In the aftermath of a senior season at USC that saw Kevin Swick turn in a stellar campaign on the diamond and in the classroom en route to becoming a Capitol One Academic All-American, the La Cañada Flintridge product was bestowed the opportunity to take his baseball career to the next level.
“It’s kind of been a dream come true,” Swick said. “As a little kid, every little kid who plays baseball dreams of playing for a major league team. Just to get this opportunity, I’m so blessed. I’m so thankful to have my parents and my brother, who supported me.”
Swick was with his parents, who reside in La Cañada where Swick grew up before attending USC, when he got a call from a White Sox scout during the 21st round. It was then that he got the news that Chicago would be using its next pick in the 22nd round on him.
“As a college senior, you kind of talk to a lot of teams. You don’t really know much until draft day. There wasn’t one particular team that talked to me more than anyone,” Swick said. “I was with my parents [when I got drafted] and I was pretty pumped.”
A 6-foot, 195-pound right-handed third baseman, the 22-year-old Swick hit .299 in his senior season with the Trojans, starting in all 50 games he played as USC went 29-24 and 16-14 in the Pac-12 Conference. Swick led his squad with 61 hits, 27 runs and 71 total bases. He added 10 doubles, 24 runs batted in, a .353 on-base percentage and .954 fielding percentage with six errors.
Swick started in nine games as a freshman in 2011 and became a regular in the Trojans’ starting nine every season thereafter. For his career with USC, he played in 175 games over four seasons with 160 starts. He concluded his Trojan days with 169 hits, a .285 batting average, 76 runs, 35 doubles, three home runs and 67 RBI.
Swick, who was a Capitol One Academic All-American third-teamer and a Pac-12 All-Academic selection as a junior, was the first USC baseball player to become a first-team Academic All-American after his senior year, in which he was also a first-team Pac 12 All-Academic pick.
The business administration major had a 3.83 grade-point average and, after spending the 2012 summer playing in the well-regarded collegiate Alaska Baseball League, took the 2013 summer to intern at Fidelity Investments in Boston. Swick was a dean’s list honoree from 2010-2014.
Though one could ascertain Swick has options off the baseball field, he said there was no hesitation and that he would be heading down to Arizona in the next couple days to attend a White Sox mini-camp, go over paperwork and a contract and then likely soon begin his rookie ball days, likely with the short-season Arizona League White Sox.
“There’s no thinking, I’m definitely gonna go,” Swick said. “You only get this opportunity once.”
Follow Grant Gordon on Twitter: @TCNGrantGordon.