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




2012 Panini Prizm Top Prospects Shelby Miller PSA 9 Mint
$29.99

(20) 2013 Bowman CHROME Draft Shelby Miller RC's All Chrome Cardinals LOT
$24.99

2013 TOPPS CHROME SHELBY MILLER #80 ROOKIE CARD PSA 9
$13.99

2013 TOPPS SHELBY MILLER #305 ROOKIE CARD PSA 10
$19.99

2013 FINEST JUMBO RELIC AUTO X-FRACTOR #070 149 - SHELBY MILLER RC BGS 9.5 10
$59.99

2013 BOWMAN CHROME BLUE REF AUTOGRAPHS #XXX 250 - SHELBY MILLER RC - BGS 9.5 10
$99.99

2013 TOPPS CHROME REFRACTOR AUTOGRAPHS #xxx 499 - SHELBY MILLER RC - BGS 9.5 10
$49.99

2013 FINEST REFRACTOR AUTOGRAPHS - SHELBY MILLER RC AU - BGS 9.5 AUTO 10 ROOKIE
$44.99



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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




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

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

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

ZACK COX 2010 ELITE ROOKIE DIE-CUT AUTO SP 100 MIAMI MARLINS
$14.90

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



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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




JORDAN SWAGERTY 2010 ELITE EXTRA EDITION RC GRADED 10
$22.40

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

JORDAN SWAGERTY 2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM GREEN REFRACTOR ROOKIE AUTO # 399 AC6660
$5.99

JORDAN SWAGERTY 2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM REFRACTOR AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE CARD#BPA-JSW
$10.00

Jordan Swagerty 2011 Topps Heritage Minors Real One Autographs Card RA-JSW Stl
$11.50

2011 Dornuss Elite Extra Back to the Future Auto #3 Jordan Swagerty RC 17 262
$6.49

JORDAN SWAGERTY 2011 Bowman Chrome AUTO BLUE REFRACTOR RC #084 150 Cardinals
$11.99

2012 Bowman AFLAC Auto. ser# 210 Jordan Swagerty RC
$12.00



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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




2015 Panini Prizm Kolten Wong Auto Cardinals
$9.95

ONE of a KIND Kolten Wong 2014 Rookie Printing Plate Mini, St. Louis Cardinals
$45.00

2014 Topps Mini Autograph #MA-KW Kolten Wong
$16.99

Kolten Wong 2014 Topps Chrome Rookie Autograph 227 499 St. Louis Cardinals
$20.00

KOLTEN WONG 2009 UPPER DECK TEAM USA JERSEY ROOKIE CARD ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
$6.49

Kolten Wong 2013 Panini USA Champions Stars Stripes AUTOGRAPH Card 549 *Q213
$9.95

2011 LEAF DRAFT, PURPLE PRISMATIC 14 25, AUTO, KOLTEN WONG, RC, CARDINALS SGC96
$54.00

2011 PLAYOFF CONTENDERS, AUTOGRAPHED RT28, KOLTEN WONG, RC, CARDINALS SGC 96
$31.50



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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 Factory Sealed 1 Auto Per Hobby Box Bryce Harper
$200.00

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box Mike Trout Bryce Harper Rookies
$199.95

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball SEALED JUMBO BOX (12 Packs-3 Autos..Harper RC AUTO?)
$300.00

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box
$235.95

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

2011 Topps Update Baseball Wax (1) & (3) '11 Bowman Chrome Packs (M Trout RC???
$40.00

2011 Bowman Chrome HOBBY Box Bryce Harper Refractor Printing Plate 1 1 Auto?
$206.67

8 Box LOT of BOWMAN CHROME Baseball 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
$675.00



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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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