South Bend Cubs infielder Andrew Ely sees competition as link between baseball and business


SOUTH BEND — Andrew Ely has ambition.

It shows up most days in the batter’s box, on the basepaths or in the infield as a player for the Class A South Bend Cubs.

Someday, Ely could see himself mixing it up in the business world.

“As an athlete, I’m a big, competitive guy,” Ely said. “The competitive aspect of business between companies is something I’m interested in. I’ll see that, possibly later in life.”

Ely was a general business major at the University of Washington and plans to go back at some point to finish his degree. He sees himself in finance or marketing.

He has been impressed with what he’s seen in South Bend and around Four Winds Field. He saw a similar thing in his short stint at Triple-A Iowa in 2014.

“This atmosphere in South Bend is unbelievable,” Ely said. “To have that high energy is pretty cool.”

Ely did some marketing of himself while getting recruited for college.

He was born in San Jose, Calif., but grew up in Boise, Idaho, where it is not as easy to catch the eye of NCAA Division I scouts.

“I had to go and get myself recruited,” Ely said. “So I spent a couple of seasons in Spokane, Wash., and outside of Boise. You’ve got to put yourself out there.”

Washington signed Ely out of Eagle High School near Boise and he played three seasons with the Huskies of the Pac-12 Conference, seeing former UW player Tim Lincecum working out there in the offseason.

Ely, who was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 32nd round of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, is a left-handed hitter who can play second base, shortstop or third base.

“(The Cubs) are trying to make us as versatile as possible,” Ely said of an organizational philosophy. “If you’re an athlete, you can adjust.”

Ely could have played at Boise (then a Cubs affiliate) in 2014, but he was assigned to rookie ball in Arizona and was used in Iowa at the end of the season when the need arose.

In 2015, Ely went from spring training to Myrtle Beach. An oblique injury sidelined him for a short time and he was sent to South Bend. His debut with the Cubs was in early May.

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