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Opening Day Countdown: Jake Elmore #41

Inching, inching, I-N-C-H-I-N-G ever closer to baseball. I mean, 41 days is nothing right? Anyway, Jake Elmore wears #41 so let's talk about the non-roster invitee.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, every team invites a number of players not currently on their 40-man roster to spring training. Sometimes a non-roster invitee is a prospect on the rise. Sometimes it a player with some amount of major league playing time under his belt that's had trouble latching on somewhere for one reason or another. Jake Elmore is the latter variety of NRI and the reason is pretty clear.

At 28 years old, across parts of four different seasons Jake Elmore has played literally every position--including pitching in two innings. That's an interesting feat. Unfortunately while he's technically a position player, he hits like a pitcher. In 279 plate appearances he has a 215/277/288 triple slash line. According to wRC+ that's 44% below league average.

At the minor league level his offense has been better. He's shown a great amount of patience as exhibited by his double digit walk rates at every level in every season of his minor league career. In the past he's also shown a great ability to steal bases. However he hasn't stolen double digits since 2013. He also doesn't hit for power nor has he ever.

Since he's not on what has become a rather packed 40-man roster, the chances Elmore breaks camp with the big league club is essentially nil. But he's a nice player to have at AAA. He's played at the big league level so he can tell the kids what it's like. And if something happens and the Brewers need to call someone up after a trade or injury, then having a guy like Elmore that can play everywhere is nice. They won't have to start the clock early on a prospect they might not want to call up just yet. But that's just conjecture on my part. There's still the 40-man obstacle to consider. It's very possible Elmore never sets foot on a major league diamond in a Brewers uniform.

Even given his poor performance in the time he was allotted and the fact he's not exactly young, you have to root for a guy like Jake Elmore. He's been willing to play everywhere. Literally everywhere. Clearly he's willing to do anything and everything to continue his dream of playing baseball. And that's admirable. If he could only translate that walk rate to the majors, perhaps he could actually be a competent role player. So that dream may yet continue.\

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs