The wait is over for Arizona State shortstop Drew Swift. The Oakland Athletics selected Swift with the 248th overall pick in the eighth round of the MLB Draft on Monday afternoon.
Drew Swift ➡️ #MLBDraft | #RiseAndGrind pic.twitter.com/l0pGVKwSRh— Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 12, 2021
In a year in which he wasn’t even supposed to be Sun Devil, Swift was the unquestioned veteran leader of a team known for its youth and inexperience. He brought the poise of a weathered senior to a lineup that for the most part had never been through a full college baseball season.
The redshirt junior shortstop known affectionately as “Mr. Sun Devil” had a career year in 2021. Batting most often in the leadoff spot, Swift hit .314 while posting a .855 OPS. He launched six home runs, drove in 38 runs and led the team with 70 hits.
While his presence was certainly felt in the batters box, Swift’s defense is what sets him apart. He and third baseman Hunter Haas combined to form an impenetrable wall on the left side of the infield. Swift’s sterling .981 fielding percentage earning him Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors.
At the beginning of the 2020 season, Swift was one of many expected Sun Devils to be drafted. However, when the 2020 MLB Draft was shortened to five rounds due to the pandemic, prospects like Swift were left on the outside looking in.
He parlayed his extra year in maroon and gold into an improved draft stock, and gained some valuable experience along the way. Following the team’s final game in the Austin regional, Swift expressed a tremendous amount of pride and gratitude towards his 2021 teammates and the ASU baseball program as a whole.