Distance From Home No Problem For Utah Commit Hammill


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Canada Senior Writer

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Distance From Home No Problem For Utah Commit Hammill

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Elijha Hammill

Class of 2021 / SS

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2021
  • Primary Position: SS
    Secondary Position: 2B
  • High School: Holy Trinity
    State: ON
  • Summer Team: Ontario Terriers / Canada JNT
  • Height: 5-11
    Weight: 200lbs
  • Bat/Throw: S/R

Statistics

Position
6.59
60-yard
(07/31/19)
87
INF Velo
86
OF Velo
93
Exit Velo
(07/31/19)
Position
60-yard
6.59
INF Velo
86
Exit Velo
93
Position
INF Velo
84
OF Velo
86
Exit Velo
89

Distance From Home No Problem For Utah Commit Hammill

OAKVILLE, Ontario - Elijha Hammill says that he is “used to traveling.”

There was a 16-hour drive with his father to the Future Games in Georgia.

Trips to places like South Carolina to Australia have been part of being a member of Team Canada.

Now the Holy Trinity junior has a new destination - Utah.

The second-ranked 2021 in Canada has committed to the Pac-12 school after listening to interest from a number of other schools like Wichita State, Campbell and Virginia Commonwealth.

“It was a long communication period,” Hammill reflected about the recruiting process with Utah. “They were at the T-12 event in September and we communicated from then on.”

Unfortunately, travel intentions to check out the school in Salt Lake City this spring were cancelled.

“I planned a visit at the end of March but that wasn’t possible,” Hammill explained.

The stay-at-home order left Hammill and his parents researching the school with an offer on the table.

“The weather is similar to here, maybe a little warmer,” Hammill said. “They have a great business program and they’re in the Pac-12. There are a lot of little things. … They have a big fan base in all sports and I love football. They have a nice weight room, the field’s nice and it’s a good financial situation.”

Of course, the 27-hour distance from home is not a problem.

“My family is okay with it as long as I’m happy,” the 60th-rated junior shortstop in North America related. “I’ll text with them every day and keep them up on it. They support it.”

Utah found a lot to like about the 5-11 195-pounder.

“All the tools I have,” Hammill said in response to what stood out about him to the Utah baseball staff. “I switch hit, I play shortstop and second base and they like how I run the bases. They’re big on giving the green light, so that’s one spot I’ll fit into well with them.”

The top-ranked SS in Canada’s 2021 class has made enormous strides to get to this point in his baseball game.

“Joining Team Canada helped introduce me to a lot of good pitching,” Hammill explained. “I was struggling at first seeing higher velo and curve balls that fooled me, but now I’ve adjusted. I’m getting the hang of it. I’ve learned to adjust to arm angles.

“From last year to now I’m better against higher velo, the ball comes off my bat faster and I’m more confident on the bases. The timing on my jumps are a lot better.”

It has Hammill excited about the prospects of playing at the next level.

“It’s always been an idea in my mind,” Hammill said of being part of the college baseball scene. “If I go to college not only will I get to play baseball, but get an education. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

The dream recently became more realistic.

“As soon as I started traveling and seeing the scouts watching, that opened up my eyes,” Hammill pointed out.

The Future Games was an assistance along the way.

“That helped out a lot,” Hammill said of the PBR event in early August. “I got a lot of exposure and made a lot of contacts with schools. It gave me an idea of what the competition is like in places like Indiana and Ohio. It also helped me perform better ... I perform better with adrenaline. It helped boost my confidence as well.”

Now Hammill looks forward to bettering his game.

“I want to improve on everything,” Hammill explained. “I’m focused on getting stronger and getting faster. Speed is a big factor of mine. More arm strength is also needed.”

Another focal point is attitude.

“As you get older the game becomes harder so there’s more failure,” Hammill noted. “It’s important for me to keep pushing hard, have fun and stay positive.”

That was the case when it came to his recruiting process.

“At first I thought it would be a steady road but over time I was a lot busier,” Hammill explained. “At the same time I enjoyed the idea of college coaches having an interest in me,

“Now it’s about improving my game until I go to college. I need to get more reps from both sides of the plate and at shortstop.”

There is also more moving around in the works.

“Hopefully, I’ll start traveling soon and see more competition,” Hammill concluded. “But until I can get outside I’ll be doing drills at home. It’s not been too enjoyable not being able to get out and play, so I’ve been doing school work to keep me satisfied.”


Videos

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(7/30/19)

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