The Colorado Rockies drafted the left-handed hitting Spanberger in the sixth round of the 2017 MLB Draft. Baseball America had Spanberger ranked in its top-200 draft prospects at 163 and listed him as a catcher/third baseman/first baseman. After roughly a full season in the Rockies farm, Colorado sent Spanberger to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Sueng-hwan Oh. Spanberger was one of three prospects sent to the Jays, including former top-100 prospect Forrest Wall.
In just 2.5 seasons as a professional ball player, Spanberger has made his way through four Minor League levels, peaking last year at AA. In his career, he has slashed .274/.340/.501 with 59 homers in 1,259 plate appearances. Despite those good performances, Spanberger had a down year in 2019 at AA, hitting just .237/.308/.399 with 13 homers over 480 plate appearances with 117 Ks.
While Spangerger is predominantly projected as a first baseman, he has spent time at both corner outfield spots and has the corner utility projection that the Brewers love. He’s slow and could get slower over the next few years and isn’t the best fielder. His arm is adequate and allows him to play average defense with a few mental errors at times.
FanGraphs projects Spanberger as a 40 grade player, meaning he can make the Major Leagues, but will most likely serve in a utility or part-time role. The top tool for him is his power, where they give him a 70 raw grade but just 55 in-game. His hit tool can also be a solid skill at 45, which would be nice if he can tap even further into the 70 raw power they see in him.
Coming out of the draft, MLB Pipeline put Spanberger in the back of the Rockies’ top-30 prospects. They graded him at 45 overall with a 45 hit, 55 power, 30 run, 45 arm and 45 field grade. The best comment they had about him was that he was a “poor man’s Chris Davis.”
Historically, Spanberger has been a very solid hitter who uses a lot of the field. While his spray chart is nothing when compared with a premium hitter like Keston Hiura, it’s still a nice divide for a lefty with the power profile that Spanberger has. As you can see below, there is still a pull tendency to his swing, but about 60% of his other hits are evenly divided between center and left field. The biggest part of this is that he’s lacking whole-field power, a tool that can go a long way to taking him to the next level of his development.
I’m sure a team like Milwaukee loves to see any lefty with plus power in the farm system. We all know the Miller Park is a lefty hitter’s haven. If Spanberger wants to get to the majors and take advantage of that, he’ll need to have a great repeat at AA. It’s not uncommon for players to hit a development speed bump at AA, repeat and then live up to their potential, but Spanberger needs to show that he can hit more advanced pitching. If he does so, he’d be a great platoon player/utility power hitter for the Brewers for a few years.