.”
With their 2012 supplemental first-round pick, right-hander Eddie Butler, set for his Major League debut Friday night against the Dodgers, and their 2013 top pick, righty Jon Gray, close to ready, the Rockies aren’t holding back pitchers who make quick climbs.
Rockies vice president of scouting Bill Schmidt sees Freeland has having two above-averages pitches and the ability to throw strikes — necessary traits to make a quick impression.
“We feel the ability with his command, his ability to follow the catcher, are advanced, and he’s able to get to Denver at a fairly quick pace,” Schmidt said. “But ultimately, he’s going to have to go out and prove that. We think he’s equipped to do that.
“Kyle is a two plus-pitch left-hander that’s a strike thrower. He’s a Colorado kid and we’re excited to bring him into the organization.”
The Phillies selected Freeland in the 35th round out of high school and, according to reports, offered a hefty bonus that nearly swayed him. Success didn’t come immediately at Evansville — a combined 8-13 with a 4.44 ERA during his freshman and sophomore seasons.
However, Freeland had a breakout performance during last summer’s Cape Cod League, a respected collegiate wood-bat league. Freeland struck out 48 against four walks while posting a 2.25 ERA for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks.
“Cape Cod helped me accelerate so much — my maturity as a person and my maturity as a player,” Freeland said. “It helped so much going against elite hitters and elite teams every single start. I had to be at the top of my game. Sure enough, I performed well.”
Having grown up in Denver’s mile-high altitude could be an added advantage for Freeland, long before he begins the Major League future the Rockies envision. The Rockies’ Rookie-level club is in Grand Junction, roughly 4,600 feet above sea level, and the Triple-A team is at Colorado Springs, where Security Service Field is 6,531 feet above sea level.
“I have to fine-tune, now that I’m at the next level, but I feel I do have a slight advantage knowing how to throw in high altitude,” said Freeland, who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds — an increase of 20 pounds since high school.
The work ethic it takes to make the improvements was evident during his high school days.
Freeland grew up a Rockies fan and said former outfielder Larry Walker was his favorite player, but didn’t have a pitching favorite.
“I really don’t follow pitchers in the bigs,” he said. “It’s just not my style.”
Robbie Bales took over as Thomas Jefferson High head coach in 2011, Freeland’s senior year. During the offseason program, Bales saw a lefty with an 84 mph fastball and enough athletic ability — he could hit and field — to deserve a chance at a mid-major school, and Evansville was a fit. But day by day, Bales saw Freeland increasing his potential.
“I wish I could say we coached him to change his arm slot or something, but what it came down to was hard work,” Bales said. “I’d go by the field to mow the grass or something on Saturday or Sunday, and there Kyle was, running, throwing, just doing everything he could do to get better.
“By the time his senior year was up, he had gone from 84 to 91, then the Draft became a reality with him going in the 35th round to the Phillies. He went to Evansville, worked his butt off and look where he is now. I’m very proud of how far he’s come, and now he’s a first-round pick of the home team.”
SAM REED (1st Team) 541 Avg./6 2B’s/1.87 Era/5W’s/82 K’s
Shawn Kelly (2nd Team) 392 Avg./18 RBI/5HR
Jeffery Torres (Honorable Mention) 264 Avg. Played 6 positions
Patrick McDuffie (Honorable Mention) 286 Avg./ 11 RBI/1 HR
Saturday 5/10 12:30 @ Windsor High School
#15 Longmont Vs. # 18 Thomas Jefferson
These two programs have had some recent history of good games. Most recently Longmont came in to TJ and put a damper on Senior day, putting up 5 runs before the Spartans could record an out. The Spartans would battle back however but eventually fell just short, Losing 9-7. The previous year Longmont would host TJ, the two would battle for 11 innings with the Spartans taking the lead in the top half of the 11th on a squeeze play only to fall short 6-5 on a balk off. In 2010 TJ hosted Longmont in the first round of the state tournament with TJ earning the #2 seed. Senior stand out Kyle Freeland would fight off the Trojans as TJ prevailed 2-1. Saturday’s opening districts have the recipe for drama. See you at Windsor!!