Q&A with Illinois State Commit Connor Peplow

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

2017 RHP Connor Peplow of Plainfield North recently committed to Illinois State. With his commitment that makes five pitchers from Plainfield North to commit to Division I schools. Peplow is currently ranked No. 44 in the Illinois Class of 2017, and participated in the 2015 PBR Future Games as a member of Team Illinois. Here is a report from the event.

Connor PeplowFuture Games 2015 - Wiry 6-foot-1, 155-pound right-handed pitcher features a strong arm that has a lot of potential. His fastball had been 86-88 mph at a previous PBR event, at the Future Games he was more 83-86 mph and touched 87. Even though his velocity was a tick down he flashed some tilt and arm-side-run on his fastball. Features a breaking ball that ranged between 70-74 mph. The breaking ball should tighten up if it is consistently thrown with fastball arm speed. Peplow also mixed in a change-up at 73-75 mph. Struck out one and induced a 4-6-3 double play in his two innings of work.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Peplow: The process was fairly easy. Every college I talked to was honest and informative. Each school wanted me to visit which really helped with the decision making process.

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Peplow: A good education and a program that would help me develop as a pitcher.

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

Peplow: Yes, I wanted to play for an Illinois school so my family could come watch me play.

PBR: 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?

Peplow: After my PBR showcase in July and The Future Games in August is when the recruiting process really started heating up. However, I had to put my college visits on hold because of football season. Definitely, the PBR showcase was the event that turned the corner for me.

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Peplow: ISU saw me at a tournament with my travel team. Then I played on their field in early July. Lastly, they saw me at PBR’s Future Games. We were in contact throughout the summer and fall; they were the first school who showed interest in me.

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Peplow: The coaches, the baseball program and facilities, the college campus, and the different majors offered at ISU were the key factors to my decision.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Peplow:  Eastern Illinois, Southern Illinois, and University of Illinois at Chicago.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Peplow: Brady Corrigan definitely is one of the best players I have faced, but I also get the opportunity to play with him for our high school team. He is a talented and focused pitcher who just is going to get better and better.

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?

Peplow: During my sophomore year of high school, I felt like I was getting better and that playing at the next level would be possible. My coaches helped me to see this. I started working with a pitching coach my freshmen year who helped me develop. Also, one of my travel coaches, Tony Folino, was brutally realistic with me – I have always been a two-way player, but he told me I could be a division 1 pitcher if I focused on developing two of my off-speed pitches.

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

Peplow: Listen to your coaches and hard work pays off. If you want to take baseball to the next level, you need to put the work in, even during the off-season. I also really like that coaches liked that I played more than one sport. I would tell young baseball players not to just focus on baseball, but play another sport.

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

Peplow: At Illinois Benedictine, my travel team beat one of the best teams in the tournament. I had 14 strikeouts in that game, and I felt that it was one of the best games I ever pitched.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Peplow: Plainfield North will be extremely good with all the talent we have on our team (Seven Division I commits). I see us competing for a state title this year in 4A.

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Peplow: I play for Edge Academy Baseball in the summer. I’m one of the original kids from the Edge program, and it was great to work with the same coaches each year and some of the same ball players. Honestly, I can’t think of one experience, because all of the experiences have been memorable.

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