The short-season Eugene Emeralds will have to deal with the loss of a top prospect for the second time in as many weeks, though for more positive reasons than those surrounding Donavan Tate's recent suspension.
Second baseman Cory Spangenberg, the 10th overall pick of the Padres in June's draft, has been promoted from Eugene to low Class A Fort Wayne after a torrid start to his professional career. In 25 games in the Northwest League, Spangenberg hit .384/.545/.535. He led the league in walks (31) and on-base percentage, ranked second in batting average and third in stolen bases (10) and OPS (1.080). He will now look to recreate that level of production for the TinCaps, who sit 12 1/2 games back in the Midwest League's Eastern Division.
Over a four-game stretch from July 5-8, Spangenberg, 20, went 7-for-14 with six walks, three strikeouts and four stolen bases. This is a microcosm of the skill set Spangenberg displayed at Indian River (Fla.) JC that prompted the Padres to make him their top choice: a line-drive approach with strong plate discipline and plus speed. He's managed this while transitioning back to the middle of the infield.
Primarily a third baseman this spring at Indian River, Spangenberg was drafted as a second baseman, a position he played while at the Virginia Military Institute in 2010. Spangenberg's 70 speed should allow him to contribute positively in the outfield if he's asked to move there at some point, though for now the Padres seem intent on keeping him at second where his bat profiles well. He has made four errors in 24 games with the Emeralds.
While many other franchises will be negotiating with their first-round selections right up until the deadline in mid-August, the Padres have their top pick quickly negotiating his way up the minors in July.