St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Card Guide - 2011 Prospects Edition

St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Card Guide – 2011 Prospects Edition

Admit it, you have a favorite team that you collect. Most times, it's your hometown team. Sure, you've got all the veterans (that you can afford or have space for), but nothing is more enjoyable than getting a prospect's card and following him up through the farm system. When he plays his first game in a Major League ballpark, it becomes a game within a game. You actually feel anxious for him to do well. You hold your breath for his first at bat. And why not? After years invested in following him, you feel pride in his accomplishments. It's almost like you know that person.

It's the equivalent of saying, “I heard of that band before anyone else."

If you're like me, for every hit prospect, you've followed a dozen duds. They're not just from your home team, but from every team across the county. Heck, there have been times when the first post I ever read about a can't-miss prospect (that I, and everyone else, somehow never heard of) convinced me to immediately rush to eBay and overpay for that prospect's card. This, despite the fact he was in the farm system of a team that had gone nowhere for the last decade and had not produced a noticeable crop of players, well, ever.

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So, to help you in spotting the next star prospects from your team (or any team for that matter), here is the first in a multi-part series analyzing each MLB team's up-and-coming stars and some key cardboard options you may want to pursue.

If you've followed the St. Louis Cardinals this year, you'd have to think their farm system is depleted with the number of players called up over the last two years. After calling up Jaime Garcia, David Freese, Allen Craig, John Jay, Lance Lynn, and others, what's left in the Cardinals' system? Plenty.

Shelby Miller

I'm not telling you anything you don't know here. If you're from St. Louis, he's the prospect you can't wait to see called up. Wait just one more year. Shelby Miller is 6'3 with three good pitches. He has a 1.90 ERA, and is averaging a strike out an inning in Double-A. Miller is a can't miss prospect.

Miller's best baseball card so far has to be his 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball autograph, but don't overlook his earlier 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition cards. My favorite is the Throwback Threads autograph. Sure, it's a sticker autograph, but it's rarer than the Bowman Chrome and it's a jersey card too.

Key Cards:

Top eBay Listings

2016 MUSEUM COLLECTION #SST-SMI SHELBY MILLER AUTOGRAPH 3-JERSEY #73 99, BRAVES
$18.36

SHELBY MILLER Autographed 2013 TOPPS BOWMAN STERLING CERTIFIED BASEBALL CARD
$16.95

2015 Topps Triple Threads Emerald #161 Shelby Miller Jersey Auto #d 50
$5.95

SHELBY MILLER 2013 TOPPS CHROME ON CARD ROOKIE AUTO CARDINALS DIAMONDBACKS
$19.99

2011 Palm Beach Shelby Miller ROOKIE AUTOGRAPH, AUTO, SIGNED - Cardinals!
$9.99

2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM PROSPECTS REFRACTORS REF SHELBY MILLER AUTO RC ROOKIE STUD
$14.99

2014 Five Star SHELBY MILLER AUTO 499 AUTOGRAPH CARDINALS
$5.99

2010 Bowman Chrome #BCP204 Shelby Miller 500 BGS 9.5 Auto Baseball Card 2v3
$79.99
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Zack Cox

Last year's first round pick, Zack Cox has found his stride. For the month of July, he's batting over .400 in Double-A. Again, most would prefer his 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball autograph, but don't overlook his 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition autograph. There's only 478 of the on-card autographs.

Key Cards:

Top eBay Listings

2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects Full Body Autographs Silver #ZC Zack Cox
$15.00

2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects Lumbergraphs Autographs #ZC Zack Cox Auto
$8.00

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Zack Cox #116 RC Auto #224 478 BGS 9.5 Auto 10
$34.99

2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects BDPP62 Zack Cox BGS 9.5 Auto Rookie Card 3t8
$6.95

2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects #BDPP62 Zack Cox 150 BGS 9.5 Auto Card 3t8
$8.95

2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autographs #BDPP62 Zack Cox
$6.40

2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects BDPP62 Zack Cox St. Louis Cardinals Auto 4n0
$5.25

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition #ZC Zack Cox 125 Auto Rookie Baseball
$10.00
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Jordan Swagerty

Jordan Swagerty is a 2010 draft pick that has exceeded expectations. Although some believe the bullpen is in his future, he's actually a future starter only throwing relief for now to keep his pitch count down. Swagerty has pitched in both Low and High-A this year, with a combined 1.74 ERA.

Swagerty will have a 2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball autograph, but the better choice would be any of his 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition autographs, which, through a mind-boggling error, have Magic Johnson's autograph on them. For risk-takers, if you are willing to surrender a Johnson autograph, it can be sent to Panini for a replacement of an actual Swagerty autograph. Why? Well, if Swagerty becomes a future starter, the gamble will pay off because these cards will be rare. Who in their right mind would give up a Magic Johnson autograph?

Key Card:


Top eBay Listings

2011-2012 Bowman Chrome & Platinum AUTO & PURPLE REFRACTOR LOT Jordan Swagerty
$6.95

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition #72 Jordan Swagerty 450 PSA 10 READ Auto 2u8
$169.99

2013 Panini USA Baseball Champions #SWG Jordan Swagerty 25 Auto Rookie Card 1u0
$12.99

2011 Bowman BCP183 Jordan Swagerty 150 St. Louis Cardinals Auto Rookie Card 4k7
$7.99

2011 Bowman BCP183 Jordan Swagerty 150 St. Louis Cardinals Auto Rookie Card 4n0
$7.99

2011 Bowman BCP183 Jordan Swagerty 150 St. Louis Cardinals Auto Rookie Card 2v3
$9.99

2008 UD USA Baseball Jordan Swagerty Printing Plate #1 1 - St. Louis Cardinals
$42.99

2012 Topps Pro Debut Side By Side Dual Autographs Matt Adams Jordan Swagerty 50
$24.00
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Kolten Wong

The local St. Louis media had a field day second-guessing the Cards' first round pick this year. I saw at least three articles that stated he was the “Wong pick." Boy, do I love it when they're wrong. Wong signed immediately, and in his first 16 games had a .361 average and only five strikeouts in his first 61 pro at-bats.

Most of Wong's cards so far are from Upper Deck's USA sets, a number of which are on-card autographs. I'm a fan of the unique style of the Big Sigs cards and since there are only 100 total (25 gold, 75 silver), their scarcity makes them more attractive. Wong also appeared in 2010 Bowman Chrome.

Key Cards:


Top eBay Listings

KOLTEN WONG 2009 UPPER DECK USA PROSPECTS AUTO JERSEY 399
$38.00

2014 TOPPS #MR-KW KOLTEN WONG JERSEY ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 5035
$7.96

3) CARDINALS LOT KOLTEN WONG RC MICHAEL WACHA RED LUKE WEAVER STERLING AUTO 2014
$5.99

2015 Topps Series 2 Kolten Wong Photo variation & regular card
$5.25

2014 TOPPS STADIUM CLUB RAINBOW 50 ON CARD AUTO SCA-KW RC KOLTEN WONG CARDINALS
$24.99

2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects Full Body Autograph Silver #KWO Kolten Wong S2 390
$15.00

2010 BOWMAN CHROME USA KOLTEN WONG ST. LOUIS CARDINALS REFRACTOR ROOKIE #D777
$7.00

2015 Topps Supreme Simply Autograph #SSA-KW Kolten Wong Auto St. Louis Cardinals
$9.00
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Carlos Martinez

Carlos Martinez is one of the new, most talked about prospects in the Cardinals system. Now in Single-A Advanced, Martinez has a fastball that is over 100 mph. Coming off a scoreless inning at the Futures Game, it won't be long until he's a household name. Martinez does not have a card yet and speculation is that the “Carlos Martinez" slated for 2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball is from the Nationals. Don't be surprised if a Martinez card appears soon, though. He's too big of a future star to ignore for long.

Top eBay Listings

2011 Bowman Baseball Blaster Box Retail Sealed Bryce Harper Chrome RC?
$44.95

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 1j6
$23.00

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Gold #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 3h6
$18.25

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 2f4
$15.99

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Gold #BCE1 Bryce Harper BGS 9 1i9
$21.00

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper BGS 9.5 2r0
$35.00

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper BGS 10 0c6
$101.00

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 3h6
$5.25
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Paul Lesko

E-Mail Author |  http://bit.ly/658N9c
Paul Lesko has litigated intellectual property for over 15 years. Don’t hold the fact that Paul is a lawyer against him, he’s also a rabid baseball and college basketball fan, and an avid baseball card collector. Paul can be found on Twitter @Paul_Lesko and Google+.

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