Blue Jays 2021 draft pick Matt Svanson Q&A
The Brown and White spoke to Matt Svanson after moving from the Toronto Blue Jays to 392nd in the 2021 MLB draft. Svanson is the 16th player drafted in the program’s history.
Q: You threw two perfect games and two no-hitters in high school. How did you achieve such success?
Matt Swanson: After throwing my first during my sophomore year of high school, I stopped worrying about no-hitters and the like on other trips. When you are out there and this thought crosses your mind, then you are tense and you cannot throw with conviction. So getting the first one out of the way opened the door to the others because I had a “I was done” mentality.
Q: You are the fifth member of your family to attend Lehigh; did you always know you wanted to play in Bethlehem?
MRS: Growing up, I used to visit Lehigh with my family and walk around campus. I’ve known Lehigh was high on my college list since I was a teenager. When I was in high school I found out I could play baseball in Lehigh. I knew it would fit perfectly.
Q: As a newbie, you were able to bring in a combined no-hitter. How was that experience and how was your freshman in general?
MRS: It definitely gave me confidence for the rest of my first year. That outing was one of my first for Lehigh, and being out there and getting another performance like this made me realize that I can keep up to the next level.
Q: What is your favorite memory from your Lehigh career?
MRS: My favorite memory in Lehigh was definitely winning the regular season championship with the team in my senior year. Moving away from my Lehigh career and part of one of the best seasons in Lehigh baseball history is a pretty cool experience.
Q: How did the summer ball prepare you for the next step every year, including this summer in the Cape Cod League ahead of the 2021 draft?
MRS: Summer Ball really gave me a lot of confidence in professional baseball. Knowing that my stuff is playing better against wooden clubs, along with playing and doing against top competition from all over the country, has really boosted my confidence for the next step in my career.
Q: How did your time at Lehigh shape who you are today?
MRS: Being with Lehigh has helped me grow up and improve in so many ways. I have become much more confident and mature both on and off the baseball field. The relationships I made through baseball will be with me forever, and I look forward to continuing the baseball program for years to come.
Q: How excited are you to play for an organization like Toronto?
MRS: I am very excited to be playing for the Blue Jays organization. I visited Toronto a few years ago and fell in love with the city. I would say it’s one of the most underrated cities in North America, and the love of sports in this city is incredible. The unique thing that sets the Blue Jays apart from other baseball organizations is that they represent and are supported by an entire country. It’s a pretty cool feeling to have such a huge fan base supporting this organization.
Q: What challenges does playing for Toronto pose for you as most of your minor league subsidiaries are based in America?
MRS: In my personal opinion, there aren’t too many challenges in having some partners on both sides of the border. Most of the logistical issues are taken care of by the organization. I would say the biggest problem would be when family and friends want to come to see some of my games and have to cross the border.