The Brewers took University of Washington catcher Nick Kahle with their pick in the fourth round of last week’s MLB Draft. Scouts at MLB Pipeline project him as a solid regular at catcher, with a floor as a backup in the big leagues.
Nick took a few minutes to speak with me about his experience getting drafted, what he excels at and his previous experience in Wisconsin.
Brad Ford: Nick, how did it feel to get drafted?
Nick Kahle: It was an incredible feeling. Obviously, it’s something I’ve been working towards for the last few years and to see it come to reality is sweet. It was exciting to be with some of my family and teammates from school.
Brad: What were you doing when you found out?
Nick: We were just hanging out, watching the draft picks go by. We were at one of my buddy’s houses out here in Seattle with my family and friends.
Brad: What was everyone’s reaction in the room?
Nick: It was just excitement all around from the people I was with, being with those guys since I got to school. One of my buddies from back home that I’ve know for a while and his family were up here too. It was just special to be with those people who you’ve created great relationships with.
Brad: Did you expect to go around the fourth round?
Nick: Yeah, I would say so. That’s what we kinda thought.
Brad: Did the Brewers show any interest in you before the draft?
Nick: Not too much, honestly. I’m not even sure that I even spoke with them before that day. It’s kind of funny. Back in high school, I talked to some of the Brewers guys from LA, but yeah, I don’t even think so this year.
Brad: How are you a difference maker with the bat in your hands?
Nick: Just my ability to use all fields and the strike zone discipline. I just have the right mentality every time I go to the plate.
Brad: And behind the plate as a catcher?
Nick: My ability to work with the pitchers and building relationships with them. The ability to move the ball around when I’m receiving, for sure. And just being able to go back there every day and love doing it.
Brad: How have you changed from high school to today?
Nick: I think all around. Being able to go to college and grow up the last few years, just take on more responsibility, living on my own and a couple of roommates. Just learning how to complement school with baseball and all the time management skills you need to have. And then as a player, knowing what you have to do to become better and be successful, just what it takes to be successful. I was behind Joey Morgan my freshman year and that really helped, sitting back and learning from him and Willie Maciver.
Brad: What is the biggest thing you’ll need to work on to advance through the minor leagues?
Nick: I think my whole game needs to be worked on. You can always get better, I think the big thing that stands out is pitch calling. In college, the coach calls the pitches so I think that would be the biggest thing right off the bat. Then just knowing what I have to do to play baseball every day. It does a lot to your body, so I need to know how to take care of my body. Then like I said, you can always look to improve your skills. I’m sure it will be clear what I need to work on after a few weeks and we’ll go from there.
Brad: Is there a player you model your game after?
Nick: Not necessarily, not that I can think of. I just look around at guys all over and try to learn from them, but not one particular player.
Brad: Who is the pitcher in the Brewers organization that you just can’t wait to catch?
Nick: Oh jeez, I would say the easy name is Josh Hader, just with all he’s done these last few years.
Brad: Have you taken time to look over the entire org to see if there’s anyone else you’re itching to play with?
Nick: I haven’t quite gotten there yet, but I will. It will be fun to catch Nick Bennett again, who I played with and playing with Ashton McGee who I lived with this past summer.
Brad: Where can we find you on the off days?
Nick: Probably working out and just relaxing. When I’m back home, I like going to the beach, but otherwise I’m just relaxing.
Brad: Favorite music?
Nick: I like all kinds of music, but I’d have to say some EDM and some Country.
Brad: Let’s say it’s raining outside and you can’t go out to the beach, what show do you binge watch on Netflix or Hulu?
Nick: I don’t really watch TV to be honest. I don’t even have a Netflix. I mean, if it’s raining I don’t really know what I’d do. Maybe play some video games?
Brad: Do you play a lot of games?
Nick: Yeah, I play some, I’m more of a 2K, The Show, some UFC, more sports games for me.
Brad: That’s rare in college, to have a gamer who’s not into Fortnite.
Nick: Yeah, I’m just not good at it, that’s why I don’t play. Sometimes, I’ll play with my buddies I’ll play just to have some fun but I’m not good at it so I don’t really want to play it.
Brad: Do you know anything about Wisconsin?
Nick: Yeah, I played there for summer ball back in my Freshman year, but it was on the west side in La Crosse. It was a nice little small town that was pretty cool. I was able to go fishing a few times. It was nice and was definitely different than California or Seattle.