Grafton, WI – The 2020 MLB Draft which took place over the past two days looked completely different compared to previous years. The annual event went from 40 rounds and over 1,200 players selected to just 5 rounds and 160 total picks. Former Chinook, Will Klein (Eastern Illinois) was one of those lucky individuals who had their name selected after he was picked by the Kansas City Royals in the 5th round (Pick 135).
Klein was a member of the 2019 Chinooks squad. In 16 appearances and 21 innings of work, Will Klein was untouchable, ending his season with a 2-2 record and a 0.85 ERA. He also recorded 7 saves. Only giving up 8 hits all season, he struck out 38 batters while walking just 8. Klein was also selected to the 2019 Northwoods League All-Star game where he faced and struck out two batters in which he hit 100 MPH on the radar gun. “It was awesome to hear his name called by the Royals. It’s the highest reward for all his hard work. I know myself and all our Chinook fans enjoyed watching him perform last summer. Can’t wait to follow his career,” added Coach Travis Akre.
Will was in his junior year at Eastern Illinois University when the pandemic hit this past March, cancelling his college baseball season. Entering the season he was ranked as the top prospect in the Ohio Valley Conference. He had appeared in just three games.
With the Major League and Minor League baseball season in jeopardy of not taking place this season, Klein will have to wait to officially get started within the Kansas City Royals organization. Klein had the following to say after being selected: “I’m super excited to be a part of the Royals organization. Jimmy Govern got drafted by the Royals last year from EIU and I’m excited to be a part of the same organization as him. Royals Scout Scott Melvin was always checking in and texting weekly and I felt a strong connection with the organization and I’m really excited to be a part of it.”
The Lakeshore Chinooks wish Will Klein the best of luck as he begins his professional baseball career.