Darrien Miller was the third catcher the Milwaukee Brewers took in the 2019 MLB Draft. Under-scouted and understudied, Miller has the potential to be a big steal for the Crew in the back of the first 10 picks. He’s a projectable offensive catcher with quality defensive skills.
We spoke to Darrien about being drafted, his game and what he likes to do with his free time.
Brad Ford: Darrien, what was it like being drafted?
Darrien Miller: It was just a great experience. It’s something I’ve dreamed about ever since I was a child. I put in a lot of hard work to get to this point, so I’m just really happy with the overall outcome.
Brad: What were you doing when you found out the Brewers pick you?
Darrien: I was watching the draft for a little while, then it got to the later rounds. Around round nine, I thought I was maybe going to get drafted the next day, so I went to my room. Then my advisor gave me a call and said, “Go turn on the draft.” I saw my name pop up with the Milwaukee Brewers and I was just overwhelmed with joy.
Brad: Were you expecting to go around that point?
Darrien: Yes, I was projected anywhere from the fifth to the tenth round. I was expecting it a little bit after talking to a few of the scouts before.
Brad: Were the Brewers a team that had shown interest in you?
Darrien: Yes, the Brewers were on of the teams that had shown the most interest in me. I went to a workout with them, met all the staff, and it was just amazing to meet all of them.
Brad: What do you feel sets you apart with the bat in your hand?
Darrien: I do not swing and miss. My hand-eye coordination is excellent. I don’t strikeout very often and I handle high velo exceptionally well.
Brad: What about as a catcher?
Darrien: Just my ability to keep the ball in front, frame pitches, and shut down the running game. I don’t let any balls get past me. I don’t have any errors. Simple things like that.
Brad: How hard do you throw from behind the plate?
Darrien: I’ve been up to about 80 down to second.
Brad: What do you need to work on to make it to the Big Leagues?
Darrien: I really need to learn how to call a game and handle my pitching staff. I need to gain a lot of weight to handle the full season. Durability is very important for a catcher and having an extra 20 pounds will really help me.
Brad: Is there a Brewers pitcher who you think would be really fun to catch?
Darrien: I’d love to catch Josh Hader. I think it’d be amazing to see the life he has on his ball and I think it’d be a really fun experience.
Brad: Is there a player you design your game around?
Darrien: Yelich, actually. One of the scouts who drafted me actually said I have a lot of the same movements as Yelich. I’ve broken down a lot of film on him and he’s been my favorite player the last few years.
Brad: So, even pre-Brewers you liked him.
Darrien: Yes, I saw him with the Marlins and I remember looking at him thinking his swing was amazing and loving the way he plays.
Brad: Baseball’s a small community, do you know anyone coming into the Brewers organization who’s already there?
Darrien: Jake Gatewood, actually. He was drafted a couple years ago in the first round by the Brewers. We went to the same high school and had the same coaches, I’ve hit BP with him before and have seen him around a lot. He actually just bought Chipotle for my entire team two weeks ago before we won the Valley Championship.
Brad: Did he message you at all after getting drafted?
Darrien: He sent me a Tweet saying, “Cougars to Brewers.” That was awesome of him.
Brad: How was it ending your season and high school career on such a high note?
Darrien: It was amazing. At the beginning of the year, no one really thought my team could do it but we worked hard and finished the season strong. It was great to do for my coach, he’s been coaching for 35 years and he’s kind of a legend down in the central valley. This is his last year so I’m glad he could go out on his final day with a win.
Brad: What do you do on your off days?
Darrien: I really enjoy golfing with some of my closest friends. I golf right handed and bat left handed because when I was younger my dad didn’t want me to mess up my baseball swing.
Brad: What’s your favorite music to listen to?
Darrien: Probably Country. I love Country music.
Brad: What’s your walk-up song?
Darrien: This year, my walk-up song was a Christian song. The last four years, I’ve tried to have God mentioned in each and every one of my walk-up songs because of everything that He’s done for me and everything He’s given to me.
Brad: What show do you binge when you have the time to watch?
Darrien: The Office, I love The Office.
Brad: What do you know about Wisconsin?
Darrien: I don’t know that much about Wisconsin, but my grandparents actually grew up in Wisconsin in Oshkosh. They ended up moving out here but they grew up there.
Brad: Anything else you want fans to know?
Darrien: I’m just really excited to get started and really like the Brewers.