Prep Baseball Report

Q&A with Iowa Western CC Commit Ethan Plog

By: Isaiah Glidden
Staff Writer, Associate Scout

One of the biggest winners of 2023 in its entirety was LHP Ethan Plog (Bay Port, 2024; Iowa Western CC commit). In the spring, Plog put together an absolutely dominant season, finishing with a spotless 7-0 record in which he struckout 84 over his 50.1 innings of work. His most impressive stat was that he allowed just one earned run all year, good for a .10 ERA. His dominance didn’t stop there either. Across the summer circuit, Plog continued to impress and his velocity continued to rise, too. In two looks in the summer, the southpaw started reaching highs of 89 mph with his lively fastball, while sitting in the mid-to-high-80s throughout. He also pounded the zone with a high-70s curveball with over 2,400 RPM and a fading changeup as well. It has truly been an eye-opening year for Plog and up until September, he was one of the top uncommitted prospects in the state, maybe even the Midwest. That was until he announced his commitment to NJCAA powerhouse, Iowa Western CC.

(PBRT The Rock Open; 6/30/23)

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Plog to talk about his recruitment process, favorite baseball memory, and much more.


PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Plog: When I first got into my junior year I assumed that I was going to get a lot of college recognition, but that definitely wasn’t the case. I didn’t really get any recognition until summer ball when I would play in tournaments and get posted. There was one specific post that really got me looks from colleges. The game on July 1st we played at The Rock Complex and I had 17 strikeouts, with 31 whiffs. After this post I gained a lot of interest and that’s when I was like “woah I could really make this work, I could really go to a good school”. That was the turning point in my recruiting process. I went from not really talking to schools, to talking to big time schools. At this point I was looking for a program that could really develop me as a player overall, and that was the main reason I chose Iowa western CC. They have such a good program especially for pitchers, with many good connections after 2 years there. I was so locked in on the choice that I turned down some really good schools. I just believe that I'll get my best 1 on 1 help at Iowa Western, and that’s why I chose it.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

P: The location and distance did not really affect my choice, in fact I wanted to go out of state to play baseball. Mainly because I want to get away from the snow and the very cold winters. I believe the spot I chose isn’t too far away. It's just a commuter car ride that you have to be willing to do if I want to see my family. But yeah location and distance didn’t play a factor on where I went.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Where did the school you committed to first see you play?

P: The process really started to heat up for me in the beginning of travel ball season. My first tournament was in Kansas City and I had a few colleges watching me, but they didn’t really like my velocity levels which was 83-85. Then a few weeks after, we played at The Rock. I saw we had quite a few scouts watching our game since we were the last game of the night, and our team completely balled out. The energy was so high, a night game, it was epic. I think this triggered a lot of adrenaline for me and made me throw much harder. This game I ended up sitting 85-89 throughout the whole game and I threw a complete game with 17 k’s 2 h’s 7.0 IP, 0 R. While also going 2-3 with a single and a two-run homerun. After this game the colleges called all night. It was honestly overwhelming because I have no experience in the recruiting process, my parents didn’t play sports in college, so I didn't really know what I was doing. The first time Iowa Western saw me play was in Iowa, and it was our last tournament. They took a chance on me right after they saw me throw and a few days after that day I visited them.

PBR: What do you like most about the program you chose, and what were the key factors in making your decision?

P: The things I like the most is the overall success they have, as well as the amount of success they give kids that are going to move to a four-year school. They have great connections with four years and they’re very good at developing players to become much better in such a short amount of time, which is what I was looking for.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state? What about them makes for a tough opponent?

P: Honestly this is a hard choice, but I would probably have to pick RHP/INF Noah Wech (Manitowoc Lincoln, 2024; Oklahoma State commit). The main thing about him is not just that he can throw 95 mph, but the fact that he can also crank on a 91 mph pitch and send it over a centerfield wall.

PBR: 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?

P: I think I realized I was going to be a college player in my junior year. When I saw how well I competed against some of the state’s top competitionI just knew I would.

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

P: The best advice I can give to young kids is just keep grinding. There are going to be days, weeks, or even months where things just don't feel right, or aren't going right, but that is just how the sport is. If you keep your head down and keep pushing through you’ll eventually come out on top. Just focus on yourself, push yourself and definitely start lifting weights.

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

P: Still to this day, it was getting pulled up on varsity, and having our state run in 2022. I didn’t know I had potential until that day when I got pulled up. I remember the crowds we would have during our games and it was awesome playing in front of them all. My very favorite moment was when I struck out the last player for Sun Prairie to bring us to the state semi final game.

PBR: Preview your high school team's season for us. How do you feel your team will be?

P: I feel our team is going to be very reliant on pitching. We have very good arms capable of doing great things for us this season. It all really comes down to how our bats are. We have potential to have a really good line up and hopefully we can push our way to state this year.

PBR: If you could steal any tool or quality from another player in the state, what would it be and who would it be from?

P: If I could steal any tool from another player it would be OF Logan Dunn’s (Wautoma, 2024; Missouri State commit) bat-to-ball skills. Every time I've watched him play he’s always taking a 100% swing and always hits it. I'm usually a swing and a miss guy, so.

PBR: Who is the next talented young player to keep an eye on out of your high school or travel program?

P: I’d keep an eye on RHP Parker Lawson (Bay Port, 2026). He is a sophomore at Bay Port, insanely huge build and has so much room for potential.

PBR: Did Prep Baseball assist in your recruiting? Whether it be through a showcase, tournament coverage, tweets, etc? If yes, please explain.

P: Yes greatly, if it wasn’t for PBR posting videos of my pitching, then I definitely wouldn’t have got as much recognition as I did. As I stated before, that one game being posted got me over 100 different colleges calling and texting me the night after. It’s crazy how much Prep Baseball has assisted me.