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:

2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Autographs Shelby Miller 690 Image

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3710901651754040 1 Image
2013 Bowman Draft # 250 SHELBY MILLER Orange Parallel Rookie CARDINALS!!!!
$6.99
1613491629844040 1 Image
(20)! Shelby Miller Rookie Card Lot of 20!
$9.99
2312894477634040 1 Image
Adam Wainwright St. Louis Cardinals 8 Card Lot Matt Adams Jon Jay Shelby Miller
$9.99
3109957939084040 1 Image
2013 Bowman Sterling Orange Refractor Shelby Miller Cardinals RC Auto 67 75
$19.99
3109957939104040 1 Image
2013 Bowman Sterling Green Refractor Shelby Miller Cardinals RC Auto 113 125
$14.99
3010033157924040 1 Image
Shelby Miller 3 Card Rookie Lot!!
$6.99
3807819764714040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Bowman's Best Prospects Shelby Miller BGS 9.5
$25.00
3312651343574040 1 Image
20-Shelby Miller 2013 Bowman Draft Rookie Lot RC St. Louis Cardinals
$6.99



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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:

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Autographs Zack Cox 478 Image

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2010 Bowman Chrome Zack Cox Gold Refractor Autograph #16 50
$19.99
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2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Auto Blue Refractor Zack Cox 39 150 BGS 10
$299.99
3312453282434040 1 Image
ZACK COX 2010 ELITE ROOKIE DIE-CUT AUTO SP 100 MIAMI MARLINS
$14.96
2715534400144040 1 Image
Zack Cox 2010 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Autograph BGS 9.5 Auto 10
$13.99
3308679968154040 1 Image
Zack Cox Miami Marlins 2011 etopps Baseball Card
$15.00
1207495487534040 1 Image
Zack Cox 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Refractor RC Auto #'d 378 500 CARDINALS
$14.99
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2010 Bowman chrome draft Zack Cox blue refractor auto 134 150 BGS 10 Pristine
$49.95
3207000291494040 1 Image
2010 BOWMAN CHROME ZACK COX GOLD REF 50 BGS 9.5 10 AUTO
$159.99



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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:

JordanSwagerty Image

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(3) JORDAN SWAGERTY RC AUTOGRAPH LOT 2008 UD 2011 CONTENDERS AUTO ELITE 100
$18.00
3907567640744040 1 Image
C.) 2010 Elite JORDAN SWAGERTY MAGIC JOHNSON Collegiate Patches Auto Error
$79.99
2514355880214040 1 Image
2010 Elite JORDAN SWAGERTY MAGIC JOHNSON Collegiate Patches Auto 001 125 Error
$99.99
3211760108234040 1 Image
Jordan Swagerty AUTO RC 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects GREEN REFRACTOR 399
$6.00
2707354098514040 1 Image
Jordan Swagerty 2010 Elite RC Magic Johnson Auto# 450
$79.99
1911185677824040 1 Image
2007 Bowman Aflac All American Autograph Auto Jordan Swagerty RC 101 210
$9.99
2008898110824040 1 Image
2010 ELITE AUTO JORDAN SWAGERTY MAGIC JOHNSON error corrected #100 MINT
$500.00
1213909440324040 1 Image
Jordan Swagerty 2011 Bowman Green Refractor Auto # 399, 2012 Gold Refractor # 50
$14.99



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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:

2009 Upper Deck USA Big Sigs Autographs Kolten Wong Image

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2715559908834040 1 Image
2009 Upper Deck USA KOLTEN WONG FIRST ROOKIE CARD RC USA-19 18 card lot
$7.99
1113872969074040 1 Image
2014 Topps Tier One Kolten Wong New Guard Autographed 65 399 On Card
$12.00
2813939298084040 1 Image
2013 BOWMAN CHROME BLACK ICE REFRACTOR AUTO RC 2 5 KOLTEN WONG SSP SP MAKE OFFER
$20.01
3907566773074040 1 Image
Kolten Wong 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks AUTO Beckett Graded BGS 9 10 Mint
$59.99
2813891506234040 1 Image
2014 Topps Kolten Wong Trajectory Autograph RC TA-KW Cardinals
$5.00
1613725074674040 1 Image
2014 Topps Allen Ginter Mini Framed Auto KOLTEN WONG #AGA-KW St.Louis Cardinals
$8.59
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KOLTEN WONG 2011 BOWMAN STERLING AUTO
$9.99
2214959324334040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects KOLTEN WONG Cardinals Rookie Autograph PSA 10 Gem
$79.95



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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.

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2011 BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL HOBBY BOX FREE SHIPPING - TROUT RC - Loaded
$159.99
1113122099954040 1 Image
ELIEZER MESA 2010 BOWMAN CHROME GOLD REFRACTOR #BCP128 9 50
$13.45
1113122114134040 1 Image
BRENT JOHNSON 2007 BOWMAN CHROME ORANGE REFRACTOR #BC207 10 25
$17.95
1213061643104040 1 Image
(5) BRENT JOHNSON 2007 BOWMAN CHROME GOLD REFRACTOR #BC207 50
$35.95
3806350689164040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME HOBBY SEALED BASEBALL BOX
$149.95
1713962394414040 1 Image
2011-2 BOX LOT BOWMAN CHROME TOPPS CHROME SEALD BOXS
$41.95
3807600539074040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL HOBBY BOX
$134.95
3807600585744040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL HOBBY 12 BOX CASE
$1,534.95



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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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