Q&A: Tim Elko

By Mike Maerz
Director of Florida Operations/Area Scout

For 2017 3B Tim Elko (Hillsborough HS, FL), making a choice about where to play at the next level came down to where he thought he would fit best and would allow him to continue to improve his game. He had the opportunity to talk with coaches, visit campuses, and get a true feel of the environment while on college visits because he thought it was important to know everything he could before making a decision. Having aspirations of playing in the SEC or ACC, while being in the Southeast and close to home, he narrowed it down to three choices: Miami, Auburn and Mississippi. They all had really caught Elko’s eye and seemed to make the most sense. He knew that making a final decision would be difficult, but when it came down to evaluating the success of the program, the home field atmosphere, and the outstanding coaching staff, the Rebels became the clear choice.

Mississippi first saw Elko during the Orlando Scorpions Fall 2015 tryout and started to follow him during some tournaments in the fall. Elko credits his experience with the Scorpions in Jupiter where he was able to not only play in front of hundreds of scouts, but be a part of a team with great success, have the ability to bond with his teammates, and be coached by some of the best staff in the nation. One of his most memorable experiences with the Orlando Scorpions came in a semi-final game where he delivered a walk-off single against the Evoshield Canes to send them into the championship.

Ranked No. 58 in Florida and No. 191 in the Overall Rankings, Elko has continued to take his game to new heights and will look to help lead Hillsborough high school deep into districts and beyond. He will continue to not only be a great follow during the high school season, but into the summer as well where he will look to build upon his past success with the Orlando Scorpions.

What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?
As I began the recruiting process I expected college coaches to pressure me for a quick decision, but they did not.  I felt the majority of the recruiting process, like talking to coaches and going on campus visits, was easy.  However, making a final decision on a school was difficult.  They all have a lot to offer, and I ultimately chose the one I felt was the best fit for me overall.

What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?
I was looking for a baseball program in either the SEC or ACC conference.  I was also looking for a program with established coaches, who have proven they can win in a competitive conference and prepare players for the next level.

Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?
I wanted to choose a college that was in the Southeast so that I would not be too far from home.

When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?
The Perfect Game WWBA Underclass World Championship in October 2015 was the tournament where colleges began to show heavy interest.

Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?
Ole Miss first saw me at the Orlando Scorpions Fall 2015 tryout, and then watched me play at several Perfect Game tournaments, including the WWBA Perfect Game Underclass World Championship.  From there, we began talking on the phone and eventually arranged a visit to Oxford.

What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?
I like the success of the baseball program, the crowds the baseball team attracts, and the outstanding coaching staff.

What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?
Miami and Auburn

Who is the best player you have faced and why?
Jordan Adell,  because he has a great bat and great speed in the outfield.

At what point in your career did you realize you were a college caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?
I began getting interest from colleges in the spring of 2015, during my sophomore high school season.  The interest increased during the fall 2015 Perfect Game tournaments.

What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?
That they need to work hard to become the best player they can be, and then show it on the field.  I would tell them that the only person they can blame for not working hard is themselves.

What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?
Hitting a walk-off single against the Evoshield Canes in the 2015 Perfect Game WWBA Underclass World Championship semi-final to send the Scorpions to the finals. 

Preview your spring season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?
I believe our spring 2015 High School team will be as good as last year.  We lost a good hitter and two pitchers, but other than that we are the same team.  We hope to make it deep into the District Tournament, and beyond.

Where do you play in the summer/fall? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?
I played for the Orlando Scorpions Prime this fall.  My most memorable experience was going to the 2015 Perfect Game WWBA World Championship tournament in Jupiter, FL.  It allowed me to play in front of hundreds of scouts, and to bond with my coaches and team mates.