Speedy infielder tops Padres' busy Draft day
Spangenberg, prep pitcher Ross lead team's five selections
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres passed on the run of college pitching in the first round of the First-Year Player Draft, as they selected infielder Cory Spangenberg with the 10th overall pick on Monday.
A left-handed hitter with plus speed, Spangenberg batted .477 this past season at Indian River State College, which is located in Fort Pierce, Fla. That was the sixth-best batting average among all Division I junior college players.
"Cory Spangenberg was the best player on our board," San Diego assistant general manager Jason McLeod said.
Spangenberg, whom the Padres envision as a second baseman as a professional, was the Big South Conference Freshman of the Year at the Virginia Military Institute in 2010 before transferring.
|1||PIT||RHP Gerrit Cole|
|2||SEA||LHP Danny Hultzen|
|3||ARI||RHP Trevor Bauer|
|4||BAL||RHP Dylan Bundy|
|5||KC||OF Bubba Starling|
|6||WAS||3B Anthony Rendon|
|7||ARI||RHP Archie Bradley|
|8||CLE||SS Francisco Lindor|
|9||CHC||SS Javier Baez|
|10||SD||2B Cory Spangenberg|
|11||HOU||OF George Springer|
|12||MIL||RHP Taylor Jungmann|
|13||NYM||OF Brandon Nimmo|
|14||FLA||RHP Jose Fernandez|
|15||MIL||LHP Jed Bradley|
|16||LAD||LHP Chris Reed|
|17||LAA||1B C.J. Cron|
|18||OAK||RHP Sonny Gray|
|19||BOS||RHP Matt Barnes|
|20||COL||LHP Tyler Anderson|
|21||TOR||RHP Tyler Beede|
|22||STL||2B Kolten Wong|
|23||WAS||RHP Alex Meyer|
|24||TB||RHP Taylor Guerrieri|
|25||SD||RHP Joe Ross|
|26||BOS||C Blake Swihart|
|27||CIN||RHP Robert Stephenson|
|28||ATL||LHP Sean Gilmartin|
|29||SF||SS Joe Panik|
|30||MIN||SS Levi Michael|
|31||TB||OF Mikie Mahtook|
|32||TB||SS Jake Hager|
|33||TEX||LHP Kevin Matthews|
Jaron Madison, the Padres' director of scouting, said the team had between eight and 10 live evaluations on Spangenberg. Area scout Willie Bosque recommended him.
Unlike a year ago when the Padres couldn't sign their top pick, pitcher Karsten Whitson -- which is why the Padres were able to pick 10th on Monday -- Spangenberg said that he is motivated to sign.
"I want to definitely sign right away," Spangenberg said by phone late Monday. "I'm not going to wait all summer. I'm going to sign soon and get out and start playing as soon as possible."
The Padres, who had five of the first 58 overall picks on Monday, used their other first-round pick, the 25th overall selection, on Joe Ross, a right-handed pitcher out of Bishop O'Dowd High in Oakland.
Ross is the younger brother of A's pitcher Tyson Ross.
The Padres selected three players in the compensation round: pitcher Michael Kelly out of West Boca Raton Community High in Florida at No. 48; catcher Brett Austin out of Providence High in North Carolina at No. 54; and shortstop Jace Peterson out of McNeese State with the 58th overall selection.
The Padres resisted the urge to pick a college pitcher with their first pick. McLeod said there were two players selected before Spangenberg the organization liked, though they essentially got the guy they wanted.
"We really like this kid a lot," Padres general manager Jed Hoyer said.
Spangenberg played third base at Indian River only out of necessity, said his coach Mitch Markham, who said, "Cory can [eventually] play second base in the big leagues."
Spangenberg played second base at VMI and then moved to shortstop last summer in the Valley League, where he was named the MVP after hitting .399.
"He's a great runner, he's got a compact swing and a quick swing," Markham said. "The way he plays the game reminds me a bit of [former Padre] David Eckstein, in that he is a blue-collar worker, a hard-nose guy.
"But he drives the ball ... he's not a punch-and-Judy hitter."
Markham said there are a lot of things Spangenberg does well, though speed -- right now at least -- might be his best weapon.
"We had a game this year and Cory has this drag bunt and he goes home to first in 3.47 seconds," Markham said. "There was an assistant general manager there watching him who said that was the fastest time [home to first base] he'd seen in 30 years of baseball."
Of their first five picks on Monday, the Padres selected a second baseman, a shortstop, a catcher and two high school pitchers.
"We want to make an impact in the middle of the diamond," Hoyer said.
Ross, reportedly, has a fastball that sits between 90-91 mph and can reach 95 mph. His fastball has sink to it and he throws a power curveball. Ross has made a commitment to play at UCLA.