The Brown and White spoke with Matt Svanson after he was drafted 392nd overall by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2021 MLB Draft. Svanson is the 16th player drafted in the history of the program.
Q: You threw two perfect games and two no-hitters in high school. How were you able to achieve such success?
Matt Svanson: After I threw my first one during my sophomore year of high school, I stopped worrying about no-hitters and such in other outings. If you are out there and have that thought running through your head, then you will be tense and won’t be able to throw with conviction. So getting the first one out of the way opened up the door for the other ones because I had a “been there done that” mentality.
Q: You’re the fifth member of your family to attend Lehigh; did you always know you wanted to play in Bethlehem?
MS: Growing up I would always visit Lehigh with my family and walk around campus. I knew since I was young that Lehigh was on the top of my college lists. When I was in high school I found out that I would be able to play baseball at Lehigh. I knew it was going to be a perfect fit.
Q: As a freshman, you were able to pitch in a combined no-hitter. How was that experience, and how was your freshman year in general?
MS: It definitely gave me confidence going forward into the rest of my freshman year. That outing was one of my first for Lehigh, and to go out there and achieve another accomplishment like that made me realize that I can compete at the next level.
Q: What is your favorite memory from your Lehigh career?
MS: My favorite memory at Lehigh was definitely winning the regular-season championship with the team my senior year. To walk away from my Lehigh career being a part of one of the best seasons in Lehigh baseball history is a pretty cool thing to have experienced.
Q: How has summer ball each year prepared you for that next step, including this summer in the Cape Cod League prior to the 2021 draft?
MS: Summer ball has really helped give me a lot of confidence going into professional baseball. Knowing my stuff plays better against wood bats, along with playing and doing well against top competition from around the country has really boosted my confidence going into the next step of my career.
Q: How has your time at Lehigh shaped the person you are today?
MS: Being at Lehigh has helped me grow up and better myself in so many different ways. Both on and off the baseball field I have become much more self-aware and mature. The relationships I have formed through baseball will stick with me forever, and I am so excited to continue to follow the baseball program for years to come.
Q: How excited are you to be playing for an organization like Toronto?
MS: I am very excited to be playing for the Blue Jays organization. I visited Toronto a few years back, and I fell in love with the city. I would say it is one of the most underrated cities in North America, and the love for sports in that city is amazing. The unique thing that separates the Blue Jays from other baseball organizations is that they are representing and are supported by a whole country. That is a pretty cool feeling to have that large of a fan base supporting this organization.
Q: What challenges does playing for Toronto pose to you as most of their minor league affiliates are located in America?
MS: In my personal opinion, there aren’t that many challenges to having some affiliates on both sides of the border. Most of the logistical issues are taken care of by the organization. I would say the biggest issue would be when family and friends want to come to watch some of my games and need to get across the border.