South Atlantic League All-Star Game Outtakes: Josh Elander
By Ashley Marshall
Over the next week, I’ll be publishing a series of short posts featuring players I spoke with at Lakewood’s FirstEnergy Park during the South Atlantic League All-Star game.
Rome outfielder Josh Elander has found his power stroke in 2013. His production is up across the board in his first full season of pro ball, and he has impressed coaches with his ability to hit gap to gap with conviction.
He ranks third in the South Atlantic League with 59 RBIs, fourth with 36 extra-base hits and fifth with 80 hits and 22 doubles.
A converted catcher, Elander is pleased with the progress he has made over the past three years.
“From college, it started with [head coach] Jim Schlossnagle at TCU,” Elander said. “Those guys did a real good job of making you a better person off the field which in his mind and our mind as well makes you a better player on the field. Then obviously the professional approach the Atlanta Braves take gives us the best opportunity to be successful in the game we all love.”
But as much as Elander is dedicating himself to improving on the field, he’s not afraid to try new things to ensure he and his teammates are enjoying themselves away from it.
“It’s been a fun year. Levi [Hyams] and I have a great time and we have a lot of stuff we do on deck before we go hit,” Elander said. “It’s nothing major, we just joke around and stay loose. One thing we have done is we’ve had Thrift Shop Thursdays which is where we go to a thrift store and buy ridiculous clothing and wear it to the field. The last couple times it’s resulted in some hits, so we may do that a couple more times.
“There’s been six or seven of us doing it. [Catcher] Chase Anselment will do it, [outfielder] Blake Brown, too, and some other guys. We return looking like, well, not baseball players. The first day I came back in all-white Capri pants and a Hawaiian shirt to match, so that was pretty good.”
On deck: Savannah’s Jayce Boyd discusses leading the SAL league with a .361 average.