MadFriars' Spring Training:  Cory Spangenberg

Peoria, AZ -  Cory Spangenberg, 23, was drafted in the first round of the 2011 draft by San Diego out of Indian River Junior College; the tenth overall pick selection. He was a third basemen at Indian River, played second at VMI in his freshman year and was a shortstop in high school.

With the exception of two games, the Padres have kept him exclusively at second. Spangenberg's assets are plus speed and superior hand-eye coordination. He projects as a player that can play in the middle of the field and hit at the top of the order.

After suffering a concussion in 2012 he came back with a strong year particularly in the last month in AA San Antonio where he hit .330/.351/.459. Between both High-A Lake Elsinore and with the Missions he hit .292/.346/.407 with 36 stolen bases in 50 attempts.

How much weight did you put on this off-season?

Cory Spangenberg: (laughs) About two pounds. I'm about 198.

Well you look bigger in the upper body. Not that you looked bad before.

Cory Spangenberg: (laughs) Well I appreciate that.

Mike Saeger, San Antonio's announcer, talked on the air frequently about your improvement at second under Rich Dauer, the Missions' manager and former Baltimore Oriole second baseman. Can you talk about how much he helped you?

Cory Spangenberg: Just an incredible amount. We worked on the field and just sitting around talking on a daily basis about playing second. We got a lot of reps which always helps a ton. So it was a combination of quite a few factors.

You have always improved each year that you have been in the organization, especially on defense. Was it just something that Rich told you specifically about playing second or was it just working with him day in and day out?

Cory Spangenberg: Most of it was just getting used to playing the position. I'm starting my third year at just being at second and Rich really helped me to refine what I had been working on; positioning and the mind set that you need to have to play there.

How about offensively. You have always had good power to the opposite field and this year I thought you were going to work on pulling the ball more. How has that been coming?

Cory Spangenberg: I just try to go gap-to-gap and stay in the middle of the field. I get in trouble when I get away from that approach. If the ball comes inside and I get ahead of it a little that is fine and if I am a little late and go the opposite field that is good too.

So the only time you get reminded about pulling the ball is from guys like me? Cory Spangenberg: (laughs). Yeah, maybe a little. You know you can only hit the ball where it is pitched.

Now you are a veteran has anything changed for the way that you prepare in the off-season?

Cory Spangenberg: A little, mainly just when you begin training. The first few years I started a little too early. So you do lean from year to year.

So when you go through Instructional League and the Arizona Fall League when does your season end?

Cory Spangenberg: Pretty late. The last season I stopped playing baseball on November 19.

I lift throughout the year but I don't pick up a bat and a ball for a few weeks. I give baseball a break for a little bit, get rejuvenated and ready to go back at it again.

So you seem like you have been pretty happy with the way Spring Training has been going?

Cory Spangenberg: Yeah. I was in big league camp so I picked up quite a few things. A really good experience but I am ready to break. All of us are eager to find out where we are going.

San Antonio or El Paso?

Cory Spangenberg: No idea yet. Either is a win/win. In San Antonio I get to go back with Richie and lot of the guys I was drafted with while if its El Paso I get to work with {Pat} Murph{y} and a lot of the guys I am playing with now.

What is the biggest thing you are going to work on going into this year?

Cory Spangenberg: The defense. Just being consistent on a daily basis.


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