It's September, and that means that playoff races heat up, teams fall further out of contention (mine), and minor league call ups occur. Among other things.
The Padres have an above average farm system, and seem to be able to churn out more major leaguers than most teams (no, really, look it up), though they seem to be lacking in the "difference maker" type prospects. Lots of fringe, utility-type guys, not a lot of impact players.
Except for pitchers, I guess, but it's a little easier to be a good pitcher at Petco National Park.
Anyways, the Padres brought up former 1st round pick Cory Spangenberg a few games ago. Other than being drafted before Jose Fernandez, the only thing that he's really been known for is having concussion issues that have derailed parts of his seasons in the minors. However, he tore it up in AA San Antonio this year, and got the call. Pretty cool, since I got his autograph on a ball a few Spring Trainings ago.
Well, in his debut, he went 1 for 4 with the deciding RBI and made some great defensive plays, and then the next day hit his first MLB home run, which was of the walk off variety. Pretty cool right? To honor Mr. Spangenberg (pronounced Spann-jen-burg), here are all of the cards I have of him. The one on top is from the 2011 Lake Elsinore Storm team set I bought when I was in San Diego a few a weeks ago.
Next up, some cards of him in a Padres uniform. Yeah, it's photoshopped (most likely), but I really like that Bowman Platinum card. Been debating on picking up the blue variation, which is numbered to 199, but it's more than I want to spend, and how many do I actually want?
Here are some (probably?) un-photoshopped cards of Cory in some minor league jerseys. Started out with the Eugene Emeralds, then onto the Ft. Wayne Tincaps, and finally, the Lake Elsinore Storm. The Pro Debut card is one of my favorites, very sharp looking card. Can't really go wrong with Heritage, though I'm less of a fan for the wood looking ones, but maybe that's just me. Love the Storm cards, though.
I said that I already had his autograph on a ball, but I'm a card collector, I've gotta have it on something rectangular as well. Pretty abbreviated signature, only the "C" and "S" are very prominent at all, but I guess when your last name is "Spangenberg" and you sign autographs, you need to find a shortcut. Oh, the pitcher that got the save in Spangenberg's first two games? Kevin Quackenbush. Fun name alert!
Well, from all the scouting reports, he looks to be another fringe average major leaguer - good speed, able to play a few positions (CF, 2B, 3B), not a lot of pop in his bat - but hopefully he can continue to build upon his first few games and be able to help the Padres, if not this year, then in 2015.
Even if he doesn't, he'll always have those first few games.