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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3606883473964040 1 Image
2009 Donruss Elite SHELBY MILLER Auto Autograph Threads RC Patch Cardinals # 100
$74.99
2912515632724040 1 Image
2013 BOWMAN CHROME DRAFT - BLACK REFRACTOR - SHELBY MILLER RC 35
$22.00
2011571145704040 1 Image
Lot (10) 2013 Bowman SHELBY MILLER St Louis Cardinals RC
$8.95
2814497214234040 1 Image
2014 Panini Immaculate Collection Shelby Miller auto autograph 18 49 Cardinals
$24.99
3215330884514040 1 Image
2013 TOPPS JOSE FERNANDEZ - WIL MYERS - SHELBY MILLER -JACKIE BRADLEY Jr. RC !
$8.00
2312926169624040 1 Image
2014 Panini Prizm Intuition Prizms #19 Shelby Miller
$5.00
1409690442534040 1 Image
2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects Green Xfractor Shelby Miller #204 PSA 9 Cardinals
$24.95
2215790631924040 1 Image
2013 TOPPS FINEST GAME USED JUMBO RELIC AUTOGRAPH SHELBY MILLER
$14.99



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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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3308679968154040 1 Image
Zack Cox Miami Marlins 2011 etopps Baseball Card
$15.00
1207495487534040 1 Image
Zack Cox 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks Refractor RC Auto #'d 378 500 CARDINALS
$14.99
2011581897804040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Platinum Prospect RED Refractors BPP18 Zack Cox #D 09 25
$10.00
3207000291494040 1 Image
2010 BOWMAN CHROME ZACK COX GOLD REF 50 BGS 9.5 10 AUTO
$159.99
3207000296634040 1 Image
2010 BOWMAN CHROME BGS 9.5 ZACK COX 10 AUTO 1ST RD PICK
$32.99
3013603336644040 1 Image
2011 ITG HEROES & PROSPECTS ZACK COX RC AUTO RARE COUNTRY OF ORIGINS AUTOGRAPH
$9.99
1814524537444040 1 Image
2011 Topps Pro Debut Minor League Gold Parallel #114 Zack Cox RC 48 50
$5.49
3606096693874040 1 Image
2009 Cotuit Kettleers Zack Cox Louisville Kentucky KY Baseball Card
$12.99



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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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2912516252334040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects Autograph Jordan Swagerty #BCP183
$6.95
1911185677824040 1 Image
2007 Bowman Aflac All American Autograph Auto Jordan Swagerty RC 101 210
$9.99
3810283068754040 1 Image
Jordan Swagerty 2008 USA Baseball JR National Team Autograph & Patch LTD #46 99
$9.95
3810283099454040 1 Image
Jordan Swagerty 2008 USA Baseball JR National Team Autograph & Patch LTD #83 99
$9.95
2008898110824040 1 Image
2010 ELITE AUTO JORDAN SWAGERTY MAGIC JOHNSON error corrected #100 MINT
$500.00
2609762006314040 1 Image
Jordan Swagerty 2011 Contenders CHAMPIONSHIP DRAFT TICKET Rookie TRUE 1 1
$129.99
2809607072244040 1 Image
10-2011 BOWMAN CHROME PROSPECTS JORDAN SWAGERTY CARDINALS QTY
$13.99
4004068970494040 1 Image
2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball Petey Paramore Jordan Swagerty Dual Auto RC #8 150
$18.00



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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:

2009 Upper Deck USA Big Sigs Autographs Kolten Wong Image

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2313683386934040 1 Image
Oscar Taveras, Kolten Wong, Dylan Bundy + 6-card auto lot
$45.00
2516569459884040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME DRAFT - GOLD REFRACTOR - PROSPECT CARD - KOLTEN WONG 50
$46.00
2912515676104040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME DRAFT - BLUE REFRACTOR - PROSPECT CARD - KOLTEN WONG 199
$17.00
1715056900014040 1 Image
2012 Bowman Certified Autograph Kolten Wong #BPA-KW
$12.00
1715056900024040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Refractor Kolten Wong RC #BDP90
$8.00
1715133006104040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Sterling Kolten Wong Gold Refractor #31 50 BGS 9.5 Auto 10 Cardinals
$119.99
1114940916634040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome Kolten Wong Gold Refractor #19 50 BGS 9.5 Auto 10 Cardinals
$224.99
2313432370354040 1 Image
KOLTEN WONG 2014 BOWMAN RC GRADED GEM MINT 10 Cardinals
$6.95



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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.

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2011 BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL BOX Harper Auto ? TROUT.
$28.95
1815603705394040 1 Image
2011-2 BOX LOT BOWMAN CHROME TOPPS CHROME SEALD BOXS
$42.95
2912696093534040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome Hobby Box Bryce Harper
$139.99
3810292857514040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL HOBBY BOX FACTORY SEALED
$124.95
2311720416104040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome #BCE1 Bryce Harper Mega Box Gold Parallel Rookie Card
$19.99
1906782104044040 1 Image
HOBBY BOX 2011 BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL HARPER ON-CARD AUTO!
$144.95
1714804090594040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL BOX Harper Auto ? TROUT.
$33.50
2716417220194040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN DRAFT PICKS PROSPECTS BASEBALL HOBBY BOX chrome auto jose fernandez
$109.99



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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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