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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3609585952054040 1 Image
2013 Bowman Sterling Rookie SHELBY MILLER Autograph (45795)
$20.00
2312745455874040 1 Image
2013 Bowman Inception SHELBY MILLER Auto Rookie Autograph Cardinals
$8.00
1912415804144040 1 Image
2014 ALLEN GINTER DOUBLE RIP CARD 20 20 MICHAEL WACHA SHELBY MILLER UNRIPPED 1 1
$160.75
1213172847194040 1 Image
2012 Bowman Platinum Shelby Miller SP BLUE REFRACTOR 119 199 NICE! CLEAN! HOT!
$9.99
2715368016414040 1 Image
2013 Bowman Draft #32 Shelby Miller 13 count RC lot Cardinals
$5.00
1113994368444040 1 Image
2014 Topps Baseball SHELBY MILLER 1 1 Blank Back **CARDINALS** W COA
$26.49
3606583414664040 1 Image
Shelby Miller 2010 Bowman Chrome Auto Autograph Rookie Card #204 signed before
$24.99
4007369459304040 1 Image
8 RC Lot 2010 Shelby Miller Jersey # 250, Green X-fractor, Platinum, EEE
$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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1213782841934040 1 Image
2010 Bowman Chrome Zack Cox Gold Refractor Autograph #16 50
$19.99
3307070569204040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM #BPP18 ZACK COX "XFRACTOR" RC, CARDINALS - PSA 10 GEM MINT
$12.76
2312784304384040 1 Image
2010 DONRUSS ELITE** ZACK COX ** RC ** AUTOGRAPHED ** 114 478 **
$9.99
3214498342064040 1 Image
2011 ITG In the Game Zack Cox Gold 19 AUTO Between the Seams Marlins Cardinals
$112.90
3903098576514040 1 Image
Zack Cox St. Louis 2010 Bowman Draft Picks Blue Border
$8.00
3311762471604040 1 Image
ZACK COX 15 Card Rookie Lot 2010 2011 RC Cardinals Bowman Platinum Refractor++++
$12.99
3110018894474040 1 Image
ZACK COX Auto 2010 1st Bowman Chrome Autograph
$5.99
2715412490874040 1 Image
Zack Cox 2010 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Autograph BGS 9.5 Auto 10
$14.99



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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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2011 BOWMAN PLATINUM #PA-JSW JORDAN SWAGERTY AUTOGRAPH RC, CARDINALS, 041114
$8.95
3907000612094040 1 Image
2008 USA Baseball JORDAN SWAGERTY Petey Paramore Today and Tomorrow Red Auto 25
$19.99
3109831744654040 1 Image
2008 Upper Deck USA Junior National Team Jerseys #JS Jordan Swagerty Jsy
$8.00
2807301141954040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Platinum Jordan Swagerty Ref Auto
$9.99
3604204852024040 1 Image
2011 Quad Cities River Bandits Jordan Swagerty Sachse Texas TX Baseball Card
$15.00
2715402555034040 1 Image
2010 Panini Jordan Swagerty Error Autograph Card 30 450
$60.00
3608141493124040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Platinum Prospect Auto Ref #JSW Jordan Swagerty B69957
$9.97
2715387494934040 1 Image
2010 DONRUSS ELITE JORDAN SWAGERTY MAGIC JOHNSON COLLEGIATE PATCHES AUTO 125
$44.99



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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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3312523212874040 1 Image
2014 Bowman Inception Kolten Wong Cardinals Auto Rookie
$7.07
3908783123624040 1 Image
KOLTEN WONG 2012 Rize Rookie Autograph Emerald Blue Auto RC # 25
$36.99
1312362589084040 1 Image
(595) 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome Paper lot Kolten Wong Cardinals Top Prospect
$28.77
3809254581184040 1 Image
(20) KOLTEN WONG 2013 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP69 RC Rookie LOT Cardinals
$7.99
1513249197644040 1 Image
2014 PANINI PRIZM KOLTEN WONG ROOKIE REIGN PURPLE REFRACTOR#99
$6.99
2011228510294040 1 Image
2013 BOWMAN STERLING ROOKIE RUBY SP AUTOGRAPH RARE KOLTEN WONG 02 10
$5.50
3110065291424040 1 Image
2014 Bowman Chrome Kolten Wong Blue Refractor Auto #157 250!!!!
$12.50
3608806645304040 1 Image
2014 Donruss Signatures#KW Kolten Wong auto rookie card St. Louis Cardinals
$15.00



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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.

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2011 BOWMAN BASEBALL HOBBY BOX auto chrome rc paul goldschmidt dee gordan harper
$93.99
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2011 BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL HOBBY BOX FREE SHIPPING - TROUT RC - Loaded
$159.99
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LOT (3) 2011 BOWMAN CHROME #BCE1 BRYCE HARPER RED REFRACTORS FROM VALUE BOXES
$5.99
3710940402624040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby 2 Box Lot
$247.99
2214825824184040 1 Image
2011 Bowman Chrome baseball blaster box - Harper Trout Autos? FREE SHIPPING
$26.95
1713768339824040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME BB BOX FACT SEAL TRUOT HARPER RC ??
$26.95
1814588706984040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL BOX MIKE TROUT HARPER RC
$11.26
3710955497154040 1 Image
2011 BOWMAN DRAFT PICKS PROSPECTS BASEBALL HOBBY BOX chrome auto jose fernandez
$122.99



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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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