Second Time Could Be The Charm For O's, Klein
BALTIMORE—After failing to sign righthander Dan Klein out of high school, the Orioles decided to try again.
The Orioles selected Klein, a closer at UCLA, in the third round of this year's draft. The 21-year-old had recorded nine saves, the most by a Bruins pitcher since 1993, and was 5-0, 2.03 in 35 games, with eight walks and 48 strikeouts in 44 innings.
"He's a legitimate guy, a guy that has four pitches," UCLA head coach John Savage said. "He's been a closer for us, but he's a legitimate potential starter down the road. He throws a ton of strikes and has an easy delivery."
Joe Jordan, the Orioles' scouting director, confirmed that Klein will initially be used as a starter.
"This year he was dominant for them at the end of the game," Jordan said. "We don't see him as a guy that's going to be a closer. We like him as starter."
Klein was a highly touted quarterback at Servite High, a private school in Anaheim. He elected to play baseball at UCLA after spurning the Orioles, who drafted him in the 24th round in 2007.
"He doesn't have a huge fastball," Savage said. "It's 90-93 (mph). It's a good major league-average fastball. He has a real good changeup. His changeup is probably his best secondary pitch. And he has a good curveball and slider. He's pretty complete.
"He's one of those good-looking guys—6-foot-3, 200 pounds. He's an athlete, man. He's a good pick in that round. He easily could have gone 20th to 50th overall, but he was still available in that round. I think it's a very good choice."
Added Jordan: "We didn't expect him to be there. It's one of those things that happens every year, and hopefully we're closer to right than maybe the industry. We'll see."
Klein missed the 2009 season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder.
"It wasn't a major surgery," Savage said. "It was more for the capsule on top of the labrum. There was no tear or anything like that. It was more of a cleanup."
• Righthander Dennis Sarfate, who came off the Orioles' 40-man roster over the winter, was 7-for-7 in save chances with Triple-A Norfolk. Opponents were 11-for-70 (.157) against him, and his fastball was clocked in the mid-to-upper 90s.
• Double-A Bowie righthander Steve Johnson, son of former Orioles pitcher Dave Johnson, was leading the Eastern League in strikeouts with 66, including four that will be added once a suspended game is completed.