Tyler Miller is baseball player of the week

Photo providedOskaloosa outfielder Tyler Miller prepares to sling the ball during a game.

OSKALOOSA — This week’s featured baseball player is Oskaloosa junior Tyler Joseph Miller. Miller is the son of Travis and Angela Miller.

Miller’s primary position on the baseball team is center field, but Miller can also be found pitching from the mound. Miller also mentioned he’ll be behind home plate this year to be a catcher, which is the first time in his high school career.

Miller was born in Oskaloosa in 2002 and has lived in Oskaloosa his whole life.

Miller is currently 17 years old and said he remembers playing baseball since he could walk and the game has always been in his life.

“My favorite baseball memory before heading into high school was winning Triple-A state when I was 11,” Miller said.

As for Miller’s favorite memory from baseball in high school, it came in 2017 when Oskaloosa made its second appearance ever at Principal Park.

“Making it to state was easily my favorite memory. I was very nervous but I think I was more excited,” Miller said. “It was everything I expected because I watched the games beforehand so I knew what to expect.”

Miller is shooting for some big individual goals this year. He said he wants to have a batting average of .400 or above. When it comes to playing defense, Miller wants to go multiple games where a ball doesn’t get behind him in the outfield. As for the team, Oskaloosa is hoping to return to Principal Park after missing the cut last year.

Since Miller has been a part of the team for a few years now, he has made some lasting friendships with his teammates. Miller was very eager to answer the question about what teammate he’d want by his side during an apocalypse. Miller debated whether he’d want Ethan Kelderman or Ethan Arnold, both past teammates.

“I’d probably take Ethan Arnold,” Miller said. “Arnold and I have been buddies for quite a while now, and we always go hunting together. He’s an outdoorsman and knows his way around. He also knows how to fish, which I think would come in handy.”

Miller continued talking about his lasting friendships with his past teammates, and when asked what teammate he’d love to bring back for another season, the answer was very clear.

“Peyton Crouse, easily,” Miller said. “Not only is he great at playing baseball, but he also is a guy who’s always joking around and can make everyone around him laugh.”

While Miller had fun reminiscing over the joy of playing with his past teammates, he couldn’t forget about the teammates he has on this year’s team.

“While it’s hard to replace how funny Crouse was, I think the funniest person on this year’s team has to be Will Schultz. He’s just a ditzy person,” joked Miller. “Nik Dykstra is another fantastic guy on the team, although when it comes to game time he’s someone I wouldn’t want to mess with.”

As for Miller’s pregame ritual, he loves to listen to anything country, as it gets him in the summer mood, and to him summer equals baseball. Miller also loves to eat a cheese stick and an apple during pregame.

Besides playing in front of a home crowd in Oskaloosa, Miller said he looks forward to playing at Indianola this season.

“Indianola always give us a challenge every year. They also have a very nice field which gets me excited to play on,” Miller said.

When asked who his favorite athlete of all time is, he answered with Atlanta Braves third baseman, Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones Jr.

“Chipper Jones was an overall fantastic baseball player,” Miller said. “He also loved to do a lot of outdoor things like I do, and I can easily relate to him.”

Besides baseball, Miller is very active in sporting activities here in Oskaloosa. He ran track his freshman year, is a wide receiver on the football team, and plays basketball.

“Besides baseball, football has been my favorite sport,” Miller said. “Just growing up it’s always been fun to go out and hit kids legally.”

Excluding all the sports Miller is a part of, Miller likes to go hunting and fishing with his grandpa or Ethan Arnold, hanging out with his girlfriend Sydney Sarver and playing Playstation with the guys. Miller said a video game they usually play is Apex Legends.

Entering his senior season, Miller mentioned he’s had a lot of fun and made a lot of memories, but fishing with his buddies has always been his favorite.

Miller said his enjoyment at Oskaloosa High School comes in large part from his favorite teacher, Tamara Knudtson.

“Knudtson always brings energy and excitement into her lessons, she’s a very fun person,” Miller said. “Not only is she a lot of fun, but she also knows how to teach to our needs.”

To end the interview, Miller shared his favorite quote from former MLB catcher, Darren Daulton. The quote goes, “Like they say, it ain’t over ‘til the fat guy swings.”