Where Are They Now: Jeremy Plexico


Jeremy Plexico is a 1998 graduate of Chapin High School. After a stop at the University of South Carolina following his prep career, Plexico found a permanent home at Winthrop. Two All-American seasons for the Eagles led to him being taken in the 19th round by the Montreal Expos in the 2003 draft. Presently the left-handed pitcher is in Spring Training with the Washington Nationals, enjoy his story on the twists and turns of his career that have led him to where he is today.


DP-Please list any high school, college and pro 
statistics of importance, awards won:
JP-I graduated from Chapin High School in 1998. I 
lettered two years in basketball and four years in 
baseball. Won the state baseball championship in 
1996 and was runner up in 1998. Was named as an 
All-Region selection four times and was the Region 
Player of the Year as a senior. All-Area and All-State
as a senior. Was named to North-South Team as a 
senior. Selected to Sports Report Mini Camp three 
times. Went to South Carolina on a baseball 
scholarship from 1999 though 2001. Transferred to 
Winthrop University and played there the 2002 and 
2003 seasons. Was a two-time 3rd Team 
All-American as a senior. Named to All-Big South 
Conference as a senior. Named Big South Male 
Scholar Athlete of the Year as a senior. Drafted in 
the 19th round by the Montreal Expos in the 2003 
draft. Compiled a college record of 21-8 in two 
years at Winthrop.  Threw over 100 innings in both 
seasons at Winthrop. My first year in pro ball I 
played for the Vermont Expos in the New York Penn 
League. Led the team with 70 innings as a 
starter/reliever. Spent 2004 with the Savannah 
Sand Gnats in the South Atlantic League. Led the 
team in wins and appearances out of the bullpen as 
a middle reliever/set-up man with an 8-5 record. 
Threw 82 innings, and had 49 appearances. 
Academically was a member of the Beta Club and 
National Honors Society in High School. Graduated 
with around a 3.6 GPA in college.  
DP-What are some of your nicknames?
JP-I have had a few nicknames throughout my career. 
When I played basketball in high school, my nickname 
was Jayhawk because I had pictures of Kansas 
Jayhawk center Raef Lefrentz all over my locker. 
Scott McLeod, my high school baseball coach, always 
called me P$. That has evolved into Plex$, which is 
what a lot of my teammates call me today.
DP-What is your greatest high school thrill?
JP-My greatest high school thrill is, without a doubt, 
winning the state championship in 1996. It was my 
sophomore year, and we beat a pretty good Bishop 
England High School team.  
DP-What is your greatest thrill, or two, beyond 
high school?
JP-My greatest thrill beyond high school would have 
to be pitching against LSU my senior year at Winthrop. 
It is probably the best game that I have ever pitched.  
We were beating them 2-0 in the bottom of the ninth 
with 2 outs. I walked the next batter, and then the 
following hitter, after fouling off 3 or 4 pitches, hit a 
low and away fastball over the right field fence. We 
ended up losing that game in a true heartbreaker, 
but I still say it was the best game that I have ever 
pitched. Another moment that I will never forget is 
hearing my name called out on Draft Day in 2003.  I 
ended up getting drafted in the 19th round by the 
Montreal Expos/Present day Washington Nationals. 
I didn’t care where I got drafted though, I was just 
thrilled that someone was going to give me a chance. 
DP-Who are the three toughest pitchers you 
faced in high school and the three toughest after 
high school?
JP-The toughest hitter that I faced in high school 
would have to have been Drew Meyer, from Bishop 
England. I faced him my sophomore and senior year in 
the State Championship. Not only is he a great hitter 
but an extremely fast runner from the left side of the 
plate. He ended up having a great career at South 
Carolina, and getting drafted in the first round by the 
Texas Rangers. Another tough hitter that I faced was 
Reggie Taylor, from Newberry. I faced him when I 
was a freshman, and he was a senior. I can remember 
him hitting a homerun off of me the first time I faced 
him. I wasn’t used to giving up homeruns and it was 
a real eye opener to me. I can remember Coach 
McLeod watching me very closely after I gave up 
the bomb to see how I would react to it. It was a 
learning experience for sure. A tough hitter that I 
have faced in pro ball is Delmon Young, of the 
Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He was the first overall pick in 
the 2003 draft out of high school. His brother Dimitri 
Young is a major league veteran, and is compiling a 
terrific career. Delmon is a great hitter because he 
can hit for average and power alike. He was the 
Minor League Hitter of the year last year, and could 
crack the Big Leagues this year. The hitter that has 
given me the most trouble in pro ball is a guy in the 
Orioles organization named Nick Markakis. He is a 
left-handed hitter that, for some reason, seems to 
have my number. I think I have only faced him like 
three or four times but he has two doubles against 
me. He could also see time in the “Bigs” this year for 
the Orioles.  
DP-Do you have any good, but clean, locker room 
or road trip stories?
JP-One of the funniest things that goes on at least a 
time or two every year, is giving the batboy a hard 
time. About anytime a new batboy comes to the locker 
room the players will all give him a hard time, joking 
around with him and stuff. Every now and then, we will 
get him good though. Someone will tell the batboy that 
he needs to run to the other locker room to find the 
“key” to the batters box if we are going to be able to 
start the game. Then the other team will tell him that 
he needs to find the “left handed” fungo bat. This will 
sometimes go on for 30 or 45 minutes. Basically the 
entire batting practice! I have seen kids run behind 
outfield fences, look under scoreboards, run out on 
the field during the actual game to ask the umpire for 
a certain item.  It really is a funny thing though, when 
you see it happening.
DP-Do you have any superstitions?
I don’t really consider myself one of those crazy 
lefties. I guess one thing that I do is wear my hat a 
little to the side, even though I think that I am wearing 
it straight. I try not to get too involved in superstition 
either. With minor league ball, you never know what is 
going to happen, from day to day, so I don’t want to 
rely on superstitions for my success.  
DP-What was your toughest adjustment (in and 
out of baseball) after high school?
JP-My toughest adjustment in baseball after high school 
was simply having confidence in my “stuff.” Anytime you 
make the jump from high school to college, you can fall 
into the problem of being in awe of the competition. 
What you have to realize is that although the guys you 
are going up against are a lot better than they were in 
high school, you are ready for the challenge. Also you 
can’t give any of the guys too much credit. Even if you 
are facing the best hitter in the league, you respect his 
talent, but you challenge him with your “stuff.” My 
toughest adjustment away from baseball has been being 
away from my family and friends. The hardest part about 
baseball for me is that half of the year I am away from 
many of the people that I enjoy being around. I try to 
really enjoy all of the time that I am given with my family 
and friends alike while I am home in the off-season.  
DP-What is the biggest crowd you’ve ever 
performed in front of and where?
JP-The biggest crowd that I have ever performed in 
front of was probably around 7-8,000 at LSU in the 
2003 collegiate season while I was a senior 
at Winthrop. It was truly a great experience because 
the baseball fans at LSU are top notch. They get on 
you when you play bad, and will even cheer you when 
you play well against their home team Tigers. Hopefully 
as I continue to move up in minor league ball I will be 
able to get in front of some even bigger crowds.
DP-Tell people what 
draft day was like for you:
JP-Draft day was a very 
nerve racking time for me. 
I was expecting to be 
drafted after my 2002 
season at Winthrop as a 
junior. I had a pretty good 
season, and my coach had 
indicated that he thought I would be drafted somewhere 
late the first day, or early the second day. I listened to 
that entire draft, and never heard my name get called. It 
was a tough couple of days for me. Even if I would have 
gotten drafted, I’m not sure that I would have signed as a 
junior, but I certainly felt like I deserved to get picked up 
that year by somebody. After my senior season, I was 
really pumped up for the draft. Mainly because I knew it 
was my last chance to get drafted, and also I felt like I 
had a good season, and put myself in a good position to 
get signed. I was listening to the draft the entire day, and 
finally heard my name called towards the end of the first 
day. I was taken in the 19th round by the Montreal Expos. 
I wasn’t even sure if I heard it right, the first time. Once I 
heard him repeat my name though, I took a deep sigh of 
relief and knew it was real.  
DP-Who has made the greatest impression on you 
as a person and why?
JP-Without a doubt my parents have made the greatest 
impression on me as a person. Every value, moral and 
character trait that I currently have is a credit to the 
way that they have raised me. I truly believe that I am 
a product of a terrific family. I wish that everyone would 
have the good fortune of being brought up in a family like 
DP-Who has made the greatest impression on you 
as a baseball player and why?
JP-Winthrop Coach Joe Hudak has made the greatest 
impression on me as a baseball player. When I went to 
Winthrop I lacked the confidence and ability to throw 
any above average off-speed pitches that it takes to 
be successful at the collegiate level. As soon as I got 
to Winthrop, Coach Hudak taught me to truly believe 
in myself while I was on the mound. The first scrimmage 
that I threw in, he called a change-up and I shook it off. 
At that time, my change-up was not my best off-speed 
pitch. As soon as I shook my head, he called time and 
walked out to the mound, and got face to face with me. 
He told me that if I don’t have confidence in myself 
throwing these pitches now, how would I ever be able 
to beat any quality teams when it really counts. As far 
as pitching goes, he sort of simplified the art of throwing 
a breaking ball for me. He simply told me to get my hand 
in the right release point, and throw it like a fastball. 
This was the best advice I was ever given on my breaking 
DP-You started at USC and transferred to Winthrop, 
what made that a better fit for you?
JP-I think that the baseball family at Winthrop is truly 
what made it a great fit for me. As soon as I showed up 
there, all of the players took me in as one of their own. 
One thing that I love about Winthrop is that all of the 
players hang out together. It doesn’t matter whether 
you are a freshman or a senior, we would all hang out 
together. That made us a lot closer on and off of the 
field. Clearly another reason that Winthrop was a great 
fit for me, is that I was able to get on the field. I have 
a strong belief that you can’t reach your full potential if 
you don’t get out of the field and play. I made huge 
strides as a pitcher my two seasons at Winthrop because 
I was able to compete and make adjustments.  
DP-What has been the biggest difference between 
professional baseball and the college ranks?
JP-A huge difference from pro ball and college ball is the 
overall speed of the game. Pitchers throw harder, batters 
are faster and stronger, and the competition is much 
tougher. For me, the biggest difference though, is life on 
the road. As a pro player you have to learn how to play 
on a few hours of sleep on a bus. Traveling from city to 
city and playing every day is much different than playing 
on weekends in college. 
DP-Who is your favorite athlete (non-baseball)?
JP-My favorite athlete of all time is Bo Jackson. 
Growing up he was my athletic hero. I would do 
anything I could to watch him play on TV. I collected 
all of his cards and had my walls covered in Bo 
Jackson posters.  
DP-Who is your favorite MLB pitcher and position 
player to watch and why?
JP-My favorite big league pitcher is Dontrelle Willis. Of 
course I have to pick a fellow lefty as my favorite pitcher. 
I love the way that he goes out on the mound and 
competes against the hitter, no matter who it is.  
DP-Who is your favorite MLB team?
JP-Growing up my favorite baseball team has always 
been the Braves. Clearly now I am pulling for the team 
that pays me, the Washington Nationals.  
DP-What is your favorite sport to play other than 
JP-My favorite sport to play other than baseball is 
basketball. Some of my best memories come from playing 
high school basketball for Chapin High School. We had a 
great team my senior year, and lost on a buzzer beater 
in the quarterfinals of the state tourney.  
DP-What is your favorite sport to watch other than 
JP-My favorite sport other than baseball to watch is 
college football. There is nothing better for me than 
being at Williams Brice Stadium in the fall watching 
South Carolina play.
DP-What goals do you have 
for yourself in and out of 
JP-My number one goal for this 
year is to get back out on the 
field and pitch pain free. 
Coming off of the surgery that 
I had last December, I can’t 
wait to get back on the field 
and be apart of a team again. 
My goal with baseball is to make it to the Big Leagues. 
I would not put all of the time and effort into baseball, 
if that were not my ultimate goal. Outside of baseball 
I want to finish getting my masters degree from 
Winthrop University. I need two more semesters and I 
will have my MAT for secondary social studies. After 
my playing career is over though, I want to pursue 
college coaching, either as a head coach or pitching 
DP-If you could have dinner with three people in 
history, who would they be and why?
JP-If I could have dinner with three people in history I 
would have to pick Jesus Christ, my grandfathers and 
Sandy Koufax. I would love to sit down and be able to 
chat with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I would want 
to do the same with my grandfathers because both of 
them passed away before I got a chance to get to know 
them. Finally I would love to eat with Sandy Koufax 
because I think he is the best left-handed pitcher of 
DP-Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
JP-Hopefully in ten years I will be nearing the end of a 
terrific baseball career. Many pitchers today, are not 
even reaching their prime until they are 29-31 years 
old. Once my baseball career is over I want to get into 
college coaching.
DP-What are your thoughts on what Diamond 
Prospects can do for kids in South Carolina for 
a kid like yourself that hail from a small town?
JP-The obvious thing that Diamond Prospects 
could do, is give the players some exposure to college 
baseball programs. Another huge benefit though, would 
be coaching the players on what to expect throughout 
their college recruiting experience. College coaches 
are experienced at recruiting kids, whereas the players 
who are being recruited only have one chance to make 
this very important decision.  
DP-Give a high school player who is reading this 
article one piece of advice.
JP-The biggest piece of advice that I can give any high 
school player is to work as hard as you can to achieve 
your goal. I am a big believer that a great work ethic 
separates the good from the great. Work ethic is one 
thing about your baseball career that you can personally 
control, so take full advantage of that.
DP-Jeremy thanks for your time and responses, good 
luck in 2006!