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Catcher Daniel Klein Awaits New Season

Catcher Daniel Klein Awaits New Season

February 19, 2014

Daniel Klein

Daniel Klein has proven himself both at the plate as well as behind it.  (Flickr user BeGreen90)

It’s the middle of February. Major League pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training and most minor league players have already hit the road for Dunedin, anxious to start their 2014 season. This includes catcher Daniel Klein, who is anxious to hit the diamond after a solid showing last season in the Blue Jays organization.

Klein looks forward to tackling a full season in 2014 after splitting his time with the short-season Vancouver Canadians and later the Lansing Lugnuts. To prepare himself, he has worked tremendously hard in between seasons.

“I spent my off-season looking to get bigger, stronger, and faster,” he said. “That’s the goal of most minor leaguers. I [worked] on my swing and on driving the ball a little bit better.”

While Klein worked on his mechanics both at the plate and as well as behind it during the winter months, he also worked on improving himself mentally as well.

“My plan for my off-season was to take some classes at Kansas State towards my bachelor’s degree,” he said.

Daniel Klein Canadians ringWhile  in Lansing, Klein batted .250 with seven doubles, three home runs, and 11 RBIs in 64 at-bats.

“I feel my time in Lansing went great. I was thankful for the opportunity to get here when I did. I was more than pleased to play here,” he said. “The stadium is great, the fans are great, and the places you get to travel [to] and play in the Midwest League are excellent. The whole experience was amazing.”

Klein, however, didn’t just prove himself offensively in Lansing, but proved to be an excellent defender as well. While a member of the Lugnuts, Klein appeared in 19 games behind the dish, sporting an excellent .986 fielding percentage and caught 40% of runners attempting to steal. In his first half of the season in Vancouver, Klein caught 55% of attempting base stealers as well.

Lansing Lugnuts hitting coach Kenny Graham spoke on the talents he saw from the young 23-year-old while playing in Michigan’s capital.

“Daniel Klein hit the ball very well in Lansing,” he said. “The home run he hit in his first game here was huge as it put us up three runs in a tight ball game.

“Klein is also solid behind the plate. He handles balls in the dirt very well. He’s a solid defender. I really like what I’ve seen from him.”

Prior to joining the Blue Jays organization, Klein had a great collegiate career between Hutchison Community College and Kansas State University. Two experiences, the young catcher states, prepared him for professional baseball.

“My time at HCC was the best,” he said. “I learned more about baseball in my two years there than ever before, because of Coach Crookes. Best experience of my life,” he said, adding, “My time at Kansas State was also good. I was there for two years. It was a nice experience playing in the Big 12 and playing against really big schools.”

“I’m looking forward to using everything I learned there and continuing to learn more as I reach my dreams in professional baseball.”

Brian Crawford

Brian Crawford

Brian has covered professional baseball for eight seasons for numerous media outlets.
Brian Crawford