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.

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




2013 PANINI NATIONAL TREASURES SHELBY MILLER GREEN AUTOGRAPH CARD #'D 8 10 AUTO
$149.99

Shelby Miller Cardinals 2016 Topps Museum Material Relic Prime Patch 32 50
$7.99

2009 DONRUSS ELITE EXTRA EDITION - TOTC AUTOGRAPH - SHELBY MILLER 690
$30.00

SHELBY MILLER - 2013 BOWMAN CHROME SILVER WAVE REFRACTOR #32 SHELBY MILLER
$40.00

SHELBY MILLER - 2013 Topps Chrome Update Black Refractors #MB44 Shelby Miller
$20.00

SHELBY MILLER - 2014 TOPPS MUSEUM COLLECTION AUTOGRAPH #AASMI
$15.00

SHELBY MILLER - 2013 BOWMAN CHROME ROOKIE AUTOGRAPH #SM SHELBY MILLER
$25.00

SHELBY MILLER - 2014 TOPPS TRIBUTE BLUE #9 SHELBY MILLER
$5.00



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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




ITG 2011 Zack Cox Gold Between The Seams AUTO Cardinals Marlins
$8.38

2011 Topps Heritage Minors Autographed Auto Signed #8 Zack Cox Cards Nationals
$9.99

2011 Bowman Platinum Zack Cox Rookie Red 23 25 Cardinals
$14.99

2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM #BPP18 ZACK COX "XFRACTOR" RC, CARDINALS - PSA 10 GEM MINT
$8.28

2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects Full Body Autographs Silver #ZC Zack Cox
$9.75

2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Auto Rc Zack Cox BGS 9.5 Auto 10 Gem Mint
$19.99

Zack Cox St. Louis 2010 Bowman Draft Picks Blue Border
$8.00

2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Refractor Auto Rc Zack Cox BGS 9.5 Auto 10 Gem Mint
$29.99



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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 CONTENDERS #DT87 JORDAN SWAGERTY ROOKIE RC AUTOGRAPH AUTO-CARDINALS 040615
$9.56

2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM #PA-JSW JORDAN SWAGERTY AUTOGRAPH RC, CARDINALS, 041114
$7.96

Jordan Swagerty LOT Bowman Chrome Refractor Auto # 500 Bowman PlatinumAutograph
$9.99

2011 Topps Heritage Minors #93 10x Lot Prospect Jordan Swagerty Cardinals
$9.99

2013 (TEAM USA) USA BB Champions Stars & Stripes Sigs #57 Jordan Swagerty 700
$6.40

2011 Bowman Platinum Jordan Swagerty Ref Auto
$9.99

2011 Quad Cities River Bandits Jordan Swagerty Sachse Texas TX Baseball Card
$15.00

Jordan Swagerty CORRECTED AUTO Magic Johnson 25 2010 Donruss Elite Status 1 1?
$40.00



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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




2014 Bowman Chrome Refractors Kolten Wong RC BGS
$9.99

2016 Topps Finest Kolten Wong FA-KW Gold Refractor Autograph Numbered 05 50
$8.27

2014 BOWMAN CHROME - PURPLE REFRACTOR - KOLTEN WONG RC 150
$5.00

2014 Memphis Redbirds Kolten Wong Rookie St Louis Cardinals
$5.99

Kolten Wong 2016 Topps museum collection baseball Emerald True 1 1 Cardinals
$49.00

(10) 2014 TOPPS HERITAGE #H585 KOLTEN WONG HIGH NUMBER LOT ST LOUIS CARDINALS
$12.99

KOLTEN WONG 2012 Rize Rookie Printing Press Plate RC 1 1
$49.99

KOLTEN WONG 2011 LEAF VALIANT SP RC AUTO CARDINALS ROOKIE
$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 CHROME Baseball Sealed HOBBY Box Case Fresh
$369.00

TREVOR MAY 2012 BOWMAN CHROME BLUE REFRACTOR AUTO AUTOGRAPH #BCA-TM 142 150
$29.95

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Factory Sealed Hobby Box Mike Trout AUTO RC ???
$389.95

ELIEZER MESA 2010 BOWMAN CHROME GOLD REFRACTOR #BCP128 9 50
$14.95

BRENT JOHNSON 2007 BOWMAN CHROME ORANGE REFRACTOR #BC207 10 25
$19.95

(5) BRENT JOHNSON 2007 BOWMAN CHROME GOLD REFRACTOR #BC207 50
$39.95

2011 BOWMAN CHROME USA X-FRACTOR BOX SET 299 (FACTORY SEALED) QUANTITY
$99.99

2011 BOWMAN CHROME HOBBY SEALED BASEBALL BOX
$459.95



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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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