Chad Spanberger was waiting to be drafted. He just picked the wrong time to take a break from watching the draft.
Spanberger received a call from the Colorado Rockies that he had been selected by them in the sixth round with the 176th overall pick. The call came as a surprise for the University of Arkansas product, but he said it was the call he hoped he was going to get.
"“I was just going through my day and not even watching (the draft),” Spanberger recalled. “I took a break and was eating lunch. I got a phone call saying congrats and that I had been drafted by the Rockies. The Rockies were my number one team I wanted to come to so I was very excited about that.”"
And why Colorado?
"“This is a hitter’s place,” Spanberger smiled as he stood in the Coors Field dugout and in the state of Colorado for the first time. “I love it. The weather is nice.”"
More from Rox Pile
- Colorado Rockies: What if Todd Helton had played football instead?
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: Has Sean Bouchard earned a second look in 2023?
- Colorado Rockies: 3 things we appreciated from Tuesday in San Francisco
It was 95 degrees when Spanberger said that. However, as a native of Granite City, Ill., just 20 minutes from downtown St. Louis, he was glad to be rid of the humidity that usually accompanies the heat in the Midwest.
Spanberger has been labeled as a slugger and for good reason. He made 58 starts for the Razorbacks at first base last season and found his power stroke in a big way during the second half of the campaign. He finished the campaign with a .305 average and 20 homers, a number that was good enough for second in the Southeastern Conference and ninth in the nation.
He also logged 13 doubles, a triple and 67 RBI. However, his legend and stock grew during the SEC tournament. Against Auburn, he set a school record by going 3-for-4 with three homers and seven RBI. He finished the tourney with five home runs, 10 RBI, 26 total bases and the tournament MVP award.
"“I had trust in myself. I changed my approach a little bit. I was trying to hit balls in the gaps and not pull everything,” Spanberger said. “The whole (SEC) tournament, I was seeing the ball the best I’ve ever seen it.”"
Now Spanberger is preparing for life in the minor leagues. He’ll be heading to the Rockies rookie affiliate in Grand Junction, Colo., to start life in the Pioneer League within the next 24 to 48 hours.
"“They say it’s like summer ball but amped up even more,” Spanberger said. “It’s going to be long. It’s going to be hot. It’s going to be good.”"