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




2015 Topps Tier One Jersey Relic TSR-SM Shelby Miller 399
$7.09

2014 TOPPS HIGH TEK CLOUDS DIFFRACTOR AUTO 1 25 HT-SM SHELBY MILLER CARDINALS
$29.99

2014 Stadium Club Members Only #169 Shelby Miller
$29.99

2012 Panini Prizm Top Prospects Shelby Miller PSA 9 Mint
$29.99

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

2013 Topps Gypsy Queen #307- Shelby Miller Rookie Card! PSA Graded Mint 9!
$14.99

2012 Bowman Platinum #TP-SM-Shelby Miller "Top Prospects" Rookie Card! PSA MINT
$19.99

2013 Topps Archives #61- Shelby Miller Rookie Card! PSA Mint 9!
$19.99



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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




2010 Donruss elite college ties rookie autos Zack Cox Brett Eibner #,d 34 50
$9.99

2011 Bowman Zack Cox ROOKIE AUTOGRAPH, AUTO, SIGNED - Cardinals!
$9.99

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

2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects Full Body Autographs Silver #ZC Zack Cox
$15.00

2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects Lumbergraphs Autographs #ZC Zack Cox Auto
$8.00

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Zack Cox #116 RC Auto #224 478 BGS 9.5 Auto 10
$35.99

2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Autographs #BDPP62 Zack Cox
$6.40

2010 DONRUSS ELITE, ZACK COX, AUTO. RC, CARDS, SGC 96
$58.50



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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




2012 Bowman Platinum Jordan Swagerty ROOKIE AUTOGRAPH, AUTO, SIGNED - Cardinals!
$9.99

2007 Bowman Aflac All American Autograph Card JORDAN SWAGERTY 010 210
$19.99

2011-2012 Bowman Chrome & Platinum AUTO & PURPLE REFRACTOR LOT Jordan Swagerty
$6.95

2010 Panini Jordan Swagerty, Magic Johnson Autograph Card #72 52 of 100 Card
$16.00

2010 ELITE EXTRA EDITION JORDAN SWAGERTY P CARDS--MAGIC JOHNSON AUTO 450 ERROR
$34.99

2010 ELITE EXTRA EDITION JORDAN SWAGERTY--MAGIC JOHNSON AUTO ASP 100 ERROR SSP
$99.99

2013 Panini USA Champions Stars & Stripes Jordan Swagerty autograph serial #'d
$8.00

2012 Topps Pro Debut Side By Side Dual Autographs Matt Adams Jordan Swagerty 50
$24.00



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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




KOLTEN WONG 2015 Topps Finest GOLD refractor AUTO 08 50 Nice!!! GO CARDINALS!!!
$24.99

KOLTEN WONG AUTO AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE CARDS RC #'D ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
$26.95

KOLTEN WONG 2015 TOPPS FINEST AUTOGRAPH
$18.00

KOLTEN WONG 2014 TOPPS CHROME AUTO AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE RC ST LOUIS CARDINALS! ))
$11.99

2014 Topps Triple Threads Unity Kolten Wong Jersey Card #15 36
$8.00

(20) 2014 Bowman Baseball #42 Kolten Wong ST. LOUIS CARDINALS RC Lot STO1
$9.99

KOLTEN WONG Cardinals 2014 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor #20 RC #233 250
$5.00

2015 Topps Tribute Autographs #TAKW Kolten Wong Auto 189 Cardinals
$12.00



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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 box...6 Blaster Box Lot!!
$480.00

2011 Bowman Chrome HOBBY baseball....2 BOX LOT!!....LOADED with GAME CHANGERS!!
$850.00

2011 Bowman with Chrome Baseball Blaster Retail Box Bryce Harper Mike Trout auto
$42.00

2011 Bowman Draft Picks Chrome 2 box lot TROUT RC Harper Goldschmidt Story AUTO
$309.00

(5) 2011 BOWMAN CHROME HOBBY SEALED BASEBALL BOX
$2,500.00

2011 Topps Update Bowman Chrome Baseball Value Box
$129.95

TREVOR MAY 2012 BOWMAN CHROME BLUE REFRACTOR AUTO AUTOGRAPH #BCA-TM 142 150
$24.86

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Factory Sealed Hobby Box Mike Trout AUTO RC ???
$389.95



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Paul Lesko

E-Mail Author |  http://bit.ly/658N9c
Paul Lesko has litigated intellectual property for over 15 years. 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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