GARY, Ind. 12-20-2010 – Record-setting outfielder Adam Klein will return to the Gary SouthShore RailCats for a second season in 2011 and be joined by rookie Cody McMorris, who spent spring training with the ‘Cats in 2010, after the club signed both to American Association contracts today.
Klein, 27, was first acquired by the RailCats in a trade from the Golden League’s Edmonton Capitals before the start of the 2010 season and made an immediate impact in Northwest Indiana. The fleet-footed outfielder was the model of consistency in a ‘Cats uniform, becoming the first player in RailCats history to play in every regular season game to set a club record for games played (100). Klein tied fellow outfielder Mike Massaro with 119 hits in 2010 for another RailCats single-season team record and finished the season just shy of the .300 mark with a .299 batting average adding 18 doubles, 54 RBI and an impressive .380 on-base percentage. The speedster also stole 29 bases for the RailCats in 2010, the second-most in team history behind only Billy Brown’s 32 swipes in 2003.
Klein was one of the Northern League’s chief pitcher pests in 2009 while a member of the Joliet JackHammers, leading the league with 58 walks and stealing 32 bases – good for second among all NL thieves. The former Oakland Athletics farmhand played in a remarkable 94 of 95 games for the ‘Hammers in 2009 and was also one of the league’s top defensive centerfielders, committing only six errors and rolling up 10 outfield assists. In November 2009, Klein was dealt to Edmonton as part of a four-player trade.
A top-of-the-order hitter, Klein has boasted an on-base percentage of at least .369 in each season of his professional career, including a 2008 in which he batted .271 and drew a whopping 68 walks in 79 games for the Kane County Cougars (A), good for a .416 on-base percentage. In four professional seasons, the Los Angeles native has a .276 average and .404 OBP, collecting 329 hits and 242 walks in 325 games, and has swiped 113 bases.
Originally selected in the 48th round of the 2007 Major League Entry Draft – he was the 1,409th overall pick – Klein reached as high as Double-A in his two seasons as an A’s farmhand. Klein finished his college career at Division II Cal State-Los Angeles in 2007 when he was a Second Team All-Conference and All-Region pick while drawing a school-record 69 walks.
McMorris, 23, spent spring training with the RailCats in 2010 and was one of the last players left off Greg Tagert’s roster. McMorris spent time in the Peach State League before finishing the 2010 season with the St. George Roadrunners of the Golden League. In 37 games with the Macon Pinetoppers, McMorris dominated with a .328 batting average, six doubles, six RBI and 22 stolen bases. His success with the Pinetoppers caught the attention of the Roadrunners where McMorris posted a .238 average in 17 games in addition to 14 stolen bases. The Canton, Ga. resident adds more speed to an already fast RailCats outfield.
With the additions of Klein and McMorris, the RailCats now have five players signed to 2011 contracts, joining outfielder Massaro and infielders Chris Carrara and Brian Kolb. All five will be part of an at least 28-man squad when the RailCats open Spring Training on April 30 at U. S. Steel Yard.
Season tickets and flex packages for the 2011 season are on sale now by calling the RailCats at 219.882.2255 and single-game tickets will go on sale in 2011. For more information on the RailCats or to see the complete 2011 schedule, visit www.railcatsbaseball.com.