Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Granite City's Spanberger Picked by Rockies

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Granite City's Spanberger Picked by Rockies

Article excerpt

Chad Spanberger needed less than a second to process the information.

The former Granite City High standout's eyes lit up Tuesday when he was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the sixth round of the Major League Baseball free agent draft.

And not just because he was about to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a professional baseball player.

It was the location that grabbed him.

"Coors Field I can't wait," Spanberger said.

Spanberger, who recently completed his junior season at the University of Arkansas, was the 176th selection on the second day of the three-day draft.

The 2014 Granite City High graduate said he is 99.5 percent sure he will sign a contract and forgo his senior college campaign.

"There's been a lot of stress the past few days, and I'm glad it's all over," Spanberger said. "I'm looking forward to getting started."

Spanberger, a first baseman and outfielder, is just as happy with his new team. He relishes the opportunity to play at the hitter-friendly stadium in Denver down the road.

"I hope it's a perfect fit," he said.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Spanberger is coming off a stellar end to his college season. He hit .421 with five homers and 10 RBIs in five games during the Southeastern Conference Tournament as the Razorbacks placed second to LSU.

He finished with a .304 average and hit 20 homers with 67 RBIs, both team-highs. That late-season surge helped solidify him as a top-notch professional prospect.

The laid-back lefthanded hitter closed out a strong career at Granite City by hitting .417 as a senior. He grabbed all-Southwestern Conference honors three times.

"There are certain players that just stand out and you could tell he was one of those as soon as you saw him," said former Granite City baseball coach John Moad, who now serves as the school's athletics director. "From the start, it was easy to see he was something special."

Spanberger hit .252 as a freshman and .225 his sophomore season. But he really came into his own the last month. …

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