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




2014 Topps Supreme Purple Shelby Miller Auto 4 25 Cardinals SA-SMI
$6.99

2014 Panini Immaculate Collection SHELBY MILLER Auto 65 99 Gold Immaculate Ink
$5.50

2010 BOWMAN CHROME GOLD REFRACTOR AUTO RC SHELBY MILLER #d 7 50 AUTOGRAPH #204
$202.30

2014 Topps Archives Future Stars #87FSM Shelby Miller
$8.00

SHELBY MILLER 2013 RC DRAFT PICK ASSORTED LOT OF 23 NICE LOT SEE SCAN !!!
$59.99

SHELBY MILLER 2013 RC DRAFT PICK ASSORTED LOT OF 26 NICE LOT SEE SCAN !!!
$69.99

2013 Topps Chrome Baseball Blue Broder Shelby Miller Autograph 80 Rookie Card
$12.99

Shelby Miller 2010 Bowman Purple Refractor 484 899 Rookie!!!
$11.39



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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 Draft Prospect Autographs #BDPP62 Zack Cox - NM-MT
$6.00

2011 ITG AUTOGRAPH ZACK COX MT
$7.95

ZACK COX BGS 9.5 AUTO 10 2010 BOWMAN CHROME DRAFT PROSPECTS AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE RC
$9.99

2011 Bowman Platinum Zack Cox Rookie Red 23 25 Cardinals
$9.99

Zack Cox 2011 In the Game ITG Heroes & Prospects DRAFT YEAR Autograph AUTO sp 39
$19.99

Zack Cox 2010 Donruss Elite Series Autographs BGS 9.5 10 Auto 49 49 EBay 1 1
$25.00

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

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



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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




JORDAN SWAGERTY 2010 PANINI ELITE 20-CARD LOT ROOKIE RC #72 ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
$7.49

10-Ct-Lot JORDAN SWAGERTY 2008 USA Rookies Mint RCs
$6.99

BGS 9.5 2010 Elite Extra Jordan Swagerty RC Magic Johnson AUTO #d 258 450
$139.99

1-2011 BOWMAN CHROME GREEN X-FRACTOR JORDAN SWAGERTY CARDINALS
$5.99

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 Bowman Chrome Base & Auto, & 2x 2011 Contender Draft Ticket
$5.00



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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




2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars USA Star Prospects #USA41 Kolten Wong
$10.00

2014 TOPPS FINEST #RA-KW KOLTEN WONG AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE RC, CARDINALS, 082914
$17.05

Kolten Wong RC Lot 2014 Bowman Heritage Topps Chrome Refractor X-Fractor A
$5.99

Kolten Wong 2011 Bowman Sterling #KW RC Auto
$20.00

2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars USA Star Prospects Kolten Wong X3
$9.00

1-2013 BOWMAN CHROME DRAFT BLUE REFRACTOR KOLTEN WONG CARDINALS 99 QTY
$14.99

2009-10 USA Baseball #USA79 Kolten Wong AU
$20.00

2014 TOPPS KOLTEN WONG ROOKIE TRAJECTORY AUTOGRAPHS #TA-KW RC SP INSERT SERIES 1
$19.95



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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.

Top eBay Listings




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

2011 BOWMANCHROME BB BOX + 2011 BOWMAN CHROME MIKE TROUT RC PSA 9
$129.95

2011 bowman chrome starter set with refractors inserts & sp's baseball card box
$9.99

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

Adam Warren RC 2011 on card Bowman Chrome Autograph
$9.99

Adam Warren RC 2011 on card Bowman Chrome Refractor Autograph #212 500
$15.00

2011 Chrome USA Box Set Rc Lot - Topps 999 & Bowman 617 Appel Addison Russell
$29.99

LOT (2) 2011 Bowman HTA JUMBO Baseball Hobby BOX 3 Chrome Autos per Box
$489.99



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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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