FAYETTEVILLE — The Colorado Rockies drafted Arkansas Razorbacks junior first baseman Chad Spanberger Tuesday in the 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
The Granite City, Illinois native was taken 176th overall (sixth round).
Spanberger had a breakout season in 2017 when he appeared in 60 games, making 58 starts, as the Razorbacks’ primary man at first base. The junior had a career-high .305 batting average with 13 doubles, one triple, 20 home runs, and 67 RBI. His average was the second-highest on the team and he was one of just three Razorbacks to hit .300 or higher.
Spanberger’s home run total led the team and was good for second in the SEC, ninth in the nation. He also became the sixth player in program history to hit 20 or more home runs in a single season.
The Granite City High School product was even better in conference play as he hit .304 with 11 home runs and a conference-leading 36 RBI. Over 29 games, the junior notched 10 multi-hit performances and 11 multi-RBI games. In three of those games, he tallied three hits or more, including four hits against Alabama on April 2 and Auburn on April 23.
In the 2017 Southeastern Conference Tournament, Spanberger turned in one of the best weeks of the season when he earned tournament MVP honors after hitting .421 in five games to lead the Hogs to the tournament final for the fourth time in school history. He had three multi-hit games and all eight of his hits in the tournament went for extra bases. He also set a single-game tournament record for home runs and RBI after going 3-for-4 with three home runs and seven RBI against Auburn. Both the home run and RBI totals were personal single-game highs. Two days later, he hit home runs in consecutive at-bats against top-seeded Florida (May 27) in the semifinals.
Spanberger finished the conference tournament with five home runs, 10 RBIs, and 26 total bases. The home runs and total bases were the second most by a player in tournament history.
Following pitcher Trevor Stephan, who the Yankees drafted earlier on Tuesday in the third round, Spanberger is the first Razorback position player taken in the draft. This selection also makes it another straight year the Hogs have had multiple players drafted going back to 1993.
The third and final day of the draft continues Wednesday on MLB.com with rounds 11-40 starting at 11:00 a.m.
The signing deadline for underclassmen and high school seniors selected in the 2017 First-Year Player Draft is July 7.