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Published On: April 29th, 2024

Kansas City, MO – Former Lakeshore Chinook Will Klein made his MLB debut with the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. Klein’s appearance for the Royals makes him the 18th Chinooks alumni to make it to the MLB.

The Bloomington, IN native pitched for Eastern Illinois for his college baseball career. He pitched for three seasons for the university and appeared in 36 games where he had a career 4.91 ERA.

In the summer of 2019, Klein took his talents to Mequon where he was established as the Chinooks closer for the season. Will had a dominant season appearing in 16 games and ending his regular season with a 2-2 record and an 0.85 ERA. He also recorded 38 strikeouts to just 8 walks. As the team’s closer, he would secure 7 saves.

His impressive season lead to earning a Northwoods League All-Star Game selection. Klein turned heads at the mid-summer classic in Waterloo, Iowa by hitting 100 MPH on the radar gun multiple times in a scoreless inning of work. The NWL All-Star Game would be Klein’s last appearance in a Lakeshore uniform.

Klein would go on to be drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 5th round of the 202 draft, 135th overall. He spent the 2021 season as a High A with the Quad City River Bandits before getting promoted to Double-A with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals the following year. Will would start the 2023 season at Double-A before once again getting promoted to Triple-A with Omaha.

After starting the 2024 campaign with Omaha and pitching 11 scoreless innings, Klein received the call from the Kansas City Royals. He would officially make his debut on Sunday, April 28th where he pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts against the Detroit Tigers.

The Chinooks wish Will the best of luck as he begins his MLB career with the Royals.