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




2011 Bowman's Best #BBP16- Shelby Miller Rookie Card! PSA Gem Mint 10!
$59.99

2013 Topps Chrome Shelby Miller Rookie Refractor Graded Gem Mint 10
$12.99

2010 Bowman Chrome Shelby Miller Rookie Purple Refractor 899 Graded Gem Mint 10
$9.99

2010 Bowman Chrome Shelby Miller Rookie Refractor 500 Graded Gem Mint 10
$11.99

2010 Bowman Chrome Shelby Miller Rookie Green Xfractor Graded Gem Mint 10
$9.99

2013 Shelby Miller Topps Archives GOLD Refractor Rookie Lot (3) #d 199 -RARE!!!
$49.95

2013 Bowman #126 Shelby Miller RC PSA 10
$16.95

SHELBY MILLER - 2010 Bowman Chrome Autograph Rookie -- Braves Cards SP Auto RC
$17.99



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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




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

2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects Full Body Autographs Silver #ZC Zack Cox - NM-MT
$9.75

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

2010 DONRUSS ELITE, ZACK COX, AUTO. RC, CARDS, SGC 96
$65.00

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

Zack Cox Signed 2011 Bowman Certified Autograph Card Auto St. Louis Cardinals
$7.99

2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM #BPP18 ZACK COX "XFRACTOR" RC, CARDINALS - PSA 10 GEM MINT
$9.31

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

Jordan Swagerty 2011 Bowman Platinum Auto Rookie Rc Refractor #BPA-JSW!Cardinals
$6.69

Jordan Swagerty 2008 USA Baseball JR National Team Autograph & Patch LTD #46 99
$15.00

Jordan Swagerty 2008 USA Baseball JR National Team Autograph & Patch LTD #83 99
$12.50

2011 Bowman Platinum Auto Autograph Jordan Swagerty Blue Refractor 82 99
$5.99

15 JORDAN SWAGERTY 2012 BOWMAN PLATINUM REFRACTORS + MORE CARDINALS READ
$12.50

2013 USA BASEBALL JORDAN SWAGERTY AUTO STARS AND STRIPES SIGNATURES, GRADED
$7.99

2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM #PA-JSW JORDAN SWAGERTY AUTOGRAPH RC, CARDINALS, 041114
$8.95



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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 RC SP BLACK BORDER 96 HERITAGE MINORS # 210 baseball card CARDINALS
$12.50

BGS 9.5 2011 Leaf Valiant Draft BLUE AUTO Kolten Wong RC CARDINALS #d 99
$69.99

BGS 9.5 2011 Bowman Sterling AUTO Kolten Wong RC CARDINALS
$59.99

2014 Kolten Wong 6 card rookie lot (auto included!)
$8.99

2014 Kolten Wong 4 card rookie lot (2 inserts, refractor and auto included!!!)
$11.99

2014 Bowman Inception Kolten Wong rookie autograph (PARALLEL - VERY LOW #'D!!!)
$99.99

KOLTEN WONG ROOKIE 5 75. 2014 BOWMAN CHROME GREEN REFRACTOR CARD 20
$12.00

2014 Immaculate Collection Kolten Wong Jersey Patch Serial # 27 99
$14.00



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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 Bowman Chrome Baseball 12 Box Factory Sealed Hobby Case
$1,799.95

2011 Bowman Chrome USA XFractor Box Set Rc 299 - Factory Sealed
$27.99

2011-2 BOX LOT BOWMAN CHROME TOPPS CHROME SEALD BOXS
$51.95

2011 Bowman Chrome MLB Baseball Hobby Box
$129.99

HOBBY BOX 2011 BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL HARPER ON-CARD AUTO!
$144.95

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box
$149.90

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Factory Sealed 12 Box Case
$1,449.99

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box
$180.95



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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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