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 2010 BOWMAN CHROME 3 CARD ROOKIE AUTOGRAPH LOT BRAVES RC AUTO
$44.99

7 CT CARDINALS LOT SHELBY MILLER REFRACTOR RC JAY ADAMS TAVERAS TRUE ROOKIES -
$7.99

Shelby Miller 2010 Bowman Platinum Prospect Baseball Card NM MT PP25
$5.00

2014 TRIBUTE SHELBY MILLER JERSEY # 37 99 CARDINALS
$10.00

2013 Topps Five Star Shelby Miller Autograph #046 386 -- Auto
$29.99

2012 Onyx Platinum Shelby Miller Silver Autograph Rookie #24 120 -- Auto Rc
$45.00

2010 Bowman Chrome RC No # 25 Orange Refractor PROOF Shelby Miller Cardinals
$25.00

2010 Bowman Chrome RC No # 5 Red Refractor PROOF Shelby Miller Cardinals
$25.00



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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 2010 ELITE ROOKIE DIE-CUT AUTO SP 100 MIAMI MARLINS
$17.95

2010 BOWMAN CHROME #BDPP62 ZACK COX AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE RC, CARDINALS, 050614
$10.75

2010 Elite EE Autograph #1 Zack COX Brett EIBNER 17 50 ARKANSAS Razorbacks PSA 9
$40.00

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

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

Zack Cox Signed 2011 ITG H&P Up Close Silver Auto Card 190 St. Louis Cardinals
$8.49

2010 Bowman Chrome Refractor Autograph Auto Zack Cox RC 306 500 Cardinals
$7.99

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




2010 ELITE #72 JORDAN SWAGERTY ERROR WITH MAGIC JOHNSON AUTO. CARDINALS 447 450
$44.95

2011 Bowman Platinum Canary Diamond Refractor PROOF No 1 1 Jordan Swagerty
$25.00

JORDAN SWAGERTY 2010 ELITE EXTRA EDITION RC GRADED 10
$17.92

2011 Playoff Contenders Draft Ticket Autographs #DT87 Jordan Swagerty - NM-MT
$6.00

JORDAN SWAGERTY 2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM GREEN REFRACTOR ROOKIE AUTO # 399 AC6660
$5.99

JORDAN SWAGERTY 2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM REFRACTOR AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE CARD#BPA-JSW
$10.00

Jordan Swagerty 2011 Topps Heritage Minors Real One Autographs Card RA-JSW Stl
$11.25

2011 Dornuss Elite Extra Back to the Future Auto #3 Jordan Swagerty RC 17 262
$6.49



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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




7 BASEBALL CARD LOT 2013 Topps Heritage Minors #198 Kolten Wong CARDINALS
$5.00

KOLTEN WONG 2014 DONRUSS SIGNATURES ST. LOUIS CARDINALS AUTOGRAPH AUTO
$9.95

Kolten Wong 2014 Bowman Inception Autograph #41 99 StL Cardinals
$6.18

2015 Panini Prizm Kolten Wong Prizm Refractor Autograph Auto Card - St. Louis
$9.95

2014 TOPPS INCEPTION AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE KOLTEN WONG AUTO RC 25
$32.29

2014 BOWMAN CHROME GOLD REFRACTOR ROOKIE KOLTEN WONG AUTO RC 50 BGS 9 MINT
$91.79

2014 BOWMAN CHROME ORANGE MINI REFRACTOR ROOKIE KOLTEN WONG REF RC 10
$45.04

2013 BOWMAN PLATINUM ICE CHROME REFRACTOR KOLTEN WONG REF RC 10
$45.04



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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 BASEBALL w CHROME 2 Pack Lot Possible Bryce Harper Auto Rc ? BOX
$29.99

2011 BOWMAN CHROME 2 Hobby Pack Baseball Lot BRYCE HARPER BOX Auto Rookie RC ?
$34.99

2011 BOWMAN DRAFT PICKS w CHROME 2 Baseball Pack Lot BRYCE HARPER Auto Rc Box ?
$16.99

2011 BOWMAN CHROME Baseball Factory Sealed Hobby BOX Bryce Harper Auto Rookie RC
$229.99

2011 Topps Update Baseball Wax (1) & (3) '11 Bowman Chrome Packs (M Trout RC???
$50.00

LOT (2) 2011 Bowman HTA JUMBO Baseball Hobby BOX 3 Chrome Autos per Box
$489.99

2011 BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL HOBBY BOX FACTORY SEALED harper autographs 18 packs
$169.99

2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Wax Box Hobby
$199.99



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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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