Jim Ploeger

From BR Bullpen

Jim Ploeger

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 3", Weight 225 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Jim Ploeger has played for the Dutch national team and in the Hoofdklasse.

Ploeger pitched for the Netherlands in the 2008 World Junior Championship, turning in a strong outing in relief of Swen Huijer against the Czech Republic. [1] He debuted for the Dutch national team before he had played in the highest level in the Netherlands, the Hoofdklasse. He was pitching for the Almere Magpies of the Eerste Klasse when he was picked for the 2009 World Port Tournament. [2] He allowed 3 runs in 2 1/3 IP. [3] He started the opener of the 2009 European Junior Championship and held Germany to one hit (to Lukas Steinlein) and one walk in three innings while fanning six but left due to an injury; Jeroen de Haas took over and Ploeger would not pitch again for over a year. [4] He won the Roel de Mon Award as the top youth pitcher in the Netherlands. [5]

He debuted in the 2010 Hoofdklasse with 3 hits in 1 2/3 shutout innings for Almere. He then pitched for Laney College in the US in 2011, going 3-3 with four saves and a 2.61 ERA. [6] He also pitched briefly for UVV in the 2011 Hoofdklasse (Sv, 5.14 in 5 G). In 2012, he went 7-0 with a 1.67 ERA for Laney. He again saw only limited time in the Netherlands, devoting himself primarily to the US college season - he allowed 5 hits, 4 walks and 4 runs (2 earned) in 4 innings for UVV. The next two years, he did not pitch at all in the Hoofdklasse. He transferred to Arkansas-Pine Bluff and was 5-4 with a 4.11 ERA as a junior and 4-3, 3.34 as a senior. He walked only 43 in 142 IP between the two years. In between, he also pitched one scoreless inning for the Falmouth Commodores in the elite Cape Cod League.

Ploeger was 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in three games in the 2015 World Port Tournament, getting a win over Japan. [7] He finally got a chance to pitch regularly in the Hoofdklasse, going 5-5 with two saves and a 2.39 ERA, leading UVV in ERA. He was 5th in the 2015 Hoofdklasse in opponent average (.197, between Tom de Blok and the legendary Rob Cordemans), 7th in IP (79), 4th in Ks (76, between Orlando Yntema and Kyle Ward), tied for 10th in wins and tied for 8th in saves. [8]

He pitched for the Netherlands in the 2015 Premier 12 and was a true LOOGY. While he tied for the team lead with three games pitched, he worked one inning altogether. Relieving JC Sulbaran with a 5-5 tie against Cuba, two on and one out, he retired Frank Morejón on a sacrifice bunt then Bayron Cornelisse relieved. Against Puerto Rico, he replaced Yntema with two on, two out and a 7-2 lead in the 6th and he struck out Yazy Arbelo. Wendell Floranus took over in the 7th. Finally, against Team USA, he took over for Tom Stuifbergen in the 4th with two outs and a 1-0 lead when Stuifbergen got hurt. He K'd Brett Phillips to end the inning. In the 5th, Tyler Pastornicky hit into an error by Curt Smith and Yntema took over on the mound as the US rallied to win. [9]

Ploeger was sharp in a start for the Netherlands at the 2016 Haarlem Baseball Week, holding Australia to four hits and one run in 7. [10] In the 2016 Hoofdklasse, he moved to HCAW and had a 6-5, 3.00 record. He was 9th in the league with a .212 opponent average (between Yntema and Kevin Heijstek), was 6th with 84 IP (between David Bergman and Kaj Timmermans), ranked 3rd with 76 whiffs (after Yntema and Chris Pfau) and tied for 6th in wins. [11]

In the 2016 European Championship, he pitched very well. He allowed two first-inning runs (both unearned) to fall behind Sweden but got the win, giving up only one run in the next five and striking out seven on the day. Kevin Kelly relieved him. In his other game, he relieved Yntema with a 10-3 lead after 6 1/2 and got a three-inning save (3 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 3 K). The Netherlands won the title. He finished 9th in the event in ERA (1.29, between Tiago Da Silva and Junior Oberto), tied for first in saves and tied for 7th in strikeouts. [12]

His international tournament success continued in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He and Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen were the only Dutch pitchers not to allow a baserunner, each working one inning. Ploeger relieved Sulbaran with a 3-1 deficit against Israel, two on and two out in the 4th and retired Zach Borenstein on a grounder. Yntema took over in the 5th. In the rematch against Israel, he again replaced Sulbaran with two on and two out, this time with a 10-2 lead in the 7th. He retired Ty Kelly on a fly to quash another rally. He struck out Cody Decker to open the 8th to continue his success against former major leaguers in international competition, then Yntema relieved. [13]

Ploeger was 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA in the 2017 World Port Tournament. [14] He had a 5-3, 2.36 record for HCAW in the 2017 Hoofdklasse, ranking among the league leaders in ERA (5th, between Timmermans and Elton Koeiman), opponent average (.186, 2nd, .006 behind Cordemans), IP (68 2/3, 9th, between Koeiman and Pfau), whiffs (66, 4th, between Cordemans and Pfau) and wins (tied for 7th). [15]

Moving to the L&D Amsterdam Pirates, he saved Heijstek's win over Heidenheim Heideköpfe in the opener of the 2018 European Champions Cup.