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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3014359570794040 1 Image
2013 Panini Prizm #276- Shelby Miller Blue Prizm Rookie Card! PSA Gem 10! POP 2
$59.99
3014359703164040 1 Image
2013 Topps Heritage #262- Shelby Miller Trevor Rosenthal RC! PSA Gem 10! POP 5!
$39.99
2517534989444040 1 Image
Shelby Miller 2013 Topps Chrome Refractor #80 PSA 9
$6.99
2613379046874040 1 Image
2013 TOPPS CHROME RC #80 Shelby Miller Refractor AUTOGRAPH 296 499 Rookie Card
$24.99
3909789919324040 1 Image
Shelby Miller 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects Auto Beckett Graded 8.5 10
$50.00
3611207417834040 1 Image
2014 Topps Series 2 Shelby Miller Jumbo Patch # 99
$16.99
4008249210694040 1 Image
2014 Topps Tek SHELBY MILLER Auto Clouds Diffractor #05 25 Cardinals #HT-SM
$24.99
3014006691474040 1 Image
2013 FINEST #69 SHELBY MILLER RC GRADED GEM MINT GMA 10 CARDINALS
$9.99



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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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1209607604184040 1 Image
Zack Cox 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Prospect RC Auto - ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
$9.99
3611495680044040 1 Image
ZACK COX 2010 BOWMAN CHROME GOLD REFRACTOR ROOKIE RC AUTO #47 50 ST1974
$14.99
1608757962944040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN ZACK COX PROSPECT AUTOGRAPH CARDINALS
$10.00
1614578059554040 1 Image
Zack Cox 2010 Bowman Chrome Autograph Rookie Card
$9.99
3208611525964040 1 Image
ZACK COX RC AUTO 2010 BOWMAN CHROME DRAFT BLUE REFRACTOR BGS GRADED 9.5 10  
$119.99
3705918942904040 1 Image
ZACK COX RC AUTO 2010 BOWMAN CHROME DRAFT PROSPECTS # BDPP62 4 CARD LOT MARLINS
$40.00
3208611526314040 1 Image
ZACK COX RC AUTO 2010 BOWMAN CHROME DRAFT PROSPECTS GOLD REFRACTOR 2 50 BDPP62
$110.00
1613470696264040 1 Image
2011 Topps Heritage #8 Zack Cox Auto Autograph COA St. Louis Cardinals
$5.45



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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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3014391265274040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome Jordan Swagerty Orange Refractor Rookie Auto SSP 24 25 GEM!!!
$24.99
3711462540684040 1 Image
2008 USA Baseball Junior Nat'l Team Black #UE17 Jordan Swagerty Auto 228 249
$5.60
2913015127044040 1 Image
2011-2012 Bowman Chrome & Platinum AUTO & PURPLE REFRACTOR LOT Jordan Swagerty
$12.00
1215168704604040 1 Image
Jordan Swagerty 2011 Bowman Green Refractor Auto # 399, 2012 Gold Refractor # 50
$12.99
2709706469454040 1 Image
1-2011 BOWMAN CHROME AUTO JORDAN SWAGERTY CARDINALS
$14.99
2610926452914040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Platinum AUTO BPA-JSW Jordan Swagerty CARDINALS
$7.99
1112265760254040 1 Image
25ct Lot - Jordan Swagerty 2013 Panini USA Baseball Champions RC Lot #59 *N110
$12.70
3810899623294040 1 Image
Jordan Swagerty 2008 USA Baseball JR National Team Autograph & Patch LTD #46 99
$9.95



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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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2815315005714040 1 Image
Kolten Wong 2009 upper deck inscriptions " flying Hawaiian "
$8.50
2815315098594040 1 Image
2014 Panini Prizm Rookie Autograph Prizms #KW Kolten Wong RC AUTO numbered lot
$12.99
1214916417104040 1 Image
2014 Topps Opening Day Kolten Wong 35 Card Lot #141
$9.99
3111801409424040 1 Image
2013 Topps Heritage Minors HAT LOGO Kolten Wong RC PATCH - ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
$9.99
2212734509814040 1 Image
2011 ELITE EXTRA EDITION STATUS KOLTEN WONG BGS 9.5 10 AUTO 50
$99.99
1515114816424040 1 Image
2014 TOPPS SUPREME SIMPLY SUPREME KOLTEN WONG AUTOGRAPH 5 5
$20.50
3314168600414040 1 Image
3 Kolten Wong Lot 2011 Draft Auto 2010 Blue Refractor 2014 Green Refractor 75
$19.99
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2014 TOPPS FINEST #15 KOLTEN WONG RC GREEN REFRACTOR (119 199)
$5.99



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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.

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2516250757154040 1 Image
(3) Pack Lot 2011 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout Refractor? Harper Auto? From box MVP!
$15.95
1215185307434040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box 18 Packs 1 Auto Per
$149.99
2216133216434040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box
$147.95
1816142515844040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME SEALD TRUOT RC HARPER ..
$29.95
1715899102474040 1 Image
5 BOXS LOT .YUP 2011 BOWMAN CHROME SEALD TRUOT RC HARPER
$145.00
1214444518634040 1 Image
TREVOR MAY 2012 BOWMAN CHROME BLUE REFRACTOR AUTO AUTOGRAPH #BCA-TM 142 150
$29.95
1113122099954040 1 Image
ELIEZER MESA 2010 BOWMAN CHROME GOLD REFRACTOR #BCP128 9 50
$14.95
1113122114134040 1 Image
BRENT JOHNSON 2007 BOWMAN CHROME ORANGE REFRACTOR #BC207 10 25
$19.95



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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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