If Denver’s own Kyle Freeland is going to continue competing for the fifth spot in the Rockies’ starting rotation, he’s going to have to improve his command from his first start in Spring Training.

Freeland, Colorado’s top draft pick in 2014, allowed four runs (three earned) in two innings pitched in his debut outing, striking out two and walking walking two. He also committed a throwing error. Postgame, the Thomas Jefferson product said he specifically needs to improve command on his off-speed pitches.

“Definitely a few things I need to clean up,” Freeland said in the locker room, “command is one of them. I felt I had good command for arm side and glove side, but some off-speed pitches I got choked off or tried to do too much with them.”

In his first three years as a professional, Freeland has accumulated a 17-12 record in the minor leagues with a career ERA of 3.49 in 45 starts. He split time between Hartford (Double A) and Albuquerque (Triple A) in 2016, posting an 11-10 record and 3.89 ERA.

Freeland is likely a dark horse candidate to make the big league roster, with more proven prospects like Jeff Hoffman and Shane Carle. However, Freeland has the advantage of being a left-handed starter (Tyler Anderson is Colorado’s lone left-handed starter on the 40-man roster).

Freeland is considered the No. 6 prospect in the Rockies organization, behind starters Hoffman, Riley Pint (Colorado’s top draft pick in 2016) and German Marquez.