Talkin’ With the Pros: Interview with Brewers Prospect Max Walla


If you haven’t been paying any attention to the other team taking the diamond this spring in Wisconsin, it may be time.

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Class-A affiliate of the Brewers, are sitting atop the Midwest League Western division at 22-13 (as of Saturday). Earlier this month, pitchers Chad Thompson and Mark Williams combined on a no-hitter in a 5-0 victory. Former Reviewing the Brew interviewee Seth Harvey is third in the league with six saves and starter Drew Gagnon is 3-0 with a 1.02 era. Offensively, Greg Hopkins, Jason Rogers, Brandon Macias, and Max Walla lead the way for one of the best-hitting teams in the Midwest League.

The latest interview in the series featuring prospects such as Tyler Thornburg and Eric Farrisis none other than Timber Rattlers right

fielder, Max Walla (@maxwalla).

Drafted in the second round in 2009, Walla, 21, signed a letter of intent to attend Oklahoma State University before signing with the Brewers. He missed time this spring with a broken finger but is well on his way again, reaching base at a .354 clip. He talks the minor leagues, goals, and #TRatNation with Reviewing the Brew.

Reviewing the Brew: Let’s start off with something that I love that the Brewers do: the Timber Rattlers game at Miller Park. How was the whole experience?

Max Walla: Miller Park was amazing. It’s so cool to play at a big league ballpark and feel like a big leaguer for a day. A little incentive! *Laughs*

RtB: Can you see yourself playing in front of 40,000 strong in the future?

MW: I think so, I would love to play in front of 40,000. It would be so much fun. I tend to be able to block out any number of fans anyways, so I can see myself playing for that many someday.

RtB:  Speaking of ballparks in Wisconsin, I’ll be headed up to Fox Cities Stadium for a Rattlers game later this month. What’s something I need to check out while I’m there?

MW: Dude, I haven’t been here too long thanks to my broken finger this spring, but you should definitely check out some of the golf courses up here. Gorgeous courses! And the mall is a pretty good size, too!

RtB: For sure, man! What are your short-term goals as a player?

MW: This year I really just want to be a guy they can count on to get the job done every day. I hope to be consistent and to be a solid grinder day in and day out.

RtB: Any long term goals?

MW: Long term there is really only one: To get to the bigs and stay there.

RtB: Being ranked by many as one of the top prospects and being drafted in the second round, do you feel any expectations from the organization?

MW: You try to forget any extra pressure or anything and try to keep it as simple as possible. If you let all that get in your head, you have a tendency to let the game get too big.

RtB: I’ve asked this to the other guys, so I might as well go for it again: What are the best and also the worst parts of being a minor leaguer?

MW: It really tests your love of the game. It’s a tough atmosphere a lot of times but you really see who loves the game and who doesn’t. The minor league journey is a tough road in some ways but I’ve had some priceless experiences and I hope to keep working my way up. I’d say the worst part is the food situations. *Laughs*. Not much meal money and weird schedules means a whole lot of pizza hut and other fast food places, not exactly ideal. But it really reminds you of how much you love [the game].

RtB:  So who’s the mastermind behind the #TRatNation craze? I’m trying to get to the bottom of this. I also see Harvey tried getting #swaggy started. 

MW: I believe Mark Williams started the TratNation hashtag. He is such a great team guy and really a solid part of our squad. It took off as you could see we all started using it. And Harvey is a creative cat, he’s pretty sharp I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or two of his hashtags catch fire!

RtB: Judging by the interactions of you guys on Twitter, the team seems like a really loose bunch. How’s the atmosphere with those guys?

MW: It’s a great atmosphere with some great chemistry! We enjoy spending time with each other and we have some great experiences on and off the field to share. Love it. 

RtB: Who’s probably the toughest pitcher you’ve had to face, ever? 

MW: The toughest pitcher I’ve ever had to face was Tyler Matzek. He was a first rounder my year, left handed pitcher throwing 98. Not too fun! Dirty curve ball, too. 

RtB: Sounds….delightful! Thanks for the time and best of luck this season!

MW: Hey no problem at all man! Glad to help out hope I answered everything alright!