Q&A with Gonzaga Commit Stephen Lund

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

2018 Catcher Stephen Lund recently committed to Gonzaga. Lund is currently ranked No. 9 in the Wisconsin Class of 2018. He will continue the GRB pipeline to Spokane, joining 2016 grads Taylor Borchers and high school teammate Keaton Knueppel. Lund has showed advanced tools behind the plate since we first saw him in 2014. Despite being one of the top backstops in the state, Lund also plays the infield for his high school team, which features No. 1 ranked 2016 Ben Rortvedt, who serves as the primary catcher for Verona. Here is a report on Lund from this past summer.

Stephen Lund7.20.15 - 6-foot, 183-pound catcher, solid thick build, good catcher’s frame. Right-handed hitter, balanced setup, short stride, uses lower half, maintains strong balance, highly repeatable swing. Shows a knack for finding the barrel, athletic hands, able to adjust. Path stays through the hitting zone, good extension, hits with rhythm, bat plays in game. 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed well above average catch and throw skills, arm plays short and over the top, typical catcher’s arm action, showed accuracy and carry to second base, 77 mph out of the crouch. Clean exchange, handles the ball well, 2.03-2.15 pop times in workout. High follow 2018 prospect.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Lund: I expected the recruiting process to be fairly long once it actually started but thought it would take longer to get initially started. Once the process started it was how I expected it. I took my time trying to find the right school for me so I knew it would take a little longer.

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Lund: I was first looking for a good education. School is very important to me so I was looking for a good university where I would like to graduate if I didn't play baseball there. I then looked at the coaching staff and how I felt when I was around them. After the coaching staff I was looking for a good campus life where I would be comfortable then I looked for if the program that could win a championship which I think Gonzaga can.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

Lund: Location did not factor into my decision.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

Lund: I think I got into schools minds first at the GRB top prospect camp when I was in 8th grade and ever since then coaches were always watching and seeing how I progressed as a player. After that, I got to play with older ages at GRB where schools started showing up for games and I got to get comfortable playing in front of them early. 

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Lund: Coach Harmon first saw me at the GRB top prospect showcase when I was a freshman and coach Evans first saw me that next summer since Keaton Knueppel and Taylor Borchers were committed to Gonzaga. This fall they also saw me a few times and I first called them at the end of October. After that, I talked with Coach Harmon weekly and continued building my relationship with them. I now feel very comfortable with all the coaches at Gonzaga. 

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Lund: I really like the business school and the alumni connections associated with Gonzaga. Also, the coaching staff is very nice and the team has a family atmosphere which I really like. The field they play on is also very nice and they have a chance to win the WCC every year.  

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Lund: My short list had Duke, Michigan State and Michigan on it.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Lund: The best player I have faced in the state is Ben Rortvedt. Since I go to high school with Ben I know how hard he works to get where he is and I know what he is capable of. As a competitor he is a very good bat and has a very strong arm from behind the plate which makes him tough to get out and play against. 

PBR: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

Lund: I think after I went to the top prospect showcase at GRB in 8th grade and saw interest from division 1 schools I knew I was a college caliber player. I knew since I was 12 or 13 that I wanted to follow in the footsteps of some of the older GRB players who went onto play in college including my brother. I saw my brothers 18u team play when I was 12 and that team had many college players on it so I was exposed to the type of player I wanted to be like at an early age and was able to take the game more serious from that point on.

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Lund: My advice would be to always keep working hard and do what you feel is right. You can't make it in life or baseball if you are always doing what people expect of you and only you know what is right for you.

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Lund: The most memorable baseball moment in my baseball career to this point would have to be when I caught Grant Frazier's no hitter down in Georgia this summer. That was an awesome experience because it was a must win playoff game in one of the largest baseball tournaments of the summer. Whenever you are apart of something like that it is special.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Lund: Our team should do pretty well this year for high school. We have a good set of returners  and have a very good ace in Keaton Knueppel along with Ben Rortvedt behind the plate. The key for our team will be pitching, just like any other team. We have the bats and defensive to win, we just need good starts from our 2nd and 3rd starters.

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Lund: I play with the GRB Rays in the summer and the most memorable experience was driving all the way home in the van from Georgia this summer. We drove 2 vans down there with close to 12 guys in the vans combined. Just spending time with the team was a fun experience that will last a long time.

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