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Sunday, May 12th, 2013
Sam Evans ( Baseball Writer and Marlins, Mariners Correspondent): Follow @RJA206
The Marlins have turned heads all over baseball for their controversial promotions of young, inexperienced prospects over the last couple months. So far, the clubs decisions couldn’t have turned out much better. Marcell Ozuna is holding back at the plate, and it’s led to 13 hits in 45 at bat’s in 11 games.
Jose Fernandez looks like a serious N.L. Rookie of the Year candidate with his 3.15 FIP in seven starts and 39 strikeouts in only 37 innings. So with these two top prospects shining at the Major League level, why wouldn’t the Marlins bring up another elite prospect that will keep fans coming to the ballpark and plays a position of need?
Christian Yelich has proven he’s ready for the Majors and the Marlins would be silly not to call him up in the next week or two.
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Anyone who is even somewhat familiar with the Atlanta Braves farm system has heard the name Julio Teheran. He is one of baseballs top prospects – and has been the pride of the Braves farm system for the last couple of seasons.
And while I believe Teheran is a very talented kid with a lot of up side, there has also been another name emerging in Braves camp this spring that could make for an interesting potential battle for the 5th spot in their Starting Rotation.
That young pitcher would be a guy by the name of J.R. Graham. A 6’0 tall, 185 LB – hard throwing Right Handed Pitcher. Graham may be a little less recognizable than Teheran but he has the ability to light up the radar gun – having been clocked at over 100 MPH on several occasions.
JR Graham Highlights as a Mississippi Braves pitcher
Saturday December 24, 2011
Jonathan Hacohen: Today on MLB reports we are proud to feature Arizona Diamondbacks Prospect: Jacob Elmore (Jake). Originally drafted by the Marlins in 2007, Jake was later drafted and signed with the Diamondbacks in 2008. Jake just completed his 4th season in the Diamondbacks system, with a 2nd straight year in AA with the Mobile Bay Bears of the Southern League. During his professional career, Jake has played every position except for outfield. Yes, he did catch one game and pitched in four games! Jake’s greatest strengths are his batting eye and speed. He has shown close to a 1:1 walk to strikeout ratio (career .370 obp) and very good speed (career high 25 stolen bases in 2010 and 15 in 2011).
Featured on MLB reports, I proudly present my interview with Jake Elmore, Arizona Diamondbacks Prospect:
MLB reports: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up, that you most idolized and patterned your game after?
Jake Elmore: My favorite player growing up was Ken Griffey Jr. I loved how he played the game with a big smile on his face. He looked like he enjoyed playing baseball more than anyone I have ever witnessed. Being as great as he was, that was understandable. His excellence on the field had a great deal with me admiring him as well.
MLB reports: Which current MLB star do you most admire and why?
Jake Elmore: Chipper Jones would be my pick. I admire how he plays the game and his loyalty to his organization. Many players run for the higher paycheck but Chipper is beloved in Atlanta and has always found a way to make it work there. The player I try to model my game after is Brian Roberts. The tough, gritty approach he brings to the table is admirable and he always finds a way to impact a game.
MLB reports: Reflecting on your career to-date, what are your proudest accomplishments on the baseball field?
Jake Elmore: My proudest accomplishment would be winning the “Big Stick” award at the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction Colorado. This award is given to the player with the highest batting average at the World Series that qualifies with ample at bats. I hit .526 and took home the crown.
MLB reports: Did you fully expect from the start of the draft back in 2008 to sign with the Dbacks? When was the final decision made in the process to sign with Dbacks? Any disappointment with being drafted in the 34th round? What factors led you not to sign with the Marlins back in 2007 when you were originally drafted?
Jake Elmore: I had no expectation to be drafted in 2008. I was really excited to be drafted at all and feel fortunate to be given the opportunity. I had a really rough time at Arizona State and did not fit in well with that program. I thought there was no way I would be given a shot after the year I had, so when I was taken it brought me back to life and gave me extra motivation. I had no plans to sign with the Marlins after 2007 being such a low pick and a Junior year at Arizona State on the horizon.
MLB reports: What do you consider your greatest baseball skill(s)?
Jake Elmore: My greatest skill on the field would be my versatility and knowledge of the game. I feel that me being able to move all over the field and the batting lineup gives me an advantage against other players. I pride myself on being athletic and multi-faceted. The mental aspect of the game is really enhanced as you progress through a system and being able to adjust mentally is a key to success.
MLB reports: What facets of your game do you most wish to improve upon?
Jake Elmore: I would love to improve my power numbers and my stolen base success. I am known as a speedy guy, but know that I have been caught far too many times to be considered a top-notch stolen base threat. Power is something all organizations are looking for and I am striving to improve in that area.
MLB reports: I am very impressed with your displayed ability to get on base during your career. You have close to a 1:1 walk to strikeout ratio. How do strikeouts and walks figure into your game? Do you see any of these items changing over time and to what degree?
Jake Elmore: The ability to get on base is a key to my success as a player and being disciplined at the plate is the key to obp. Over time I hope to maintain this ratio because I do think it is important. Although, I would sacrifice a few strikeouts for a few more home runs in a season.
MLB reports: Long term what position do you see yourself playing? You have mainly played 2b and ss, but also some 3b, 1b, catcher and pitched! What’s the story on all these positions played? How do you see defense as part of your overall game?
Jake Elmore: Well, being versatile is something I take pride in so I make sure all the coaches I play for understand that I am serious about playing different positions. I told the organization I could catch and they laughed and took it in stride. Then when I got the chance to get behind the dish they were surprised that I actually had an idea back there. I caught throughout high school, got recruited as an infielder and catcher, started junior college as a center fielder due to an injury, played both at ASU, and played all the infield positions in pro ball. Still waiting on my first outfield appearance in the pros. As for pitching, I do not pretend to be good in that area but when the game is 17 innings in and our team is out of pitchers….”Jake get loose.” As for my projected position of the future, I would say middle infield is my ticket but the ability to catch can become valuable to my career.
MLB reports: If you had to look into a crystal ball, when do you see your expected time of arrival in the big leagues and what do you think you need to do most to get there?
Jake Elmore: Looking ahead and trying to predict the future can be dangerous and tricky. So… lets jump into the gauntlet. I feel that if I continue to get on base and score runs, playing solid defense and increase my power numbers, I will get a shot in the next few years.
MLB reports: What do you do for fun when you are not playing baseball?
Jake Elmore: I really enjoy working out. Not necessarily for baseball but for health in general. I enjoy learning how the body functions and why we do the workouts we do. MW3 is a time waster that I enjoy even though I am average at best. Lastly, I have recently started keeping a journal. I figure one day it will be intriguing to look back and remember what was going on at this time in my life.
MLB reports: Have you visited Arizona yet? How did you enjoy Chase Field?
Jake Elmore: Yes I have visited Arizona many times and have always enjoyed my time there. I have been to Chase Field as well. It is immaculate and gives you extra fuel in the tank to make it to the Show.
MLB reports: You just completed your second season in AA ball. Do you know where the Dbacks likely plan to start you this season?
Jake Elmore: I have no idea about the organizations plans and there is no need to even speculate. I am doing everything in my control to better myself to prove I am worthy of a promotion.
MLB reports: If you could send out a message to the Dbacks fans, what would it be?
Jake Elmore: Hopefully I will see you guys soon!
Thank you again to Jake Elmore for taking the time to join us today on MLB reports. We highly encourage our readers to post at the bottom of the article any questions and/or comments that you may have for Jake. You can also find Jake Elmore on Twitter (@JElmo6)
Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports: You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)
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