For as long as Missouri State’s Drew Millas can remember, he has been a switch hitter.
“I switch hit because it’s the only thing I know how to do,” Millas said. “With switch hitting it’s almost like I am two different players in one. My right and left handed swings are very alike and different in many ways. I guess you could say that is another reason I’ve continued to do it for so long.”
As a freshman last season, Millas’ switch hitting ability did not translate to the college game right away.
In 51 games played, Millas hit just .224 with one home run and 29 runs batted in. His slugging percentage was a measly .282 and his on-base percentage was a point lower at .281.
After a rocky freshman season, Millas has greatly improved during his sophomore campaign. He has blown those numbers out of the water and has even assumed the responsibility of being the three-hole hitter on most days.
Millas is hitting .333 so far through 54 games with seven homers and 59 RBI. His slugging percentage has ballooned up to .521 and his OBP is an outstanding .421.
“Mechanically not much has changed for me from last year to this year. Gaining twenty pounds over the past summer has definitely helped my swing and strength out tremendously, but it has also boosted my overall confidence which is the number one change from last year to this year,” Millas said.
On the defensive side, Millas shoulders a lot of responsibility as a catcher. Millas caught 39 games as a freshman and had a .985 fielding percentage.
This season, his workload behind the plate has been dialed back. Millas only has caught 23 games, 16 fewer than a year ago. Still, he has a .993 fielding percentage and has only allowed two passed balls.
“My biggest strength as a player would probably be my defense. It always has been. I take a lot of pride in it and my parents and coaches do as well,” Millas said.
When Millas catches, he has the tough task of calling the pitches and this is an area he wants to improve on this summer.
“All catchers can get better in that aspect of the game,” Millas said. “Being able to pick the brains of my teammates who also happen to be some of the best in the nation will be very beneficial for me as well.”
Millas also wants to continue to improve as a hitter so coming to the Cape League was a no brainer for him.
“I would love to improve on this summer is my hitting,” Millas said. “Seeing some of the best arms in the nation will naturally improve my hitting in my opinion.”
“Coming from the Missouri Valley Conference, we don’t get to see top notch arms every day like most of the power five schools do, so it will be nice getting to compete against them and getting better in that sense every day,” Millas said.
While a switch-hitting catcher might not seem that special, consider this statistic: just 59 switch-hitting catchers throughout all of MLB history have caught at least 100 games. They truly are a unique and rare breed.
Millas will have all summer to show the Wareham fans just what type of special player he is.
“When the Gatemen gave me an opportunity to play this summer, I was very excited and felt blessed just because I was given an opportunity to play against the best competition in the nation while playing in such a beautiful part of the country,” Millas said.