In a 2016 game against the Pepperdine Waves, Brigham Young center fielder Brennon Lund went to the plate against A.J. Puckett. Dozens of scouts were in attendance that game mostly to watch Puckett and then-BYU pitcher Michael Rucker, but Lund stole the show.
Lund, who graduated from Bingham High, rocketed a home run off Puckett’s 96-mph fastball, which caromed off the scoreboard. That play gave the Cougars the push they needed to secure a victory.
“That’s kind of the first time I’m like, OK this kid, he has a chance,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood told The Salt Lake Tribune.
Since he was drafted, Lund has climbed the ranks of the Angels’ minor league system, starting with the Orem Owlz and stopping at the Burlington Bees, Inland Empire 66ers and Class AA Mobile Baybears. But on Thursday, he’ll make his Triple-A debut with his hometown Salt Lake Bees.
BEES AT ALBUQUERQUE
When • Thursday, 6:35 p.m.
“Definitely a dream come true,” Lund said Tuesday at Bees media day. “I’m really excited to be here. I’m excited to get to this level of professional baseball, too. This is new for me, so it’ll be an exciting experience.”
Lund says he is especially proud making it to this level while playing in Utah, a state not normally known as a hotbed for baseball prospects.
“It’s always a blessing to be able to get to this level of baseball,” Lund said. “It’s taken a lot of hard work, but I can thank my coaches from Bingham and BYU as well to get me here.”
First-year Bees manager Lou Marson said he saw Lund play a bit while he was with Orem, and has seen the former Cougar progress significantly through the last few years.
“He’s going to play a lot for us this year,” Marson said of Lund.
Marson said the next step in Lund’s development is getting him more at-bats against left-handed pitchers. But in general, he wants to see Lund continue to develop his hitting.
“When he stays in the strike zone offensively, he barrels the ball,” Marson said. “That’s going to be the biggest thing for him — get a good pitch to hit and drive it.”
Littlewood remembers Lund as a player who went 100% all the time and called him BYU’s “spark plug.” Most of all, Lund just continued to get better and better every year, which is what led him to the Bees, Littlewood said.
Defensively, Littlewood said Lund was one of the best center fielders he ever coached.
“He was fearless going into the wall, he took charge at center field, he has a plus-arm in the outfield,” Littlewood said. “He was just really a general out there.”
So far in his minor league career, Lund has played in 284 games and tallied 335 hits, 53 doubles, 12 triples, 17 home runs and 136 RBIs — all while batting .292. He was drafted in the 11th round of the MLB draft in 2016.
Lund grew up attending Bees games even as far back as when they were called the Stingers. Even as he spent those days at nights at Smith’s Ballpark, he never he’d one day play on that field as an adult.
“What a coincidence,” Lund said. “It’s awesome.”