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

2010 Bowman Sterling Prospects BSP-SM Shelby Miller St. Louis Cardinals Card 5p4
$5.25

2013 Topps Emerald #305 Shelby Miller RC Graded BGS 9 Mint Rookie Cardinals
$22.98

2013 Topps Finest Autographed Rookies Refractor #RA-SM Shelby Miller Auto 2d9
$7.75

2013 Bowman Sterling Rookie Certified Autographs #BSAR-SM Shelby Miller Auto 1j1
$8.49

2013 Topps Archives #61 Shelby Miller RC (Cardinals) graded PSA 10 Gem Mint!!
$19.95

Shelby Miller St. Louis Cardinals, Bowman, Chrome Green Xfractor, Rookie, 2010.
$5.00

2010 BOWMAN CHROME REFRACTOR #BCP204 SHELBY MILLER BRAVES ROOKIE AUTO 158 500
$31.49

2015 MUSEUM COLLECTION SHELBY MILLER PATCH AUTO # 25 3-CLR RELIC BRAVES
$34.99
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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 In the Game Heroes and Prospects #A-ZC2 Zack Cox Auto Baseball Card 0d4
$5.24

2011 Bowman Prospects Certified Autographs #BPA-ZC Zack Cox Auto Rookie Card 0k0
$5.24

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

ZACK COX BLACK SP 62 - CARDINALS - 2011 TOPPS HERITAGE BORDER
$6.50

2011 In the Game Heroes and Prospects #A-ZC Zack Cox Auto Baseball Card 5q6
$5.25

2011 In the Game Heroes and Prospects Hard Cuts Silver #HC-ZC Zack Cox Auto 0b0
$5.75

2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM #BPP18 ZACK COX "XFRACTOR" RC, CARDINALS - PSA 10 GEM MINT
$7.76

Zack Cox St. Louis 2010 Bowman Draft Picks Blue Border
$8.00
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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 Bowman Chrome #BCP183 Jordan Swagerty St. Louis Cardinals Auto Card 0m7
$9.25

2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects Gold Refractors #BCP183 Jordan Swagerty 50
$20.00

2011 Bowman Chrome #BCP183 Jordan Swagerty St. Louis Cardinals Auto Card 0r4
$5.25

2011 Playoff Contenders #87 Jordan Swagerty 1 St. Louis Cardinals Card 0t3
$40.25

2011 CONTENDERS #DT87 JORDAN SWAGERTY ROOKIE RC AUTOGRAPH AUTO-CARDINALS 040615
$9.56

2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM #PA-JSW JORDAN SWAGERTY AUTOGRAPH RC, CARDINALS, 041114
$7.46

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

2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects #AFLAC-JS Jordan Swagerty 210 Auto Card 0x0
$25.25
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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 National Treasures Kolten Wong 1 1 RPA
$99.99

2014 Panini Prizm #183 Kolten Wong RC Cardinals graded PSA 10 Gem Mint
$22.95

2014 Panini Prizm Rookie Reign #183 Kolten Wong RC Cardinals graded PSA 10 Gem
$24.95

2012 Topps Heritage Minor League Edition #CCR-KW Kolten Wong Baseball Card 2k0
$15.25

2015 Topps Career High Autographs CH-KW Kolten Wong St. Louis Cardinals Auto 1c9
$10.95

2014 Memphis Redbirds Kolten Wong Rookie St Louis Cardinals
$5.99

2015 Panini Diamond Kings Blue Framed Materials Memorabilia #217 Kolten Wong 0d8
$10.00

2016 TOPPS FINEST KOLTEN WONG *CERTIFIED AUTO* ST LOUIS CARDINALS
$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.

Top eBay Listings

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Silver #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 4x4
$7.50

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 1a3
$5.25

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 5v2
$8.25

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 2d7
$10.25

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Gold #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 2d7
$18.25

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Silver #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 3i4
$7.20

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Silver #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 2t4
$5.24

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Gold #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 2t4
$18.24
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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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