Keys' Klein Ready for Rookie Season

Keys' pitcher Dan Klein talks to ITO about the start of his first season with the Frederick Keys

Dan Klein was drafted by the Orioles in the 24th round of the 2007 draft following his senior year of high school but opted to attend UCLA. Three years later he was drafted again by the Orioles in the third round and signed a contract.

Klein appeared in five games for the Aberdeen IronBirds last season and held opponents scoreless.

The 22-year-old is ready to begin his first full season of professional ball and is confident in his abilities.

“I feel good, had a really good spring training and definitely ready to get the season started,” Said Kiein. Spring training went very well because I felt like I adapted and pitched well and got my work done which leads everything up to this point.”

Kiein throws a fastball, curveball, slider and a change up. He prides himself on throwing all of them for strikes, but admits he still is working on his slider.

Manager Orlando Gomez plans on utilizing the right-hander in the sixth or seventh inning and he is prepared to take on any role the team needs to succeed.

Klein pitched in the college world series last season for UCLA and loved the opportunity.

“It was truly an experience for me and ill never forget it,” Kiein said. “It was the best two weeks of my life and it was a lot of fun.”

The experience of pitching in the college World Series Klein says will help him in pressure situations especially early on in his career. The pitcher added that L.A. did not compare to Omaha in terms of pressure and the amount of fans that attended a game.

Kiein says he is not a pitcher that gets nervous because of the hard work that is put in to pitch in games. He adds that the games are the fun part and that the routine and confidence factor adds to his success.

Klein wants to be a major leaguer some day but knows that it is a process and is ready for the journey.

“I am just looking forward to getting the season started for my first full season of pro ball. I don't have any specific goals other than to just pitch well every time out.”

The excitement of the Baltimore Orioles strong start is felt in the clubhouse. Klein feels this will be a positive factor for the organization.

“Definitely, I mean seeing those guys doing great things does motivate us to try and get up there and Buck [Showalter] has gotten everyone in the minor leagues excited to work hard.”

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