It’s interesting to see LA Angels general manager Billy Eppler and Co. refer to their 2016 drafting of outfielder Brennon Lund as a ‘steal’ deep in the 11th round of the draft. One thing that excites the Angels GM Eppler is Lunds all-around skillset, baseball IQ, and general intangibles. The Angels clearly didn’t see him as an 11th round pick, and with the way he’s been developing in the system it’s clear why the Angels considered him a steal.
A lot of the Angels prospects on this Top 25 list are still years away from making an impact with the big league club. That isn’t the case with the Angels 11th round in the 2016 Draft, the outfielder coming from Brigham Young University where he played as a standout athlete. Brennon Lund came into the Angels system and settled into Low A Ball after only 18 games with the Rookie Ball Orem Owlz. Considering many prospects coming into a system only see a short season in Rookie Ball before approaching Low A we’re already at a great starting point with Lunds MiLB career.
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#21 Brennon Lund (OF’er)
Drafted in 2016 – 11th Round (336th pick)
Brennon Lund has made over-achieving a verifiable skill. So far he’s spent two full Minor League seasons and has played in four different levels of Minor League Ball. In 2016 he spent a short season between Rookie and Low A, and in 2017 he jumped from Low A to Double A (where he spent the 2018 season). Lund is good at everything he does, without having any seriously exceptional qualities, and many scouts have projected him for a 4th outfield role. His ceiling is that of a regular starter and overlooking his ability to reach that goal would be a disservice to his ability to achieve.
In 2016 Lund hit .307 while displaying his solid tool set across the board. In that season, Lund hit 12 doubles with 2 triples and 3 HR’s alongside 30 RBI’s. In those 284 At-Bats Lund came away with 19 BB’s and 15 Stolen Bases while being caught stealing only 3 times. This was an exceptional showing in his first year coming out of the draft. Lund practically breezed through Rookie Ball that season by slashing .397/.463/.521 alongside a solid BB/K rate of 7BBs/11Ks. His finish with Low A Ball wasn’t as strong a showing, but he nonetheless finished his stay with Low A by hitting .271, although his BB/K rate that jumped to 12BBs/33Ks.
One of his outstanding qualities was his ability to take a measured approach at the plate every at-bat. He’s good at creating line drives off of his bat given his contact ability and likewise he holds the ability to generate walks, though that ability was tested heavily at the higher levels of the Minors.
Another plus in his game is his defensive ability. Lund’s has good speed, which he again also displays on the basepaths with his ability to steal while also minimizing caught stealing (2017 SBs/CS: 20/9; 2018 SBs/CS: 21/5). Lund is very capable of producing assists from the outfield, logging 10 assists alongside 3 double plays in 2017. He displays a high baseball IQ which shows in his versatile defensive ability as well as his stealing process on the basepaths.
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Unfortunately Lund did have a bit of a down year in Double A throughout 2018. Despite some struggles his general toolset still stood out. Again, he rocked the basepaths with 21 stolen bases and pulled together the power numbers of 20 doubles, 6 triples, and 8 HR’s to 59 RBI’s. All of that was done on a .264 batting average in 401 at-bats which lends a respectable deal of confidence towards his developing power. Though he is rated as a solid line-drive hitter he is still showing his ability to take the ball deep, so an improvement on his power numbers from 2018 would easily take him from his expected 4th outfielder role to a strong starting outfielder.
What Lund really needs to work on is his tendency to strikeout. Though he still took some walks, with 43 on the 2018 season, he struck out a total of 102 times. One thing Lund has been good at throughout his Minor League career has been his ability to stay within himself and not let the game pull him out of his comfort zone. The 2018 season in Double showed that he can carry his tool set throughout the higher levels, though it also highlighted the improvements he needs to make.
There is a bit of a split opinion on his big league abilities. While some think that he looks to settle in as a fourth outfielder there’s also the opinion that he can break through that notion and become a reliable everyday starter. He absolutely has the skills for that; he can drive the ball with authority, is consistent with his contact, has a good arm in the outfield, can field, can steal bases, has a strong eye for walks and overall has a baseball IQ advanced enough to elevate these skills to greater proportions.
It’s not wild to think so given his ability to perform at a greater rate after being promoted. He didn’t display too much power in his 2017 trip to Double A (.336 SLG%), yet upon returning for a full 2018 season he bumped his slugging up to .404 while raking in 34 extra base hits alongside 59 RBI’s. Lund looks to settle in at the top of a Major League lineup given his consistent contact, line-drive power, and stolen base efficiency.
The only real question is at what level he can produce at. His skills offer him the opportunity to solidify himself as a starting outfielder, all that’s needed is for Lund to tap into that deep baseball IQ and continue to achieve beyond expectations.
Developmental Needs: Better Handle on Strike-Zone Control, Staying Within Approach
Best Tools: Base-running, Refined Mental Approach, Line-Drive Contact, Speed
MLB Estimation: 2019-2020