Q&A with ‘B-Mill’

By on July 29, 2015
Ephrata High School graduate and Chatham Angler pitcher Brandon Miller (right) fist bumps his catcher after tossing a scoreless fifth inning in the Cape Cod League All-Star Game this past Saturday. (Photo from ChathamAnglers.com)

Ephrata High School graduate and Chatham Angler pitcher Brandon Miller (right) fist bumps his catcher after tossing a scoreless fifth inning in the Cape Cod League All-Star Game this past Saturday. (Photo from ChathamAnglers.com)

EHS grad shining in prestigious Cape Cod League

Brandon Miller, a 2013 Ephrata High School graduate and soon-to-be Millersville University junior, has carried over his success on the baseball field this past spring to the summer. And the 6-4, 195-pound right-handed pitcher is starting to get the attention of Major League scouts.

After going 12-2 for the Marauders in the spring, Miller was invited to play in the Cape Cod League, which happens to be the most prestigious summer league in the country.

As one of the few Division Two players in a league loaded with some of the top Division One players in the country, Miller has fit right in.

In 21-plus innings pitching out of the Chatham Anglers’ bullpen, Miller has struck out 24 and walked just one batter en route to a 3-0 record to go with a 1.66 ERA.

His fast start certainly caught the attention of Anglers’ Coach John Schiffner, who selected Miller as one of his team’s four representatives in the Cape Cod League’s All-Star Game, which was held this past Saturday and televised nationally.

Miller once again proved his mettle, pitching a scoreless fifth inning for the East squad while recording a pair of strikeouts.

Monday afternoon, Review Sports Editor Todd Ruth caught up with Miller by phone, who talked about his incredible experiences this summer, as well as some of the doors he may have opened for the future because of his impressive play.

Below is a full transcript of their conversation:

Todd Ruth: So what has the experience in the Cape Cod League bee like for you thus far?

Brandon Miller: It’s been incredible. It’s been a lot of fun. I mean I’ve never experienced anything like this. Coming from Millersville, which is a smaller school, coming up here playing with D-1 guys from LSU, Vanderbilt, Pepperdine, those type of schools…it’s been an amazing experience.

TR: How did the opportunity come about?

BM: Our pitching coach at Millersville, Ryan Forrest actually played for the same team, the Chatham Anglers either in 2007 or 2008, and he had contacted (Chatham) head coach John Schiffner. They gave me a three-week contract, and then after that three-week contract they actually extended it through the whole summer.

TR: What are your living arrangements like?

BM: I live with a dad and his son, right on the ocean. It’s kind of like a beach house. It’s not bad at all.

TR: What is the biggest difference between pitching there and in college at Millersville?

BM: These batters are a lot better. I mean the PSAC at Millersville is great, but these batters are some of the best in the nation. They make me, and all of the other pitchers very good very quickly because if you do make a mistake they are going to capitalize on it and hit the ball very hard.

TR: Having seen you pitch on TV the other night, it looked to me like you really lived on the lower half of the strike zone. Is that something you are focused on trying to do?

BM: That’s one thing that I’ve really worked on, but also pretty much all of my career I’ve been living at the bottom of the zone because if you elevate the ball flattens out and you are going to get hit. Of course, it’s been crucial to do it up here, more so at high school or college.

TR: I’ve noticed you’ve been pitching out of the bullpen. Being a starter your entire life, how much of an adjustment has that been for you?

BM: It was a little different. I mean my mentality is still the same and that’s to go out there and throw strikes. But the reason I’m out of the pen is I was a starter at Millersville and I threw almost 90 innings there this spring and they didn’t want me to exceed 120 for a total. I could only throw 30 innings up here so that’s why I’m in the pen.

TR: You’ve obviously had a lot of success in the Cape Cod League thus far. One, are you surprised by that and two, what’s been the key to your success?

BM: Overall we’ve had great pitching and great defense behind us and we’ve been scoring some runs. The guys in the infield and outfield are the best. They are making the plays and have really boosted my confidence coming into this tougher league.

TR: You obviously had a big college year too, going 12-2 with a 2.48 ERA. Were you able to carry over that momentum from college into the Cape Cod League?

BM: Sure. I had some confidence at Millersville but I think it boosted even higher here, being able to get these guys out. And having these guys play behind me is great.

TR: Making the all-star game had to be quite an honor for you. What are your thoughts on being selected for that and what was the overall experience like?

BM: It was an honor to play there and an honor that my coach would even select me for that. I think they said there were like 5,200 people there at that game, and that was unbelievable to play in front of a crowd like that. And there were tons of scouts there as well and we don’t get that many scouts at Millersville so that was awesome and incredible to play in front of them as well.

TR: Obviously with your success in the Cape Cod League, you’ve opened some eyes and possibly some doors to play professionally. When you went to Millersville, did you ever think playing beyond college was something that was attainable?

BM: I never really thought about it too much. It was always a dream of mine but I didn’t know if it would ever come true or not. I still don’t know if it will come true but I’m hoping anyway.

TR: Have you gotten any kind of feedback from scouts or teams?

BM: I’ve talked to a few scouts and the one thing that they notice is that they can tell I’m a starter just because of my mechanics, I guess. And that I have the four pitches. I guess they seem to like that which is good.

TR: When would you be eligible for the draft?

BM: Next June.

TR: With that in mind, moving forward, what do you feel you need to improve the most to get to that next level?

BM: I definitely need to gain some velocity. A lot of scouts, that’s what they want to see. A lot of Major League scouts want to see velocity. I’m up there right now (he was clocked between 89-91 during the all-star game) but I want to be even higher so I can get some more attention and help myself possibly get drafted. It would definitely boost my chances. I’m hoping to put on a few pounds this fall and I’m going to be shutting down my arm for two and a half months. That’s when I’ll be trying to gain some strength and muscle.

TR: When is the Cape Cod League season over?

BM: We end this Sunday, and then we have playoffs, which could possibly go until August 11.

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