San Diego Padres: Spangenberg’s rise defined by consistency
The San Diego Padres have found a solution at the hot corner in Cory Spangenberg, a player who has brought stability to a streaky lineup.
San Diego third baseman Cory Spangenberg is on fire right now. The 26-year-old has hit .423 over the last week, driving in nine runs on eleven hits. He has also homered on four occasions and has swiped two bases.
The rise of Spangenberg to where he is now is a little bit different. Sure, his strong play as of late is very encouraging, but it doesn’t come as a shock. The infielder has been waiting for an opportunity, and 2017 has provided him with this chance of a lifetime.
Nothing has gone conventionally for Spangenberg. During spring training, he competed with Carlos Asuaje and Ryan Schimpf for the every day second base job. Now, he starts at third. The journey has been long and far from perfect, but the Pennsylvania native has had the same approach all along. And this is what makes him such a valuable piece to the Friars for the long term.
Spangenberg’s 2017 season speaks to just how consistent of a player he is. He hit just .222 in his worst month, May, but hasn’t hit lower than .283 in a single month since. Nobody around baseball is mentioning that, but perhaps they ought to.
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Moving positions can be difficult, but it hasn’t phased Spangenberg. Since he traded positions with Yangervis Solarte, he has remained strong defensively and has only improved at the plate. Since the all-star break, Spangenberg has hit .322 in 115 at bats.
Even beyond his consistency though, Spangenberg is valuable due to his resilience. Besides third, he can obviously play second since he has played it in the majors since 2014, and has also even appeared at the plate 63 times as a left fielder. A starter who can play as many positions as a utility player is beyond valuable to a club still trying to fill holes at several positions. And even more beneficial, Spangenberg shows no signs of slowing down when he is asked to play a different position. Rather, he embraces every task, and proves to be consistent throughout.
Spangenberg is not an all-star caliber player, at least not yet. But the combination of consistency and resilience that he brings to the Padres when they need it most will keep him around for a while. He is a fan favorite because fans know what to expect from him. There’s a good chance Spangenberg becomes a staple in a San Diego uniform not long from now.