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

2015 Topps Update Series US190.2 Shelby Miller (Black Jersey) Atlanta Braves 3q5
$5.25

SHELBY MILLER LOT OF 12 RC ROOKIE BOWMAN CHROME GOLD REF + ST LOUIS CARDINALS
$19.00

(5) SHELBY MILLER MLB Baseball ROOKIE Lot - Bowman Chrome Topps - CARDINALS
$14.99

2015 Topps Career High Autographs #CH-SM Shelby Miller Auto Baseball Card 1u5
$10.25

2010 Shelby Miller Bowman Chrome Green XFractor & Purple Refractor #d RC Lot (3)
$22.45

2015 Topps Update Snow Camo #US106 Shelby Miller # 99 BX 40Z
$5.90

2015 Topps Tier One Dual Relics #DSRSM Shelby Miller Jersey # 50 BX 17HH
$6.98

2013 Topps Heritage Chrome Purple Refractor #HC96 Shelby Miller Trevor Rosenthal
$10.00
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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

Zack Cox Signed 2011 ITG H&P Up Close Silver Auto Card 190 St. Louis Cardinals
$9.99

2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects Full Body Autographs Silver #ZC Zack Cox
$9.00

2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects Draft Year Autographs Silver #ZC Zack Cox - NM-MT
$30.00

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition #14 Zack Cox 49 Arkansas Razorbacks Auto 9u7
$80.25

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition #116 Zack Cox 100 St. Louis Cardinals Auto 0b2
$22.25

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition #116 Zack Cox 100 St. Louis Cardinals Auto 0h1
$14.99

2010 Bowman Chrome Zack Cox BLUE REFRACTOR RC AUTO 150 Autograph
$14.99

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Signature Status Emerald Zack Cox AUTO 20 25
$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 Bowman Chrome Prospect Jordan Swagerty Refractor RC Auto # 500 (ref 11182)
$8.95

2011 Bowman Platinum Prospect Autograph Refractors #JSW Jordan Swagerty - NM-MT
$5.95

2011 Bowman Platinum BPP-74 Jordan Swaggerty 1 St. Louis Cardinals Swagerty 0t3
$50.25

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Status Emerald Die-Cut #72 Jordan Swagerty 1d3
$5.18

2011 Bowman Chrome #BCP183 Jordan Swagerty St. Louis Cardinals Auto Card 1e0
$12.25

2011 Bowman BCP183 Jordan Swagerty 150 St. Louis Cardinals Auto Rookie Card 3e3
$8.50

2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects #AFLAC-JS Jordan Swagerty 210 Auto Card 2m4
$14.25

2011 Bowman Chrome Jordan Swagerty Auto BCP183 Autograph Cardinals
$9.99
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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

2015 Topps Archives #90DPKW Kolten Wong 199 St. Louis Cardinals Auto Card 5y1
$20.25

2015 Topps Supreme Autographs #SA-KW Kolten Wong St. Louis Cardinals Auto 3y9
$11.25

2015 Panini Prizm Autographs Red Power Prizms #13 Kolten Wong 99 Auto Card 1v1
$6.95

2011 Bowman Sterling Autograph Auto Kolten Wong RC Cardinals Rookie Card
$9.99

2014 TOPPS SUPREME KOLTEN WONG AUTO 45 50
$55.00

2011 KOLTEN WONG BOWMAN CHROME DRAFT PROSPECT AUTO #KW BGS 9.5 10 AU
$39.99

2012 BOWMAN PROSPECTS AUTOGRAPH KOLTEN WONG ROOKIE #BPA-KW CARDINALS MINT
$9.95

Kolten Wong 2010 Bowman Chrome USA Baseball #BC21 Mint BV $5 $4
$5.00
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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 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 1c7
$5.25

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Gold #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 5n3
$18.00

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 2e1
$5.24

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Gold #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 1g5
$18.24

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Silver #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 2e1
$6.74

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Silver #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 1g5
$18.24

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 0f7
$6.25

2011 Topps Update Bowman Chrome Baseball Value Box SEALED!! FREE SHIPPING!
$98.11
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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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