Sometimes guys just show up to work every day and get the job done. They don’t seek attention, they weren’t on everybody’s draft board, but their play speaks for itself.
Brennon Lund is one of those guys.
Coming out of BYU as an 11th round draft pick in 2016, he’s taken to pro ball quite well, accumulating a .315/.384/.423 slash line across three levels of pro ball. That’s three levels of pro ball in 12 months. Currently he’s riding a .338/.404/.448 line at High A Inland Empire.
Brennon was nice enough to spend some time with me last week. He comes across as a very grounded guy who is thankful for the chance to prove himself at the game he loves.
Brennon, we track prospect performances here and your name is constantly at the top of the list. You took off your first week and haven’t looked back, hitting well over .300 every where you go. Any secrets to your early success in pro ball?
“I haven’t really thought about it that much, like, as early success. I think its just that I try to come out and do my best every day and help the team win.”
In just a little over a year you’ve gone from college ball to rookie ball to low A and now to high A. What adjustments have you had to make at each stop along the way?
“I feel like more patience and swinging at better pitches have made me more successful each level. When I went from low A to high A I was taking a lot more balls and swinging at better pitches and I’m starting to hit better.
And when I got here, I’m taking the fringe pitches on the corners and waiting for a pitch over the plate to swing. Patience. I think that’s really helped me a lot.”
And is that something the coaching staff is really working on with you guys, being patient, or is that your natural approach to hitting?
“Yeah [the coaches], just being more patient and working counts and find which pitches are in your zone that you can hit really well and knowing that you can hit that ball well every time. So just taking the pitches you know you struggle with a little bit and hitting the ones you know you can hit.”
As you move up, what is the difference in the level of your competition; the pitching you’re facing from college to rookie to A ball? Is it really that much different or is it marginal each step up the ladder?
“I feel like it wasn’t much different when I was in rookie ball but when I moved up to A ball, pitching gets better. They throw better and put it in better spots and its a little bit harder.
You can’t rest. Usually in college you get that one guy that’s not as good as the other ones towards the end of the week so can get a game where you can really swing and smash against someone whose not as good as the others.
But here, everyone’s good and you have to be consistent every day and hit almost every pitch because they can throw it anywhere they want; most of the time for strikes. Four or five different pitches sometimes. It’s just different in pro ball.”
Playing rookie ball out in Orem, where you had an amazing first few weeks, was that really close to where you grew up? Did you have family and friends in the stands when you were playing there?
“Yeah, yeah I did. That was about 30 minutes away from where I’m from, where I live. So it was really close and when I was going to school at BYU it is just up the street from that field.
So it was a lot of fun to play there. I had my friends in the stands a lot of the time; my family too.”
Nice. You do you realize you got drafted by the one oranization that would have you play both rookie and Triple A ball right next to home, right?
“[chuckles] Yeah. That was pretty awesome when I found that out when I got drafted by the Angels.”
Did you go to Salt Lake City Bees games growing up?
“Yes, I did. I went back in the day when they were the Stingers still and when they changed to the Bees. I’ve been to a bunch of games, lots when I was younger.”
For now you’re out in Inland Empire and you had the chance to play with Mike Trout recently. Did you interact much with him?
“Yeah. He’s a really awesome guy. He treated us just like we’re normal guys and he came and he was just really nice to everyone.
He took care of us, bought us a bunch of good food, and it was awesome to have him around for those few games. It was great to learn from him and watch him play.”
He bought us dinner every night he was here. It was fun to have him around.”
Had you been out to California much before you got sent to the 66ers?
“Oh yeah, the conference I was in at BYU is a West Coast conference so most of our games were in California so I’ve played here a bunch of times. On the coast. I’m pretty familiar.”
Away from the diamond, what are some of your favorite things to do when you get a day off?
“Just rest and get some good sleep. That’s what I usually do and sometimes go to the beach. If we’re too tired sometimes just hang out and play video games.
Not too much fun stuff”
And what is your favorite beach out here?
“I went to Newport last week. It was awesome. I like that a lot.”
According to your Facebook profile, you got married at the end of last year. How is married life treating you?
“Its great. It is really fun to have her around. She’s out here visiting me right now for a couple more days before she heads back to Utah. But it is great just having her around and having some support like that, its been really good.”
I’ve been trying to come up with a polite way of asking this, but I’ll just have to come on out and say it. I look at your college numbers, I see your pro numbers, and how in the heck did you last until the 11th round? Was it coming out of Utah instead of California or the SEC?
“There’s a lot of different things, the religion part was a big thing. I was a high risk pick so it would be tough or guys to take me in earlier rounds but all I wanted was an opportunity; that’s what I really looked forward to: just getting a chance because I knew lots of teams wouldn’t even try.”
Were you considering going on your mission after college instead of going to pro ball?
“I wasn’t planning on doing that but it is hard for some teams to understand. You usually do that earlier but I went to school instead. Normally you go on your mission before you go to college.”
You don’t sound like you have a chip on your shoulder from being drafted in the 11th, you just wanted a chance and are making the best of it.
“Yeah, definitely. I just needed the chance.”
You are making the most of that chance. Any word on whether you will be heading to Mobile soon or will you be sticking at IE the rest of the year?
“I think I’m going to stick the year out here. I’ve not really worried about where I’m heading I’m just worried about what’s going on right now and if that ends up happening that would be great but I’m just going to focus on hitting here and getting better every day.
If I get that chance, that would be awesome.”
Before we wrap this up is there anything you’d like the fans to know as they follow you on the way up?
“Not really. Just thanks for believing in me and I know I’m a guy who is kind of looked at some times as kind of a scrap guy but hopefully I’ll be a little bit more than that.”
Thank you, Brennon.
I hope you all enjoyed the interview. I know I did. Please leave questions and comments below.