The play of Cory Spangenberg has been refreshing to see for San Diego Padres fans. His combination of game changing speed and surprising power has opened many eyes on the Padres staff. Spangenberg was for most accounts was a surprise addition to the 25 man roster opening the season. He has taken advantage of his opportunities and played well, you really have to tip your cap to this young man.
In Seattle Spangenberg single-handedly manufactured a run against the Mariners. He reached base, stole second and went to a third on a bad throw. Spangenberg then proceeded to break home on a wild pitch that barely got away from Mariners catcher Mike Zunino. With his quick instincts, Spangenberg stole a run from the Mariners. That type of play simply cannot be taught.
The Padres team is currently built with a lot of power in mind. Sometimes those power hitters go on slumps. The speed Spangenberg brings to the ballpark is there every single day, it takes no day off. His speed puts pressure on the other team. With Spangenberg on the bases, his presence gives the Padres hitters better pitches to hit. Thus the offensive slumps are fewer and farther between.
With the two home runs Spangenberg hit on Thursday night in the rain, he has solidified himself playing time for the next few weeks. You cannot take a player like that out of the lineup when they are performing at this level. You can be sure Spangenberg will be in the lineup tonight against Jordan Zimmerman and the Washington Nationals. His hot streak has made the loss of Wil Myers easier to digest if you are a Padres fan. Easier, but yet the team still misses its lead-off hitter. Myers should be back for the series that starts Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs.
36 games into the season the over all play of the Padres has been sporadic. They can put up 10 runs one night then get shutout two out of the next three nights. That type of inconsistency needs to improve and a player like Spangenberg can assist the team in manufacturing runs on nights when the sluggers are dormant. Its pretty obvious this team is going to have nights where they do not hit, having a speedster in there can only help the line up out.
The former 1st round pick (10th overall) in the 2011 draft is only 24 years old and actually never played AAA ball. Spangenberg was called up last season from AA San Antonio after hitting .331 in 66 games. The young infielder now has 119 major league at bats and has slugged four home runs and driven in 13 runs while scoring 17 runs and swiping eight bases. It is really early to call Spangenberg a star, but the numbers he could potentially put up in a full season are tantalizing.
Spangenberg could very easily be a 20/20 guy at second base for the Padres. He could do that while providing a decent average. The fact he ca play third base is nice, but traditionally you want a power hitter in that spot not a lead-off speedster with some pop. Second base is his true calling in the major leagues. He has decent hands and exceptional range at the position. His emergence has led to the speculation that Jedd Gyorko could be on his way out-of-town.
The simple truth is who knows what kind of player Spangenerg can really be. He has shown the ability to do the little things to get noticed and earn laying time. Those are the intangibles that scouts speak of. There is no stat for that type of player. They just show you on an every night basis, how good they really are. Spangenberg needs to be in there on most nights. He could even play against most lefties, as he doesn’t give away at bats against them. Another positive sign to who Spangenberg really is as a ballplayer.