Tri-City Dust Devils

BASEBALL: Rockies assign first-round pick to Tri-Cities

On Wednesday, the Colorado Rockies signed first-round draft pick Christian Friedrich to a reported $1.35 million deal.

Today, the defending National League champions assigned the left-handed pitcher to the Tri-City Dust Devils.

It marks just the second time in franchise history that a first-rounder has been sent to play for the Northwest League club in Pasco.

Friedrich, the 25th overall selection, will report to Tri-Cities for the opening homestand, which begins Sunday. According to the site MLB Trade Rumors, the Eastern Kentucky University product was seen by many draftniks slotted to go as high as No. 13 overall.

He was the 2008 Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year with a 5-1 record and 1.43 ERA (81 2/3 innings pitched, 13 earned runs) in 12 starts for the Colonels. He ranked secnd in the nation in ERA, second in hits allowed per nine innings (4.41) and eighth in strikeouts per nine innings (11.90) in 2008. He led the OVC in ERA, strikeouts (108) and opponents’ batting average (.144).

Friedrich was a 2008 Baseball America preseason first team All-American selection while being tabbed by the same publication as the 6th-best prospect in college baseball before the season began. Friedrich is also a 2008 Golden Spikes Award finalist.

Friedrich joins fellow left-hander Jeff Francis as first rounders making their professional debuts in a Dust Devils uniform.

Fans will get their first chance to see the Dust Devils on Opening Night at Gesa Stadium vs. Salem-Keizer in a rematch of the NWL championship series, which the Volcanoes won.

Less than 700 tickets remain for Opening Night. Tickets are on sale now and can be ordered by phone, online at www.dustdevilsbaseball.com, at the stadium box office, and at all TicketsWest locations. Season tickets, mini-plans, and group tickets are also on sale at the box office, by phone, and online.

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