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 YELLOW PRINT PLATE 2015 TOPPS UPDATE #US106 IND #'D 1 1
$59.99

2010 Bowman Platinum Prospects Chrome Green Refractor #PP25 Shelby Miller 3t5
$9.99

2012 Springfield Cardinals Ryan Jackson and Shelby Miller Baseball Card
$12.99

13 Ct Shelby Miller Lot Topps Bowman Platinum Includes RCs
$6.50

SHELBY MILLER 2013 National Treasures Autograph Auto Rookie RC SER #d 99
$18.95

2013 Bowman Sterling - Sterling Showcase Shelby Miller Auto 13 25!
$99.99

Shelby Miller Auto RC Lot Finest XRefractor 149 And PSA 9 Chrome Refractor 499
$32.00

SHELBY MILLER 2012 BOWMAN PLATINUM GOLD REFRACTOR RC ROOKIE BGS 9.5
$49.99
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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 Bowman Prospects Certified Autographs #BPA-ZC Zack Cox Auto Rookie Card 0r7
$20.20

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

2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects Full Body Autographs Silver #ZC Zack Cox
$15.00

2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects Lumbergraphs Autographs #ZC Zack Cox Auto
$8.00

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Zack Cox #116 RC Auto #224 478 BGS 9.5 Auto 10
$28.99

2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autographs #BDPP62 Zack Cox
$6.40

2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects BDPP62 Zack Cox St. Louis Cardinals Auto 4n0
$5.25

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition #ZC Zack Cox 125 Auto Rookie Baseball Card 0k8
$10.00
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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

2008 Upper Deck #USJR-JS Jordan Swagerty 350 Team USA (National Team) Auto 0i0
$6.25

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition #72 Jordan Swagerty 450 PSA 10 READ Auto 2u8
$149.99

2013 Panini USA Baseball Champions #SWG Jordan Swagerty 25 Auto Rookie Card 1u0
$12.99

2011 Bowman BCP183 Jordan Swagerty 150 St. Louis Cardinals Auto Rookie Card 4k7
$7.99

2011 Bowman Chrome #BCP183 Jordan Swagerty St. Louis Cardinals Auto Card 0t3
$9.25

2012 Topps Pro Debut Side By Side Dual Autographs Matt Adams Jordan Swagerty 50
$24.00

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
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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 2015 Panini Prizm Autograph
$10.00

2015 Topps Heritage '51 Collection Mini Gold Back #19 Kolten Wong SP BX 5Y
$5.98

2016 Topps Tier One Breakout Auto Kolten Wong 146 299 St. Louis Cardinals
$10.00

2014 Kolten Wong 7 Ct RC lot Topps and Bowman Cardinals
$5.00

KOLTEN WONG 2014 STADIUM CLUB AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE
$9.99

2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect KOLTEN WONG Autograph Auto CARDINALS
$26.99

2013 Bowman CC-STL5 Cream of the Crop Kolten Wong Blue Refractor mini Cardinals
$6.50

2013 Bowman Draft TP-28 Kolten Wong 14 count lot, 8 chrome, 6 base Cardinals
$10.00
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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 1j6
$23.00

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Gold #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 3h6
$18.25

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 2f4
$15.99

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Gold #BCE1 Bryce Harper BGS 9 1i9
$16.00

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper BGS 9.5 2r0
$35.00

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper BGS 10 0c6
$101.00

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Silver #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card 5v2
$8.99

2011 Topps Bowman Chrome Exclusive Value Box Red #BCE1 Bryce Harper Card b1c
$8.25
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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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