MadFriars' Interview: Cory Spangenberg

The book on Cory Spangenberg when the Padres took him with the tenth overall pick in the 2011 draft was that he had one of the more advanced bats in his class.

After signing quickly, he got off to a torrid start in Eugene and was promoted to Fort Wayne. His production tailed off across 209 Midwest League plate appearances, but overall his professional debut was a success.

With high expectations on him headed into 2012, Spangenberg was never able to get untracked in the Cal League. The left-handed hitter was striking out in 20 percent of his plate appearances and had a wOBA of just .310, slightly above league average, when he was hit in the head by a ball in a fluke batting practice mishap. The Pennsylvania native wound up missing six weeks as he recovered from a concussion, and never found his stride after returning in August.

Now fully healthy, Spangenberg is looking to use his line-drive approach at the plate and plus-plus speed to get things back on track in his return performance at Lake Elsinore.

MadFriars: After dealing with the concussion last year, what did you do over the offseason to get yourself ready for 2013?
Cory Spangenberg: The Fall League was a good time to get more at-bats and get everything back on track. Then I went home, got my body a little rest and try to get my head on straight, then started working out again. I took a break swinging and taking grounders, but I lifted throughout.

MadFriars: Even with the time you missed, last season was longer than any you've ever played before. What did you concentrate on as you went through your preparations?
Cory Spangenberg: "I really focused on conditioning and trying my legs under me. It's a long year and you have to keep your legs because once your legs go, the hitting goes and the fielding goes. Getting out on the field [in Peoria] was important. Being out in Pennsylvania, we weren't able to do that. So just to be able to get on the field and take grounders and see where the ball is flying, and adjust from there.

MadFriars: Do you think, as a cold-weather guy, does it make it harder to come in to spring training ready to go on day one?
Cory Spangenberg: Well, that's going to change. I think it's a disadvantage, so next year I'm going to get out and take advantage of our facilities out here.

MadFriars: Being shut down last year had to be frustrating since the injury wasn't something you could really rehab?
Cory Spangenberg: It was boring just sitting around all day, and I couldn't even travel with the team some times. So it was very frustrating to not be able to help yourself any way except by sitting.

MadFriars: It looks like you and Jace Peterson are pretty well connected out there on the field. Does it help to kind of be paired up with a double-play partner like that?
Cory Spangenberg: We've been good buddies since we signed. I went and visited him last offseason and we get along go. It's definitely nice to go through the system with a guy - especially a shortstop because you're talking to him every play and always around him.

MadFriars: When you look at your game at the plate, what was the biggest piece you've worked on improving since you joined the organization?
Cory Spangenberg: My swing's gotten shorter and I'm still a threat on the bases. I've learned to hit the inside pitch.

MadFriars: Defensively, you've been learning the position on the fly. What's your focus as you take reps in the field?
Cory Spangenberg: The backhand's been giving me the most trouble since I reached pro ball, so I've worked a lot and I think it's getting there.


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