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




SHELBY MILLER CARDINALS BRAVES 2011 BOWMAN TOPPS 100 ROOKIE RC # TP17 GRADED 10
$14.99

2010 Bowman Platinum Shelby Miller 17 Card RC Lot Braves
$17.00

2010 Bowman Chrome Shelby Miller rainbow lot refractors Rc
$15.00

2014 Heritage ST LOUIS CARDINALS Team Set (21) SHELBY MILLER MATT CARPENTER +
$7.95

2015 DIAMOND KINGS SHELBY MILLER #D 15 FRAMED RED SIGNATURES DUEL RELIC AUTO
$13.00

2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Refractors #32 Shelby Miller
$6.00

2013 Bowman Silver Ice #126 Shelby Miller
$6.00

2013 Topps Rookie Variation #305 Shelby Miller St. Louis Cardinals - NM-MT
$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




2012 Topps Pro Debut Gold 63 Zack Cox 50
$19.99

2010 BOWMAN CHROME #BDPP62 ZACK COX AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE RC, CARDINALS, 050614
$10.75

2010 Elite EE Autograph #1 Zack COX Brett EIBNER 17 50 ARKANSAS Razorbacks PSA 9
$40.00

2012 Springfield Cardinals Zack Cox and Matt Adams Baseball Card
$12.99

Zack Cox Signed 2011 ITG H&P Up Close Silver Auto Card 190 St. Louis Cardinals
$8.49

2010 Bowman Chrome Refractor Autograph Auto Zack Cox RC 306 500 Cardinals
$7.99

2010 DONRUSS ELITE, ZACK COX, AUTO. RC, CARDS, SGC 96
$58.50

Lot of (2) 2010 Bowman Autograph Auto Zack Cox RC Cardinals Rookie Card
$6.49



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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




2007 BOWMAN #AFLAC-JS JORDAN SWAGERTY "AFLAC" ROOKIE CARD RC, CARDINALS, 90713
$7.15

2012 Topps Pro Debut Gold 158 Jordan Swagerty 50
$19.99

2010 ELITE #72 JORDAN SWAGERTY ERROR WITH MAGIC JOHNSON AUTO. CARDINALS 447 450
$44.95

JORDAN SWAGERTY 2010 ELITE EXTRA EDITION RC GRADED 10
$19.04

2007 USA Baseball Stars & Stripes Auto Autograph Jordan Swagerty 16 25
$7.78

2011 Bowman Platinum Canary Diamond Refractor PROOF No 1 1 Jordan Swagerty
$25.00

2011 Playoff Contenders Draft Ticket Autographs #DT87 Jordan Swagerty - NM-MT
$6.00

Jordan Swagerty 2011 Topps Heritage Minors Real One Autographs Card RA-JSW Stl
$11.75



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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 2011 Just GEMS Rookie Autograph ORANGE Auto RC 1 1
$85.00

2012 Rize Kolten Wong Rookie #96 St.Louis Black + White Proof 100
$5.99

2013 Bowman Platinum Relic Autographs #KW Kolten Wong Grade 9.5
$45.00

2013 Bowman Chrome Draft BLUE REFRACTOR Kolten Wong RC 98 99 Cardinals
$14.99

KOLTEN WONG 2012 Rize Rookie Inaugural Edition PROOF RC # 100
$7.99

2014 TOPPS FINEST #15 KOLTEN WONG ROOKIE RC REFRACTOR ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 0024
$5.35

Kolten Wong 2015 Gypsy Queen Jersey
$6.50

KOLTEN WONG 2012 Rize Rookie GOLD Paragon RC # 100
$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




8 Box LOT of BOWMAN CHROME Baseball 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
$699.00

LOT (2) 2011 Bowman HTA JUMBO Baseball Hobby BOX 3 Chrome Autos per Box
$489.99

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball SEALED JUMBO BOX (12 Packs-3 Autos..Harper RC AUTO?)
$325.00

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball 12 Box Factory Sealed Hobby Case
$2,499.95

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Box Mike Trout Bryce Harper Rookies
$169.95

Bowman CHROME 2011 Baseball - Factory Sealed Box Bryce Harper
$160.00

2011 Bowman Chrome USA XFractor Box Set Rc 299 - Factory Sealed
$29.99

2011 BOWMAN BASEBALL w CHROME 2 Pack Lot Possible Bryce Harper Auto Rc ? BOX
$29.99



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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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