San Diego Padres: What To Expect From Cory Spangenberg
By Tim Ryder
With the recent additions made by the San Diego Padres and the liberal shifting of positions for a few very prominent Padres’ players, it leaves former first-round draft pick Cory Spangenberg without a defined role.
Cory Spangenberg exploded onto the scene in his first full season with the San Diego Padres. Over the course of 2015, the then-24-year-old hit .271 with 4 home runs, 21 RBI, and a healthy .733 OPS.
His WAR that year was 2.1, which over 345 plate-appearances is quite the feat for any major leaguer, let alone a first-year player. Spangenberg’s 2016 season was shortened due to a nagging quad injury suffered June 28th of that season, against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In 2017 he returned to appear in 129 games, accumulating 444 at-bats. His slash line in his (technically) second full season showed satisfactory signs of improvement and no lingering effects from his quad injury the year before.
His stats for 2017 were right on par with his 2015 numbers. His slash line was .264/.322/.401, adding in 13 home runs, 46 RBI, and 18 doubles. Considering how quickly MLB pitchers adjust to a young player who shows success early on, there seemed to be no “sophomore slump” for Cory Spangenberg, which is encouraging.
What should the San Diego Padres expect from Cory Spangenberg this year?
The San Diego Padres made some significant moves this past offseason, with A.J. Preller working the phones into the beginning of Spring Training, actually. Once the Friars signed Eric Hosmer to be their first baseman of the future, the landscape of this Padres lineup changed significantly.
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With Hosmer on-board, Wil Myers moves into the outfield. Hunter Renfroe is likely shifting from left to right to make room for Myers.
Jose Pirela, originally slated to be an extra outfielder and backup second baseman, will probably only be sharing duties at second with Carlos Asuaje.
Outfielder Franchy Cordero is progressing at such a pace that Padres manager Andy Green has to be considering adding him to the 25-man roster for Opening Day.
His fielding skills added on top to his prowess at the plate makes keeping him at Triple-A a futile route to take.
So where does Cory Spangenberg fit into the Padres’ plans? In my opinion, Spangenberg, now 26, can still be an extremely important cog for the Friars this season in a super-utility role. He plays second, third, and left-field. He can capably give the starters a spell at any of these positions and can also provide some pop off of the bench.
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In the case of an injury, which is virtually unavoidable throughout the course of a full season, Spangenberg could step right into any of those spots. If projected starting third baseman Chase Headley doesn’t remain with the team, his role could be even bigger.