Hello, my name is Joseph Swanson and I am currently a Junior 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 enter my Junior year so I can achieve my dream of playing high-level college baseball. Last spring 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, and most recently threw at the PBR Chicagoland showcase hitting 89.4 mph on my fastball. I did hit 91 mph with Coach Shouse this 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 combined 3.15 gpa, and 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.