He’s been right in front of you, all these years.
Fifteen. That’s how many players have played all nine positions for a Major League Baseball team in one season.
Nine. That’s how many players have pitched and caught in the same Major League Baseball game.
Jake Elmore is on both of these rare lists and has 2021 All-Star written all over him. He is currently in the best shape of his life, his stats are better than ever and continue to improve in big ways (including an incredible .421 Batting Average we’ll keep bringing up), and he still wants more. A lot more.
So do his fans and it’s no wonder—at 33 years of age, most guys are slowing down but Elmore is getting better and better—the game is always won in the long run and Elmore is proving just that.
Life & News: Jake, in this picture of you and six-time MLB All-Star Joey Votto, you’re on top of a seven-game hitting streak with a shocking, league leading .421 batting average. No one in Major League Baseball was pulling off those numbers in 2019. Why do you think you came out of the gate swinging, literally?
Jake Elmore: After the 2018 Season I just really worked on improving my technique and changing my swing. I had some great coaches and when I solidified my new technique by mid 2019, after I was called back up in September, the results spoke for themselves.
L&N: Did a ton of people notice your .421 batting average? I mean that’s crazy. You hit that number during seven of the most recent games you played in the MLB! Technically, you were batting an average of .444 six games in a row—during the last half of your 2019 MLB Season!
Jake Elmore: Yeah, a lot of people noticed but I was just focused on doing my best. I wanted the season to go into December so I could continue showing what I’m made of.
L&N: Do you think you could pull those .421 numbers again if a team just kept you starting in the MLB regular season throughout the entire year?
Jake Elmore: Absolutely. With me, and with a lot of guys, and especially with me, it can take a bit of time to get into my groove. But once I’m there, I’m hitting. The longer I play day after day, the more solid I am. The .421 batting average numbers really showed up after my first 10 games in 2019. Unfortunately I only got called up to play a total of 20 MLB games in the 2019 regular season, and I didn’t get the opportunity to play at all during the 2020 MLB regular season. Keep me up there for 50 games and I’ll show you a 300+ batting average.
L&N: Okay Jake, we just talked about your most recent MLB batting averages. 300 seems like it might be way too low for you! They keep getting better and better. We’re just going to say it again… you were batting .421 after being called back up in 2019! So what’s your take on 2020? You were not called up to play a single regular season MLB game.
Jake Elmore: I think for a lot of guys, 2020 was a total outlier. The entire league was just finding ways to normalize and stay strong during the pandemic. Believe it or not but I really got into the groove and the right headspace two days before everything shut down during Spring Training. I think there were a lot of missed opportunities just because of the unfortunate timing of events, but I’ve carried that focus into my continual training so I’m definitely ready to bring the .421 batting average into 2021.
L&N: We’ve been watching you practice today and we believe it. Plus, your 2019 regular season stats speak for themselves. You were batting .400 throughout the entire season when they put you in Right Field. Is that the defensive position you like the most?
Jake Elmore: I enjoy playing all positions so I’ll go wherever they need me.
L&N: Well if we owned an MLB team, we’d put you in for at least 50 games and have you start in Right Field. We can’t believe that didn’t happen for you last year, considering the seven-game .421 hitting streak you got after your first 10 regular season games, and how you batted .400 throughout the entire 2019 MLB season when defending as a Right Fielder.
Jake Elmore: I actually did not know about that Right Fielder stat. Look at you guys, doing your homework! Just put me in the long term and I’ll show you what I’m made of.
L&N: Actually we have it right here. When you were playing Right Field in the 2019 MLB Regular Season, you were batting .400, your on-base percentage was .400, your slugging percentage was .500, and your on-base plus slugging was .900!
Jake Elmore: Ha, maybe an MLB team should put me in as Right Fielder. But to be honest, I will enjoy taking any position.
L&N: And that makes total sense, since you are a true utility power player.
Maybe it’s because Jake Elmore is Major League Baseball’s top utility player, capable of not just dominating the majority of positions, but ALL positions. Maybe it’s because we’re in Arizona and Jake Elmore used to play for the Diamondbacks. Maybe it’s because Jake Elmore had the highest batting Average for the Pittsburgh Pirates after being called up in September of 2019. Maybe it’s because Jake Elmore was named MVP for the Indianapolis Indians after he fundamentally changed his swing after the 2018 Season. Maybe it’s because people are drawn to the good charm and humble demeanor of “The Good Neighbor City” Alabama native.
Whatever the reason, and there are many, after we asked baseball fans which Major League Baseball great they wanted to know more about, Jake Elmore’s name kept getting submitted.
When we reached out to him, it was clear we were in elite company, and he still wants more and knows he has more to give. We and all his fans are ecstatically waiting to see which team will be lucky enough to sign him.
Arriving at Push Performance in Tempe, Arizona we did not know what to expect when we got to witness Jake working on his craft but our eyes were quickly opened. Ball after ball and swing after swing made it clear that at 33 years of age he has not slowed down one bit and he could not be more focused. Jake has played parts of six seasons in the Major Leagues and has over 1,000 minor league hits and yet he’s made it extremely clear to us: the fire still burns—stronger than ever.
A lot of guys who have been playing in the Major Leagues for over five years show up to Spring Training 25 pound overweight, haven’t practiced solid training regimens, and give “experience” a bad name. The fact is, a lot of older guys get complacent and think they can just show up and do it, rather than working hard to evolve and improve.
Elmore isn’t taking his experience for granted, and it shows in his physique, strength, swing, and his hunger for the game and continual improvement.
In the 2019 Season he had the best year of his career, and even though the pandemic was a challenge to the entire industry, Elmore’s been practicing everyday to make 2021 even better.
Life & News: Thanks for letting us get a glimpse of your routine Jake. We didn’t realize so much work went in to training sessions!
Jake Elmore: I can’t get outworked by the youngsters running around! But honestly baseball has never been “work” to me. Practicing baseball is what is fun for me and what I was meant to do.
L&N: As we discussed earlier, we really do see you getting stronger and stronger, year after year. After 13 years as a professional is the drive harder to find?
Jake Elmore: Not for me. I have seen others’ interest fade after years in the game but I know I have more to give this game and can be an impact player in the MLB. That is what keeps me going; proving it to myself and no one else. And being an example to my two boys and showing them what work and focus can do for your life.
L&N: We’ve seen your numbers, we’ve told you what we’d do if we owned an MLB team, and we totally believe you’ll make it happen in 2021 and beyond. But let’s talk for a moment about how you feel, coming into your 14th and strongest year. What makes you feel you have more to give this game?
Jake Elmore: With each year comes different lessons learned and you become more aware of your body and how to put yourself in the best position to succeed. I have learned so much in my 13 years professionally and my body is in the best shape it’s ever been in. When people write off athletes in their 30’s it is such a disservice because I know without a doubt I could run circles around the 25 year old version of myself. But the stigma is that way because a lot of guys get older and do lose that drive to play so they train less and their body slows down. So I think that kind of stigma hangs over the head of all older athletes which is unfortunate to the ones that are even better than earlier years.
L&N: That makes a lot of sense. It definitely makes us desk jockey journalists want to get off our butts to work out more, no matter our age! Let’s talk about who’s looking for you. As we mentioned, 2019 was your best year in stats. You are clearly improving and not regressing. Would an organization take that into account, despite the fact that this would be your 14th year?
Jake Elmore: I definitely hope so. As I said, I made significant changes before the 2019 season and it took my confidence to a new level and it showed in the box scores. I was super excited about continuing that growth in 2020 but unfortunately I wasn’t given the opportunity to show it on the MLB level. I’m ready to make it happen in 2021.
L&N: Well you did play for the Indians last year correct?
Jake Elmore: Not in the MLB. Each team had an alternate site that guys trained at. There were no minor leagues last year so each team had the alternate site to train guys and keep them ready. I played really well at the alternate site in intersquad games but without other teams scouting it was hard to impress other clubs during the 2020 Season.
L&N: Don’t they know you’ve played all nine positions in the MLB and made history while doing it in one Season!?
Jake Elmore: Well the stigma we discussed earlier still hangs around for older players so without teams seeing me last year I think they might be afraid to trust how good of shape I am in. Can you tell them for me? (laughing)
L&N: We’re all over it!
Dear MLB Clubs, send your guys to recruit Jake Elmore. He’s in incredible, tip-top shape, and among the most talented MLB Players in today’s game. Be amazed by his incredible .421 batting average he earned with the Pirates in 2019 after being called back up to the big leagues. He has strength and versatility as a defensive utility power player, and most importantly, he plays shockingly well and gets into his groove after a few (let’s be honest, based on his previous stats, if you give him 10 games, he’s going to be locked in and, very conservatively estimating, hitting well over .333 the rest of the season) regular season MLB games! Our bet is if you put him in Right Field he’s going to continue on with his 2019 .400 batting average stat. Plus, we’ve seen it with our own eyes and we’ve done the stat math—Elmore is in the best shape, best condition, and best performance delivery of his life. 2021 is hands down going to be his best year yet. We bet 2022 is going to be even better. Can you say “no” to a utility power player with a .421 batting average who keeps improving and ramping his skills and energy up with age? We don’t think any team can!
L&N: Speaking of versatility, Jake, let’s talk about yours. All nine positions?? What’s your favorite position to play?
Jake Elmore: Yeah being able to accomplish that in 2013 was fun for me no doubt. Playing all nine positions was never a goal but after reaching eight, I thought it would be pretty cool so I started advocating to the staff to let me knock the ninth position out. Then two weeks later it happened. As far as my favorite position I would say middle infield because I have played there the most through my career but any outfield spot is close behind. Honestly, whatever gets me in the lineup so I can hit is where I want to be, because hitting is my favorite!
L&N: You do practice hitting the most, it looks like.
Jake Elmore: Today was definitely focused more on hitting. And overall hitting takes the most time to perfect in my eyes and especially with the swing changes I have made the last couple years.
L&N: And we definitely see the improvement, especially with your .421 MLB batting average (bringing this up never gets old, mostly because it just feels so good to say it)! #HittingGoals! That being said, do you like to set goals? Have you set any goals for yourself for this upcoming year?
Jake Elmore: I do set goals and have set some for myself not only for this year but for my career. I have always said my short term goal is to be an everyday starter in the big leagues and my long term goal is to be an MLB All-Star. Some people might scoff at the thought of a 33 year old making his first MLB All-Star team but that doesn’t faze me. I know the talent I have and the fire that burns and will keep fighting to make it happen.
L&N: We read that you were a 34th rounder. Did that motivate you to prove all the teams wrong that passed on you repeatedly?
Jake Elmore: Not really. I have always maintained my own drive and did not need outside motivation to strive to be great. I was happy at the time the Diamondbacks were willing to take a chance on me no matter what round and I knew I would make them look smart in the long run.
L&N: And you did! You’ve played with so many teams. In fact, as a Red Sox fan living in Florida, one of our editors says he remembers how upset he was when you hit your two-run home run against the Red Sox in Tampa! Is there any particular team you would like to sign with this year or are you open to any?
Jake Elmore: Absolutely open. I have played for 11 different teams already so adding a 12th would be no issue. Although, if I could take my pick I would say Atlanta. I grew up a Braves fan and it is close to home so that would be a dream come true.
L&N: Well Jake, we believe this will happen for you and this year becomes your best yet! Thank you so much for your time and letting us watch you train.
Jake Elmore: Absolutely.
Every year a new crop of baseball players are signed by each MLB team with hopes of climbing the ladder to the big leagues; young, hungry, talented players looking to make a name for themselves. It is a unique profession in that millions of boys strive to grow up and be in Jake Elmore’s position, working year round to make it happen. People all over the world are training daily to compete for these jobs. Hearing that could sound daunting to many guys, but Jake pays it no attention.
Elmore doesn’t give it any attention because he would lose the one thing that has kept him playing and continually improving at high levels through all these years: focus. Jake has succeeded for over a decade because of the dedication and focus he has maintained and the ability to adapt to an ever evolving game.
As the days pass and the younger generations continue to push hard to make their name, Elmore just keeps swinging and honing in his craft. Focused. And we’re willing to bet big that his best has just begun, and that his career will go on for another decade. After all, the MLB is no stranger to top players in their 40’s!
So who are we not to believe he will reach his goal of being an MLB All-Star?
Having witnessed Elmore’s clear and continuous improvement in our detailed review of his stats, after seeing his work ethic the past couple days, and coming to know his confidence levels and total focus, we know Jake Elmore is at his best today and will continue to push the boundaries and improve upon his best for years to come.
Fans and Life & News alike know Jake Elmore will continue to up his game. We are all absolutely confident Elmore will ultimately prove himself to be one of, if not THE most daunting player in Major League Baseball.
He’s been right in front of you, all these years.