Youngstown -- Youngstown State University senior right-handed pitcher Phil Klein was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 30th Round as the 924th overall pick of the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday evening.
Klein, a First-Team All-Horizon League Selection in 2009 and a second-team pick in 2011, is a native of Gahanna, Ohio, near Columbus. He is the third Penguin pitcher to be selected in the draft in the last two years.
"I am so proud of Phil, and I'm thrilled for him to have this opportunity," YSU Head Coach Rich Pasquale said. "He really prepared himself before each outing and gave us a chance to win every time he took the mound. He is such a fine young man, and I always liked that he competed in the classroom as well as on the mound. We have another Penguin in pro ball, and that's simply awesome."
In 2011, Klein led the Horizon league with 105 strikeouts while setting a school record by making 15 starts. He was 5-5 with a 3.61 ERA, and his 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings led all conference starters. Klein was 2-2 with a 2.61 ERA in league affairs, and his ERA was 2.26 over his final 12 starts. He posted nine straight quality starts from March 20 to May 13, and he closed out his collegiate career by defeating Milwaukee in the opening round of the Horizon League Baseball Championship. The 105 strikeouts are the second-most for a season in school history, behind only 126 by 2001 first-round draft pick Brad Hennessey.
In 2009, when he was a first-team all-conference pitcher, Klein was 5-2 with a 4.62 ERA. He struck out 80 batters in 76 innings, including 38 in his final 29 frames. His 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings led all conference starters. He won five consecutive decisions from April 5 to May 13.
Klein finished his career with 258 strikeouts, which ranks him second on the all-time list. He trails only Aaron Swenson, who signed as a undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Orioles in 2010. Klein surpassed former Major League pitchers Justin Thomas and Dave Dravecky to move into second in his final start.
When Klein is assigned, he'll join Thomas (Indianapolis Indians), Swenson (Delmarva Shorebirds) and Eric Marzec (Wisconsin Timber Rattlers) as former Penguins playing in the minor leagues.