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 BOWMAN PLATINUM #BPP27 SHELBY MILLER ROOKIE CARD RC PURPLE REFRACTOR
$11.65

2011 Bowman Platinum Autograph Auto Shelby Miller RC Cardinals Rookie Card
$15.99

2013 BOWMAN CHROME #116 SHELBY MILLER ROOKIE CARD REFRACTOR - CARDINALS 020114
$8.05

2010 DONRUSS ELITE EXTRA EDITIONS AUTOGRAPH SHELBY MILLER RC..BGS9.5...# 690
$149.95

2013 Bowman #126- Shelby Miller Rookie Card! PSA Graded Mint 9!
$19.99

2014 Topps Supreme Autographs Purple #SASMI Shelby Miller 25 Auto
$14.00

SHELBY MILLER WHEELER RYU AUTOGRAPH JERSEY 2013 Topps Triple Threads 30 36
$69.99

2013 Bowman Chrome BLUE refractor auto Autograph SHELBY MILLER 03 250 BGS 9.5 10
$40.00



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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




2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects Lumbergraphs Autographs #ZC Zack Cox Auto
$9.99

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Signature Status Emerald Zack Cox AUTO 20 25
$99.99

ZACK COX RC AUTO 2010 ELITE EXTRA EDITION GREEN STATUS 24 25 116 RAZORBACKS
$76.00

2010 DONRUSS ELITE** ZACK COX ** RC ** AUTOGRAPHED ** 114 478 **
$9.99

2011 Topps Heritage Minors Zack Cox Black Printing Plate...Only one in World 1 1
$100.00

2011 ITG In the Game Zack Cox Gold 19 AUTO Between the Seams Marlins Cardinals
$63.99

2010 (BB) Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Refractors #BDPP62 Zack Cox
$7.28

ZACK COX CARDINALS 20 RC MIXED LOT 2010 BOWMAN CHROME
$19.99



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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:


Top eBay Listings




3ct 2013 Panini USA Jordan Swagerty Stars & Stripes 700 Auto Cards *W218
$7.95

Jordan Swagerty St. Louis 2013 Panini USA Baseball Champions Autograph
$8.00

2011 Bowman Chrome RC Auto Jordan Swagerty Autograph
$20.00

JORDAN SWAGERTY 2011 donruss ELITE BACK to FUTURE #'d 262 AUTO card ST. LOUIS
$5.00

2011 Bowman Platinum Prospect Autograph Refractors #JSW Jordan Swagerty - NM-MT
$5.95

2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects Superfractor 1 Jordan Swagerty BGS 9.5 Rookie
$274.95

2011 Bowman Platinum Prospect Autographs #JSW Jordan Swagerty
$7.28

2011 (BB) Playoff Contenders Draft Ticket Autographs #DT87 Jordan Swagerty
$7.28



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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




2014 Classics Baseball Kolten Wong Auto Jersey Card #293 299
$6.00

2009 UD USA Baseball Complete set Bryce Harper Kolten Wong Machado Lindor
$31.50

2014 Topps Trajectory Autographs #TAKW Kolten Wong
$18.00

5ct 2013 Panini USA Baseball Kolten Wong Game Gear Memorabilia Cards *W234
$14.95

Kolten Wong Autograph 2 card lot
$50.00

KOLTEN WONG 2014 BOWMAN INCEPTION RC-AUTO ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 26 99 ON-CARD-AUTO
$17.99

2014 Bowman Chrome mini Orange Wave refractor KOLTEN WONG 19 50
$8.00

Kolten Wong 2014 Topps Five Star Autograph Rookie 064 499
$9.99



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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




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

2011 BOWMAN CHROME SEALD TRUOT RC HARPER ..
$29.95

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box 18 Packs 1 Auto Per Harper Profar Trout
$149.99

2011 BOWMAN CHROME MLB Baseball Hobby Box
$129.99

TREVOR MAY 2012 Bowman Chrome AUTO REFRACTOR #BCA-TM Philadelphia Phillies # 500
$9.99

2011 BOWMAN 8 PACK BASTER BOX SEALED BRYCE HARPER RC 2 CHROME CARDS PER PACK NEW
$27.50

2011 MLB Baseball Bowman Chrome Factory Sealed Box
$140.00

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball 12 Box Factory Sealed Hobby Case
$1,799.95



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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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