Hello, my name is Joseph Swanson and I am entering my senior year at Pekin High School. I’m 6’2” and 175 pounds. I have been a three-sport athlete for years playing baseball, basketball, and soccer. Over the summer of 2020 I decided to focus solely on my passion for baseball as I entered my Junior year so I can achieve my dream of playing high-level college baseball. I was a starting pitcher for the Pekin High Varsity team last spring pitching in 5 games. During my sophomore year I was slated to be a starting pitcher at Chaminade College Prep School as a Sophomore before COVID-19 shut the season down. I felt especially sad for our seniors who lost their last high school season. I have played travel baseball since I was six years old, but I never tried out for any elite level teams as I got older because I would not have been able to fit summer AAU basketball in with a demanding elite level baseball schedule. However, I did play for some very good local teams. For example, when I was a 10 I was a starter and pitcher for the 2014 11U Pekin Gamers who ended the season ranked #1 in the state of Illinois by USSSA! However, since I have not played for teams that travel out of Illinois so I am a virtual unknown outside the Peoria, IL area where I live. Here are a couple statistics from my recent travel years 2015-2019: 1.8 K's per inning, .213 Opp. Batting Average, and 3 complete game 1 hit shutouts including Jr. High Regional Semi-final.
To prepare myself for a future as a pitcher I have been working out with former MLB pitcher Brian Shouse, threw at the PBR Chicagoland showcase hitting 89.4 mph on my fastball, and was listed as the top prospect at the PBR Top Prospect Showcase in St. Louis. I did hit 91 mph with Coach Shouse last summer. However, what interests me as much as my fastball is the great challenge of throwing other pitches. I also can throw a curveball, change-up, and slider to go with my fastball. I am an intense competitor no matter the sport. I am confident I can bear-down and focus to achieve great things in baseball. I feel every pitch is a challenge to get the hitter out, and I love a challenge. I thrive on competition. I also thrive on learning new ways to pitch, and I am a quick and determined learner. I have been blessed with high-level athleticism for which I am very grateful so I field my position well. I have also played shortstop on many of my travel teams and in Jr. High. At this point, I feel I have no ceiling and I am willing to work as hard as it takes to prove that. My teammates have always looked at me as a kid who works hard, is supportive, and is team first. I love watching my teammates have success, and when they do not, I am many times the first player who is there with encouragement.
As far as academics, I have a cumulative gpa of 2.88 which was negatively affected by my own immaturity as a Freshman. My year-by-year gpa is as follows: Freshman = 2.16, Sophomore = 3.07, and Junior = 3.30. It has been going up each year of high school as I continue to mature. I recently moved back to my hometown of Pekin, IL, as I wanted to be back with my childhood friends and finish high school playing with them and with my parents being able to watch as they would not if I would have stayed at Chaminade in St. Louis. My aspirations are to play high level college baseball, and I know I have the academic skills, physical ability, and the internal drive to be successful.