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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2911997128424040 1 Image
2011 Topps Heritage Minor League Edition #28-Shelby Miller RC! PSA GEM 10! POP 2
$49.99
1413594075384040 1 Image
Shelby Miller 2014 Allen Ginter Red Back Mini #22 25
$9.95
2511815490194040 1 Image
2010 Quad City River Bandits Team Set - SHELBY MILLER & MATT ADAMS - Rookie (RC)
$14.95
3508292365244040 1 Image
2013 BOWMAN #126 SHELBY MILLER ROOKIE CARD RC "SILVER ICE" - ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
$7.15
3214722918174040 1 Image
(7)SHELBY MILLER ROOKIE CARDS
$20.00
3606918037154040 1 Image
Shelby Miller 2009 09 Donruss Elite Signed on Card Auto Autograph Rookie #13
$19.99
2911998208344040 1 Image
Shelby Miller 2013 Topps Chrome Black Refractor RC #80 PSA 8.5--AMAZING Card!
$14.95
2911998222944040 1 Image
Shelby Miller 2010 Bowman Platinum Prospects RC #PP25 PSA 9
$5.95



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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:

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Autographs Zack Cox 478 Image

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2515771171554040 1 Image
ZACK COX 2010 BOWMAN CHROME BLUE REFRACTOR RC #143 199
$19.99
1908816976004040 1 Image
2010 BOWMAN CHROME GOLD AUTOGRAPH REFRACTOR ZACK COX 27 50
$24.95
4006010306914040 1 Image
2011 Topps Heritage Minors Zack Cox Black Printing Plate...Only one in World 1 1
$100.00
1513452310984040 1 Image
Zack Cox Signed 2011 Bowman Certified Autograph Card Auto St. Louis Cardinals
$9.99
1513452311864040 1 Image
Zack Cox Signed 2011 ITG H&P Up Close Silver Auto Card 190 St. Louis Cardinals
$9.99
1209845722434040 1 Image
ZACK COX BRETT EIBNER 2010 DONRUSS ELITE COLLEGE TIES 17 50 DUAL AUTO
$49.99
3109208674334040 1 Image
2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Refractors #BDPP62 Zack Cox
$7.28
2810372050234040 1 Image
1-2010 BOWMAN CHROME DRAFT AUTO ZACK COX MARLINS QTY
$6.99



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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:

JordanSwagerty Image

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2214831082374040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Platinum Prospect Autograph Refractors #BPA-JSW Jordan Swagerty
$8.00
3609782161414040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs #BCP183 Jordan Swagerty - NM-MT
$7.50
1213943454334040 1 Image
(2) 2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM PROSPECTS JORDAN SWAGERTY AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE CARD LOT
$11.00
3012033524634040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects Autograph Jordan Swagerty #BCP183
$6.95
1311328504864040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects Superfractor 1 Jordan Swagerty BGS 9.5 Rookie
$274.95
3608991846894040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Platinum Prospect Autographs #JSW Jordan Swagerty
$7.28
3608992026174040 1 Image
2011 Playoff Contenders Draft Ticket Autographs #DT87 Jordan Swagerty
$7.28
3904402578984040 1 Image
(15) 2008 JORDAN SWAGERTY USA Rookies CARDINALS
$11.99



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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:

2009 Upper Deck USA Big Sigs Autographs Kolten Wong Image

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2215046367144040 1 Image
2011 Contenders 2012 Bowman Blue Kolten Wong Auto RC Lot (5)
$49.99
1613808028664040 1 Image
Kolten Wong USA Futures Auto Jersey
$5.99
1613808055474040 1 Image
Kolten Wong Auto RC
$5.99
2715623717364040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN STERLING KOLTEN WONG AUTOGRAPH
$9.99
1113985440954040 1 Image
KOLTEN WONG 2012 BOWMAN ORANGE AUTO AUTOGRAPH #BPA-KW 176 250
$22.45
1613555786024040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Kolten Wong Prospect Gold Refractor 30 50
$37.50
3312728765214040 1 Image
Kolten Wong St Louis Cardinals 2014 Topps Allen and Ginter Mini Framed Auto Card
$11.00
2615223534074040 1 Image
2011 ITG In The Game Kolten Wong SILVER AUTO RC Autograph
$10.99



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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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1814752648794040 1 Image
5 BOXS 2011 BOWMAN CHROME BB TROUT HARPER AUTO RC ?
$130.00
1613556891984040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME DYLAN BUNDY GOLD REFRACTOR AUTO AUTOGRAPH SP 50 MADE!
$599.99
1814560883274040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME BB BOX FACT SEAL TRUOT HARPER RC ??
$26.01
3710953034244040 1 Image
(4)2011 Topps MLB MEGA Box+4 EXCLUSIVE Bryce Harper REFRACTORS+Bowman Chrome !
$109.99
1814786436624040 1 Image
2011-2 BOX LOT BOWMAN CHROME TOPPS CHROME SEALD BOXS
$41.95
2715574677894040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN DRAFT PICKS PROSPECTS BASEBALL HOBBY BOX chrome auto jose fernandez
$119.99
1814794515474040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME BB BOX FACT SEAL TRUOT HARPER RC ??
$25.55
1713779492804040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box Chase Taveras, Machado, Harper Rc Auto ??
$149.95



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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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