Lake Elsinore second baseman Cory Spangenberg was playing good baseball during the first half of 2012, batting .291 and showing why he was the 10th player selected in the 2011 Draft. His success was curtailed, however, when he suffered a concussion during batting practice midway through the year. He didn't have much offensive success, or a clear head, for the remainder of the season.
"I sat out for a month and a half, and when I came back I still felt the side effects," said Spangenberg, a left-handed hitter from Clark Summit, Penn., who batted .224 in 32 games after June. "You can't do anything for it except rest. I had a headache every day and my vision was foggy."
The injury was a setback but not a drastic step backward. Spangenberg is still ranked No. 10 among Padres prospects, according to MLB.com, which also ranks him fifth among all Minor League second baseman.
Storm manager Shawn Wooten said Spangenberg is a huge asset for his club because he can do a lot of little things well.
"We batted him in the three-hole last year," said Wooten, who is in his second year as Lake Elsinore's manager. "He's a really good bunter, so he fits well batting second. He can fit in any of the top three spots in the batting order.
"He played third base in college, but he looks like a natural second baseman," Wooten added. "He plays offense and defense well."
Spangenberg, who stole 27 bases last year but was caught nine times, has swiped 13 bags this season and only been thrown out once. Rico Noel, a teammate of Spangenberg during the past two seasons, has helped improve this aspect of Spangenberg's game. Now with the Padres' Double-A affiliate in San Antonio, Noel stole 90 bases last year with the Storm.
"After talking with Rico, I know when to go and when to stop," said Spangenberg. "There are more pickoff attempts this year, so I have to be smarter and get a good jump."
After the rough end to his 2012 campaign with the Storm, he bounced back in eight games in the Arizona Fall League and batting .345 with the Peoria Javelinas. He said his head feels fine this season and there have been no further symptoms from last year's concussion.
Bradley bulletin: Archie Bradley, MLB.com's second-ranked Arizona prospect, improved his record to 2-0 with a victory over Bakersfield on Friday night. Bradley leads the league with a 1.26 ERA and 43 strikeouts. The seventh player picked in the 2012 Draft, Bradley had a 12-6 record with a 3.84 ERA last year with South Bend in the Midwest League. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 4.3 to 1 in 2013, an improvement over last year's 1.8 to 1 ratio.
Harris, Giants are mighty: Devin Harris clubbed six homers last week, helping the Giants cap a five-game winning streak Sunday with a 5-3 victory over Modesto. Harris, a 48th-round pick in 2010 from Gastonia, N.C., leads the Cal League with 24 RBIs. San Jose has three starters with ERAs below 2.00. Ty Blach is 3-1 with a 1.54 ERA, Clayton Blackburn is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA and Chris Marlowe is 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA.
Shackleford keeps hitters in chains: High Desert's Stephen Shackleford has found a niche as a closer. He had two saves during the week for the Mavericks. The Louisville native has allowed just three hits over 11 innings this season, picking up three saves and striking out eight in 10 appearances. Shackleford was released after two seasons with the San Francisco Giants organization but signed with Seattle in 2012. He recorded a 6-2 record with a 1.47 ERA and 11 saves for Clinton in the 2012 Midwest League campaign.
With help from Hanley: Dodgers infielder Hanley Ramirez went to Rancho Cucamonga over the weekend and collected three hits in six at-bats while driving in three runs to help the Quakes finish a three-game sweep over Lake Elsinore. Ramirez had surgery on March 22 to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb.