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:

2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Autographs Shelby Miller 690 Image

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1214484475384040 1 Image
2014 Topps Archives Shelby Miller Future Stars Auto
$50.00
2212383876114040 1 Image
2013 Bowman Shelby Miller Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Autograph #ed 181 250
$89.95
1714736859134040 1 Image
2011 Topps Pro Debut Blue Parallel Shelby Miller Rookie RC 309 Cardinals #301
$7.99
1714736859524040 1 Image
2011 Topps Pro Debut Blue Parallel Shelby Miller Rookie RC 309 Cardinals #301
$7.99
1211239635844040 1 Image
Shelby Miller 2010 Bowman Platinum Chrome Prospect RC Refractor #d 999 CARDINALS
$5.99
1413936559874040 1 Image
2013 Pinnacle Shelby Miller RC Auto St. Louis Cardinals Rookie Autograph
$13.49
2215581481104040 1 Image
2014 Topps Heritage Baseball - Shelby Miller - Mini 14 100
$6.99
2215581656864040 1 Image
2013 Bowman Chrome CC Mini Blue Wave Refractors #STL2 SHELBY MILLER 250
$6.99



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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:

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Autographs Zack Cox 478 Image

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Zack Cox Elite Extra Edition Rookie Auto St. Louis Cardinals
$9.99
2313436433634040 1 Image
2010 DONRUSS ELITE** ZACK COX ** RC ** AUTOGRAPHED ** 114 478 **
$9.99
2709982436764040 1 Image
2012 Topps Pro Debut Gold 63 Zack Cox 50
$19.99
2010002148384040 1 Image
ZACK COX (SP) RC AUTO AUTOGRAPH #BPA-ZC ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS * 2010 BOWMAN
$6.50
3013288386084040 1 Image
2011 ITG HEROES & PROSPECTS ZACK COX RC AUTO RARE COUNTRY OF ORIGINS AUTOGRAPH
$9.99
3510655771544040 1 Image
2010 BOWMAN CHROME #BDPP62 ZACK COX AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE RC, CARDINALS, 050614
$10.75
2516368811524040 1 Image
ZACK COX 2010 BOWMAN CHROME BLUE REFRACTOR RC #143 199
$19.99
4007804175274040 1 Image
2010 Zack Cox Donruss Elite Signature Status Emerald Auto 15 25 Cardinals
$9.99



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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:

JordanSwagerty Image

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2007 BOWMAN #AFLAC-JS JORDAN SWAGERTY "AFLAC" ROOKIE CARD RC, CARDINALS, 90713
$7.15
2709982394664040 1 Image
2012 Topps Pro Debut Gold 158 Jordan Swagerty 50
$19.99
2516624525094040 1 Image
2010 Elite Jordan Swagerty 165 200
$25.00
1114722322004040 1 Image
Jordan Swagerty 2011 Bowman Green Refractor Auto # 399, 2012 Gold Refractor # 50
$14.99
3506408837884040 1 Image
2010 ELITE #72 JORDAN SWAGERTY ERROR WITH MAGIC JOHNSON AUTO. CARDINALS 447 450
$44.95
1714751287724040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Jordan Swagerty Red Autograph 1 5 RARE #BCP183
$199.00
2305887958854040 1 Image
JORDAN SWAGERTY 2010 ELITE EXTRA EDITION RC GRADED 10
$22.40
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JORDAN SWAGERTY 08 UD JUNIOR NATIONAL TEAM USA BASEBALL AUTO JERSEY #USJR-JS S#
$6.99



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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:

2009 Upper Deck USA Big Sigs Autographs Kolten Wong Image

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2215387666744040 1 Image
10-Count Lot 2011 Leaf Limited KOLTEN WONG Rookie Cards CARDINALS
$7.99
2215387687364040 1 Image
KOLTEN WONG 2012 Rize Rookie Red Paragon RC # 10
$31.99
3909231664114040 1 Image
KOLTEN WONG 2012 Rize Rookie Inaugural Edition PROOF RC # 100
$7.99
3909231664624040 1 Image
10-Count Lot KOLTEN WONG 2012 Rize Rookies Inaugural Edition RCs
$9.90
1614344011674040 1 Image
2014 Topps Chrome Rookie Blue Refractor on card auto # 199 Kolten Wong Cardinals
$9.50
1213782598314040 1 Image
Kolten Wong 2014 Panini Super Short Print Only 599 Made Rookie Card PGI 10
$24.99
3610661328244040 1 Image
2014 Bowman Chrome Kolten Wong RC Base Shimmer Refractor #ed 03 15
$5.50
2814515287514040 1 Image
2011-2014 KOLTEN WONG 7 Card Rookie Lot: 1st Card, Bowman Chrome, Topps
$5.99



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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.

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1714737414544040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME SEALD TRUOT RC HARPER ..
$29.55
1614110716434040 1 Image
LOT (2) 2011 Bowman HTA JUMBO Baseball Hobby BOX 3 Chrome Autos per Box
$549.99
1412479672164040 1 Image
2011 MLB Baseball Bowman Chrome Factory Sealed Box
$140.00
1815361705464040 1 Image
2011-2 BOX LOT BOWMAN CHROME TOPPS CHROME SEALD BOXS
$42.95
2911629534584040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby 2 Box Lot Bryce Harper
$259.95
1714765834314040 1 Image
5 BOXS LOT .YUP 2011 BOWMAN CHROME SEALD TRUOT RC HARPER
$139.95
1815405482304040 1 Image
2011-2 BOX LOT BOWMAN CHROME TOPPS CHROME SEALD BOXS
$44.95
3809909955794040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL HOBBY 12 BOX CASE
$1,584.95



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Paul Lesko

E-Mail Author |  http://bit.ly/658N9c
Paul Lesko is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy and the chair of its Intellectual Property Department (http://www.simmonsfirm.com). 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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