Former EIU pitcher Will Klein anxiously awaiting next step


WCIA — Will Klein isn’t sure what the next step is and it’s likely the former Eastern Illinois pitcher won’t have a clear picture of where his career is heading for quite some time. The fifth round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals is in a holding pattern after minor league baseball was canceled for 2020 due to COVID-19. It happened just two and a half weeks after he was selected in the MLB draft.

“It’s tough,” Klein said about the uncertainty. “Just training with the attitude we’re one day closer to playing again.”

Klein has been working out in Noblesville, Indiana, doing his best to state positive. The 135th overall selection was just the seventh Panther in history to be selected in the Top 5 rounds. The highest EIU prospect drafted since 2009 was the team’s ace in a COVID-19 shortened season. The Bloomington, Ind. native struck out 33 batters in 24.1 innings pitched as a junior and was the top rated prospect in the Ohio Valley Conference, according to (

“When I’m by myself working, training, throwing, that’s my job now so it’s taken it to a whole new level,” Klein said. “Just trying to take that focus up one more level. I’m just super excited to get out there. I know it’s not going to be a normal baseball practice or situation. It’ll be fit for the times we’re in right now but I’m just excited to get going. I know it’ll be a grind, probably nothing any of us new guys have been through before but I’m excited.”

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