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Padres' Spangenberg trends upward
Infielder raises average above .300, extends hit streak to 10
05/13/2012 11:19 PM ET
Cory Spangenberg is hitting .429 with 13 RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak.
Cory Spangenberg is hitting .429 with 13 RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak. (Lake Elsinore Storm)
Last season after a callup to Class A Fort Wayne, Cory Spangenberg started slowly. The infielder saw his batting average sitting at .190 after 26 games and brought it up to .286 by the end of the year.

This season began similarly for Spangenberg, only this time the rebound has been both more pronounced and accelerated.

The Padres' No. 5 prospect ended April 26 averaging .200. After going 2-for-4 in Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore's 13-6 rout of Inland Empire on Sunday, it now sits at .305, completing a 105-point turnaround over a two-and-a-half-week period.

"I've opened up a little bit. I'm seeing the ball a little bit better," said the 21-year-old. "It's just one of those things. Last year I started off like this too, I don't know why I've been doing it. I just recovered quicker than last year."

Spangenberg's pair of hits Sunday extended his current hit streak to 10 games, and he's hit safely in 16 of his last 17. Seven of those 10 games have been multi-hit efforts, with the Indian River State product hitting .429 (18-for-42) during the span.

And with four more RBIs in Sunday's win over the 66ers, he's driven in 13 of his 22 total RBIs during the nascent hitting streak. It's clear MLB.com's No. 77 prospect overall has found the "on" switch for his bat this year.

"I know I'm going to hit sooner or later, it's just a matter of time," said Spangenberg. "You have to have a lot of confidence in yourself to play this sport. Once you start hitting, everything goes better for you. Lately it feels like I've been putting pretty good swings on the ball."

On Sunday, Spangenberg hit in the third spot in the Lake Elsinore lineup. It was the first time he'd done so all season -- primarily he's hit in the two-hole with an occasional appearance leading off -- and he responded with the four RBIs. He said he was comfortable hitting in a position in the order that was more associated with run production.

"Anything to help the team out," he said. "In [Class A Short-Season] Eugene and in college I did it. It's not bad. Wherever they put me, it's not going to change anything, I'll still play my game.

"That's a good spot to get the runs in, it was just good to do the job."

Spangenberg, chosen 10th overall by San Diego in last year's Draft, came out of college with the pedigree of batter who could hit for average. He had no problems out of the gate in the Northwest League, hitting .384 in 25 games with Eugene. After bringing his average back up last season with Fort Wayne and now climbing over .300 with Lake Elsinore, it appears he's justifying that expectation.

"I just want to keep on going out there, grinding out every pitch of every at bat, never settling and hope to continue having success," he said.

Right fielder Luis Domoromo doubled and drove in three runs while No. 2 Padres prospect Rymer Liriano went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored in the Storm's offensive barrage.

Jonathan Raymond is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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