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 2014 TOPPS MUSEUM COLLECTION 4 PIECE JERSEY # 53 99 ST LOUIS
$9.95

2015 Topps Museum Shelby Miller Triple Relic Auto 127 199
$10.50

2013 BOWMAN CHROME DRAFT REFRACTOR #32 SHELBY MILLER RC GEM MINT PSA 10
$24.95

Sam Freeman Donruss Elite EXTRA EDITION STATUS Autograph #9 50 Auto Prospect
$6.99

Shelby Miller Platinum Prospect Signatures AUTO #28 120 Autograph
$14.99

2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects Green Xfractor Shelby Miller #204 PSA 9 Cardinals
$24.95

Shelby Miller 2013 Bowman Sterling Gold Canary Refractor Rc # 3 Braves Rookie
$59.99

2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM BPP72 SHELBY MILLER ROOKIE RC REFRACTOR ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
$8.95



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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




Zack Cox Miami Marlins 2011 etopps Baseball Card
$15.00

Zack Cox 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Refractor RC Auto #'d 378 500 CARDINALS
$9.99

2010 BOWMAN CHROME ZACK COX GOLD REF 50 BGS 9.5 10 AUTO
$159.99

2010 BOWMAN CHROME BGS 9.5 ZACK COX 10 AUTO 1ST RD PICK
$32.99

2010 Bowman Chrome Zack Cox BLUE REFRACTOR RC AUTO 150 Autograph
$14.99

2011 Topps Pro Debut Minor League Gold Parallel #114 Zack Cox RC 48 50
$5.49

2009 Cotuit Kettleers Zack Cox Louisville Kentucky KY Baseball Card
$12.99

2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autographs #BDPP62 Zack Cox - NM-MT
$6.00



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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 41 Card Rookie Lot RC Elite 2010+USA Upper Deck 2008+ Cardinals
$22.99

2007 Bowman Aflac All American Autograph Auto Jordan Swagerty RC 101 210
$9.99

Matt Adams Jordan Swagerty 2012 Topps Pro Debut Side By Side Dual Auto #d 50.
$14.99

(2) 2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM PROSPECTS JORDAN SWAGERTY AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE CARD LOT
$9.38

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition #72 Jordan Swagerty
$5.00

JORDAN SWAGERTY 2011 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autograph AUTO Rookie Card RC
$8.00

JORDAN SWAGERTY 2011 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autograph AUTO Rookie Card RC
$8.00

Jordan Swagerty 2011 Contenders CHAMPIONSHIP DRAFT TICKET Rookie TRUE 1 1
$117.99



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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:


Top eBay Listings




KOLTEN WONG Springfield Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 2015 coin
$9.99

Kolten Wong 2011 Bowman Sterling Autograph lot(2) BSP -KW
$25.00

KOLTEN WONG RC 2014 Immaculate Inscriptions On Card Auto Cardinals 77 99 SSP
$8.99

KOLTEN WONG 2014 FIVE STAR AUTO AUTOGRAPH CARDINALS #491 499
$24.95

2013 Bowman Platinum Relic Autographs #KW Kolten Wong Grade 9.5
$45.00

2011 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Auto RC Kolten Wong122 150 PSA 9
$84.99

2014 Panini Immaculate Baseball Kolten Wong Auto 55 99
$5.50

KOLTEN WONG AUTO AUTOGRAPH CARDS #'D ST. LOUIS CARDINALS LOT OF 2
$17.95



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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 Hobby Baseball Box Mike Trout Bryce Harper Rookies
$164.95

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

Bowman CHROME 2011 Baseball - Factory Sealed Box Bryce Harper
$145.00

2011 Bowman Chrome Value Box Bryce Harper Rookie Silver Refractor Lot $30 BV
$14.99

2011 Bowman Chrome Mariekson (DIDI) Gregorious Rookie PSA 10 GEM MINT
$10.00

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

2011 Chrome USA Box Set Rc Lot - Topps 999 & Bowman 617 Appel Addison Russell
$27.99

8 Box LOT of BOWMAN CHROME Baseball 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
$699.00



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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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