DRIP – 600×100
TCC ad 2 600×100

When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects

After 20+ hours of putting this list together (I was in too deep before I reallized what I had gotten myself into), I present to you the 100 rookies and prospects that defined the 2010 trading card season! Due to the NHL and NBA's carry over into multiple years, rookies from both 2009-10 and 2010-11 qualified for the list. Under each player you will see their stats and a Cardboard Connection card recommendation. Enjoy!

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 1

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 21. Stephen Strasburg, 22, Washington Nationals SP - The story of Steve Strasburg is an epic tale of a top pick's rise from phenom to cultural icon. The highlight of the book of Strasburg is found in chapter 2, where a certain Superfractor sells for over $14,000 on eBay. Strasburg's presence in 2010 Bowman Baseball caused a box price boom of nearly three fold. Even after Tommy John surgery abruptly ended his sold-out national tour, collectors still paid big money for his cards. Strasburg could still fulfill the prophecy thanks to a grounded approach learned under the tutilage of Tony Gwynn at SDSU. Ironically, Strasburg's cards hit 600% value during 2010, meaning he will have to do the following to reach his 2010 card value: win 500 games, throw 11 No-Hitters, win 10 Cy Youngs, throw a perfect game in the NLDS, NLCS and World Series and strikeout 6,000 batters!

2. Jason Heyward, 21, Atlanta Braves OF- Entering the 2010 season, the J-Hey kid was the original fascination of the nation, he was Stephen Strasburg before Stephen Strasburg was Stephen Strasburg. Heyward's poise at the plate, late inning theatrics, rocket arm and towering stature helped lead the Braves to the post season in Bobby Cox's final season. In 2011, Heyward could become the player he's too good not to become and unlike Strasburg's cards, Heyward's haven't maxed out yet.

3. Buster Posey, 23, San Francisco Giants C - Although Strasburg and Heyward thoroughly dominated Posey for all but a few games of the 2010 season, it was the talented 23-year old leader of the Giants who played in those last few games while winning a World Series. Posey also won the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year and will undoubtedly be one of the game's great players for years to come.

  • 2010 Stats: .305 AVG, 18 HR, 67 RBI, 58 Runs
  • 2010 NL Rookie of the Year, 2010 World Series Championship Ring
  • Cardboard Connection Recommendation: 2008 Bowman Chrome Buster Posey AutoThe 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 5

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 64. Blake Griffin, 21, Los Angeles Clippers F- The slamtastic jam machine is tearing it up during his rookie season and might be the most powerful finisher since LeBron. Injury cost 2009's top pick the entire 2009-10 NBA Season. During the first half of the 2010-11 NBA season, Griffin is doing what no one thought possible, leading this year's #1 pick John Wall in the Rookie of the Year race.

5. Sam Bradford, 23, St. Louis Rams QB - While Tebow was the exciting choice for football's top hobby rookie, it was the reserved leader of the Rams that had one of the best rookie seasons ever by a QB and brought the Rams to the front door of the playoffs. During the final leg of the season, Bradford's play fell off, but that's to be expected when you're playing with the NFL's worst receiving corps. Bradford is going to be a big time hobby force for years to come, especially once he gets a big time hobby receiver to toss the ball to.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 96. John Wall, 20, Washington Wizards PG - The "Wizard of Washington" came into the season as the most hyped hoops hobby rookie in years and when not injured, he's done everything to prove that notion correct. Wall is lightning quick, can dribble like very few his age ever have, can pass and can get to the rim with a variety of fancy finishing moves. Now that Gilbert Arenas won't be tutoring the Kentucky youngster, things are looking up for Wall if he can stay healthy.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 117. Tim Tebow, 23, Denver Broncos QB - Arguably the greatest leader to ever wear a college football uniform, Tebow was called a waste of a pick by many when the Broncos took the Gator great late in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Those same people also believed that Jeff George and Ryan Leaf had "can't miss" skill sets. Fortunately for Tebow, there are things like intangibles, leadership, determination and work ethic at play in the NFL.

8. John Tavares, 20, New York Islanders C - Each NHL Season, the hobby offers one can't miss skater. During the 2009-10 hockey card season, that was 2009 top pick John Tavares, who was perhaps the most hyped Canadian prospect since Sidney Crosby. Tavares was a bit of a let down on the ice, but the hockey sector of the hobby still believes firmly that Johnny T. will fulfill the potential that made him one of the hobby's hottest cards in 2010.

9. Bryce Harper, 18, Washington Nationals C OF - He can hit a baseball as far as any 17-year old draft pick in MLB history, but there's something off putting about the Nationals' natural. My gut tells me this guy isn't going to be what everyone thinks he's going to be. He's already proven he's no Joe Mauer, as he doesn't have what it takes to call a game despite being the most physical gifted defensive amateur backstop ever. Regardless, he will be the most followed minor leaguer in the hobby for the next 3-5 years.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 1510. Ndamukong Suh, 23, Detroit Lions DT - 2010 was a year filled with things that simply are not supposed to happen, such as instantly becoming the best interior lineman in the league, starting in the Pro Bowl and perhaps most impressive, being a powerhouse football card force in a hobby where defensive players are supposed to fall into cardboard purgatory no matter how good they are.

11. Taylor Hall, 19, Edmonton Oilers LW - See John Tavares and divide by .75

12. Tyreke Evans, 21, Sacramento Kings G - "The Smooth Operator" as I like to call him used his deceivingly lethal skill set to capture the 2009-10 NBA Rookie of the Year award with a well rounded season filled with plenty of points, assists and rebounds.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 1913. Matt Duchene, 19, Colorado Avalanche C - Arguably outplayed John Tavares as a rookie and is outplaying him during the 2010-11 NHL Season. Unfortunately, Duchene doesn't have the immense hobby following that Tavares continues to have.

14. Mike Stanton, 21, Florida Marlins OF - Opposing minor league managers lobbied to get Stanton called up, fearing that he was going to seriously injure a pitcher with his unreal raw power. When Stanton reached the bigs, he showcased the mammoth power that made him a minor league urban legend. The scary part is we're not talking about the next overweight masher, we're talking about a player who looks more like an NFL TE than an MLB Outfielder.

15. Brandon Jennings, 21, Milwaukee Bucks G - Jennings proved he was more than basketball's version of the guy who bowled a 300 game after he followed up his 57-point game (7th career game) with a spectacular season of "And 1" wizardry that helped lead the Bucks to the 2009-10 NBA Playoffs.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 2316. Mike Trout, 19, Los Angeles Angels OF - After a season that saw an epic draining of minor league systems league wide, Trout is might be the heir apparent to Jason Heyward's pre-season top prospect crown. I've always felt that 5-tool players were a myth thanks to Milton Bradley and Corey Patterson, but after seeing the then 18-year Angel play on several occasions, he's the a living, breathing, folktale come to life. In all honesty, this may sound stupid, but his plate approach and swing remind me of right handed version of Joe Mauer, who happens to be my favorite player in baseball.

17. Stephen Curry, 22, Golden State Warriors G - With another son in the college game, Dell Curry is quietly crafting the basketball version of the Manning's. Like his father, Curry is a sharp shooter, only Stephen can do far more than simply drain a 3-pointer.

18. Dez Bryant, 22, Dallas Cowboys WR - The biggest pass catching beast to enter the league since Andre Johnson. There's nothing Bryant can't and won't do on a football field, unfortunately he might do something on a football field that your not supposed to do in addition to future seasons filled with 1,500 yards and 15 TD's.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 2719. Jordan Eberle, 20, Edmonton Oilers C- Eberle is the second of three Edmonton skaters to make the Top 100. The 20-year old Center's personality is in stark contrast to the boring Taylor Hall, which boosts his hobby status a notch, not that the talented 20-year old needed any help to begin with.

20. Jahvid Best, 21, Detroit Lions HB - Chris Johnson with a far cooler hobby name he may very well be. He started off the NFL season on fire until the dreaded turf tow struck the Cal grad. Then things got even worse when he was crippled by a second turf toe. Best is the best bet of all the disappointing rookie backs to break out big time in 2011.

  • 2010 NFL Stats: 555 Rushing Yards, 487 Receiving Yards, 6 TD's
  • Cardboard Connection Recommendation: 2010 Epix #229 Jahvid Best AU/ 270 RC

21. Colt McCoy, 24, Cleveland Browns QB- Like Tebow, Colt McCoy's track record of winning and excellence at a storied college wasn't enough for draft guru's to take a liking to the Longhorn gunslinger. McCoy eerily resembles a story told in the early 2000's, that of Purdue's Drew Brees who was also too small and lacked the arm strength to lineup under center in the game of modern gladiators. McCoy's future is bright after going from 3rd string to starter during the course of his rookie season.

  • 2010 NFL Stats: 6 TD Passes, 9 INT, 1,576 Passing Yards, 74.5 Passer Rating, 136 Rushing Yards, 1 TD
  • Cardboard Connection Recommendation: 2010 SPx #107 Colt McCoy JSY AU RCThe 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 29

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 3022. Starlin Castro, 20, Chicago Cubs SS - What's not to like about a 19-year old Short Stop that batted .300 in his rookie season and plays for one of baseball's most (tragically) storied franchises? Castro was blown aside by the Posey, Strasburg, Stanton, Heyward trading card tornado, which continues to make Castro's cards among the hobby's most underrated.

23. MannyMachado, 18, Baltimore Orioles SS - The Orioles will attempt to anoint a second chosen one that will hopefully shift the balance of power in the AL East after Matt Wieters apparently isn't "Mauer with Power", but more like Jason Varitek without personality. I prefer Miguel Sano over Machado, but you can't go wrong with either's 2010 Bowman Chrome Autos.

24. Jimmy Clausen, 23, Carolina Panthers QB- Clausen is as off putting as Bryce Harper, but not nearly as talented. John Gruden's QB sit downs before the NFL Draft told you everything you need to know about Clausen, he can't communicate, isn't a leader and is spoiled. Yet, he's got a lively arm and the Notre Dame football card boosters always provide their alums with a longer window than most (Brady Quinn).

25. Tyler Myers, 20, Buffalo Sabres D - I reserve the word "beast" for a select few, Myers is one befitting of such high praise. The 6'8" Sabres Defenseman got more involved in the scoring game than most rookie defenseman tend to, which helped him capture both the Calder Trophy and the hearts and minds of hockey card enthusiasts during the 2009-10 NHL Season.

  • 2009-10 NHL Stats: 11 Goals, 37 Assists, 48 Points
  • 2009-10 Calder Trophy Winner (Rookie of the Year)
  • 2010-11 NHL Stats: 5 Goals, 10 Assists, 15 Points
  • Cardboard Connection Recommendation: 2009-10 The Cup #132 Tyler Myers JSY AU RCThe 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 34

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 3526. Miguel Sano, 17, Minnesota Twins SS - Sano was arguably the greatest prospect in Latin American history when the Twins shocked the baseball world by signing the blue chip talent many scouts compare to Alex Rodriguez. Sano makes baseball look easy and can effortlessly do things other player's struggle to ever do. In a documentary called "Pelotero" about Latin American baseball, Sano plays the role of the chosen one. Sano and Trout are my two favorite MLB prospects, with each carrying my 5-star endorsement.

27. Aroldis Chapman, 22, Cincinnati Reds P -The myth of the Cuban defector who could routinely top 100 MPH on the radar gun became fact in 2010 when 105 MPH fastball rumors became fact when the the lanky lefty got the call to the bigs late last season. The hobby factor that will make or break the Chapman's baseball card career will be whether the Reds leave him in the pen or move him into the rotation. There's only 2 relief pitchers in baseball history to achieve elite hobby status, one of which was a starter for half his career, Dennis Eckersly and the other is the best their ever was, Mariano Rivera.

28. Evan Turner, 22, Philadelphia 76ers SG - Nearly half way into his first NBA season, the #2 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft out of Ohio State has been a disappointment, but there's still plenty of potential here, collectors sure seem to think so.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 3929. Ryan Mathews, 23, San Diego Chargers HB - Up until the last two weeks of the NFL Season, the 2nd running back taken in the 2010 draft had been as disappointing as any rookie in the league. Mathews finally flashed the potential that got collectors so excited when he rushed for 120 yards and 3 TD's during the final game of the season.

30. DeMarcus Cousins, 20, Sacramento Kings PF - DMC seems to have a few screws loose, but it matters little when you remind folks of Shaq.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 4231. Jeff Skinner, 18, Hurricanes C -  Skinner is to Taylor Hall as Duchene is to John Tavares. The 7th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft currently leads all rookies in scoring and would likely win the Calder Trophy if the season were to end today.

32. Tyler Seguin, 18, Boston Bruins C- Give any team in Boston a player with the potential of Seguin and they will buy his cards. Seguin could easily end up being the most popular hobby rookie from the 2010-11 rookie class five years from now.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 4533. Wil Myers, 20, Kansas City Royals C - Perhaps the best prospect in an ABSOLUTELY STACKED Royals system! As a Twins fan, the team that creeps me out the most when thinking long term certainly isn't the Indians, White Sox or Tigers, it's the team with the royal blue uniforms with an endless chain of blue chip prospects.

34. Mike Williams, 23, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR- 2010 was the year that the NFL went from having 1 crappy ex-WR named Mike Williams to having 2 legit WR's named Mike Williams. Though, it's the Bucs 4th round steal from Syracuse that captured the interest of card collectors country wide. The crown of 2010's most productive rookie WR belongs to Tampa's man with a common name and uncommon talent. For those who hold Williams' cards, let's just hope this isn't the sequel to Michael Clayton (which sucked!).

35. Austin Jackson, 23, Detroit Tigers OF - I'll be damned, the Yankees actually traded a prospect that wasn't made of paper! Jackson was the front runner for AL ROY during the first 3/4 of the season. Had Neftali Feliz not broke the rookie saves record, Jackson likely would have won the award. A-Jax had one of the best rookie season's for a leadoff hitter since Ichiro.

36. Neftali Feliz, 22, Texas Rangers RP - After Closer Frank Francisco struggled with control and injury issues, Manager Ron Washington turned to the 22-year old with the lively right arm. Feliz responded by recording a rookie record 40 saves, winning the 2010 AL ROY and was one of the best player's on a team that shocked the baseball world by making it to 2010 World Series.

37. Madison Bumgarner, 21, San Francisco Giants SP - Early in 2010, Bumgarner was struggling in the minors and his hobby stock was falling fast. Fast forward several months later and Bumgarner was pitching big games in Octember(October/November) for the soon to be World Series Champions. The large statured lefty was 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA in 3 post season starts.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 5138.LeGarrette Blount, 24, Tampa Bay Buccaneers HB - 2010's best running back wasn't drafted due to punching a player while at Oregon, then a second punch while on the Titans practice squad led to the opportunity of a lifetime for the beastly and burly back. The Bucs picked up the once troubled runner and the rest is hobby history. After week 6, Blount rushed for 976 yards! Blount's 66 yards in the final game of the season pushed him over the 1,000 yard mark, making him the only rookie back to do so in 2010. In the age of the overprinted rookie auto, Blount has 1/10 as many autos as Mathews, Jahvid, Spiller & co.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 5339. Ricky Rubio, 19, Minnesota Timberwolves PG - Rubio can thank Pistol Pete for his pristine hobby status. The few rookie autos that Rubio was courteous enough to sign and send back to Panini or Upper Deck consistently sold for a substantial finder's fee, as a Timberwolves fan this I know. On a side note, if Ricky Rubio doesn't want to come to the state of 10,000 ultra-stars, than he's passing on the chance to be the 7th-9th best player in the Twin Cities area!

40. C.J. Spiller, 23, Buffalo Bills HB - Though he's done absolutely nothing during his rookie season, collectors are still fascinated with the skill set that made the Clemson Tiger the top HB taken in the 2010 NFL Draft (9th overall). Once he learns how to fit into an NFL offense, he has the talent to be an elite feature back for years to come.

41. P.K. Subban, 21, Montreal Canadiens D- Subban is this year's premier(e) rookie defenseman. Don't let his 6'0", 200 pound stature fool you, as this kid can deliver a big time hit. Unlike Basketball and Baseball, playing in Canada is a major hobby plus. Canadian collectors are among the hobby's most loyal.

42. Carlos Santana, 24, Cleveland Indians C - Santana's season was unfortunately cut short after a horrific play at the plate end his season early. After watching the play at the plate, fans thought Santana would never play again, then an MRI revealed that the injury was actually just a minor knee contusion. Santana has a big time middle of the order bat. Santana's cards have yet to recover from the injury, which means there's some major value sitting on eBay.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 5843. Derrick Favors, 19, New Jersey Nets PF - Fortunately for Nets fans, the New Jersey brass made the right choice in drafting the high upside power forward with the 3rd pick. I've been fairly shocked to see how low Favors cards have been going for on eBay. John Wall and Blake Griffin's cards aren't doing any favors for every other 2010-11 rookie's RC's, but it certainly is doing a big favor for Favors collectors.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 6044. Sergei Bobrovksy, 22, Philadelphia Flyers G - Though the 22-year old Russian has cooled off a bit, on the ice and in the hobby, he is still without a doubt the top rookie net minder in the 2010-11 rookie class. The Flyers also have a dedicated fan base known for boosting the book value of Philadelphia young guns.

45. Domonic Brown, 23, Philadelphia Phillies OF - Thanks to Washington wasting money on Jayson Werth, Dom will have every opportunity to captilize on a world of potential this season. Many have compared Brown's skill set to Darryl Strawberry. Brown's card have routinely gone for bargain prices due to the astounding depth of this year's rookie class. Brown qualifies as a rookie in the 2011 and should be considered one of the favorites to win the NL Rookie of the Year award.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 6346. DeMar DeRozan, 21, Toronto Raptors SG - Cool name + Dunking Ability = Respectable hobby stock. DeRozan has improved substantially during the 2010-11 season, nearly doubling his scoring average.

47. Evander Kane, 19, Atlanta Thrashers LW - Though his numbers have yet to show it, the 4th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft has the potential to be one of the game's marquee players. Playing in Atlanta certainly does no favors for a hockey player's hobby stock.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 6648. Magnus Paajarvi, 19, Edmonton Oilers LW - Paajarvi joins fellow Edmonton rookies Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle to form the year's most dominant case break team. The Swedish winger was the 10th pick in the 2009 NHL Draft and has a world of potential to tap into during the years to come.

49. James Van Riemsdyk, 21, Philadelphia Flyers LW - Though is sophomore season isn't living up to expectations, JVR still remains one of the five most popular rookies from the 2009-10 hockey card season.

50. Gary Sanchez, 18, New York Yankees C - Sanchez wishes he had Jesus Montero's opportunity, Montero wishes he had Sanchez's defensive skills, collectors wish they could get their hands on more cards of both. Sanchez took 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition by storm and did the same when 2010 Bowman Chrome released.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 7051. Jameson Taillon, 19, Pittsburg Pirates SP - Though the hobby math looks pretty crappy for baseball's #2 pick (Pirates + Pitcher), Taillon is talented enough to drag his tallons into the trading card world long enough to leave a mark, lets just hope it's not on the cards themselves seeing as how Bowman already has some major condition issues.

52. Dustin Ackley, 22, Seattle Mariners 2B/OF - The #2 overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft got off to a hot start in the hobby and was one of the prospects that contributed to the box price of 2010 Bowman Baseball nearly tripling early in the summer. Ackley's first full season of minor league ball was a dissapointment, but Ackley tore it up in the 2010 Fall League and is sure to make some noise in 2011.

53. Jesus Montero, 21, New York Yankees C/DH - The only thing that holds Montero's hobby stock hostage is that he doesn't have the defensive skills to stick at Catcher and will likely be a DH in the pros. Very few career DH's have ever achieved hobby immortality, but love them or hate them, the Yankees are the most popular team in the hobby. There's a good chance Montero will make some noise in the majors in 2011.

54. Wesley Johnson, 23, Minnesota Timberwolves G/F- Though the Wolves swingman ranks 4th in rookie scoring, you certainly wouldn't know it by looking at his card value on eBay. As a Timberwolves fan I hate to say it, but being a Timberwolf is terrible when it comes to trading card value.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 7555. Joe Webb, 24, Minnesota Vikings QB - In Webb's first NFL start, he outplayed Michael Vick, the player he compares to most in the NFL. What makes Webb one of the most intriguing players on this list is that he posses two traits that are the equivelant of hobby gold, insane athleticism and he plays the best position in cards, Quarterback. Webb is the type of player you have to see play to understand why his cards have quadrupled in value in the past week or two, as his numbers don't tell the full story.

  • 2010 NFL Stats: 0 Passing TD, 3 INT, 477 Passing Yards, 61.4 Passer Rating, 120 Rushing Yards, 2 TD's
  • Cardboard Connection Recommendation: 2010 Topps Prime Joe Webb AutoThe 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 76

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 7756. Jacoby Ford, 23, Oakland Raiders WR - Between drafting Rolando and stealing Jacoby Ford in the middle of the 2010 NFL Draft, it's clear the Raiders created a fake draft room for Al Davis to operate from so that they could get better as a football team. I've never seen more crazy clutch grabs from a rookie WR than what Ford put on tape in 2010. His numbers won't wow you, but the Raiders appear to be turning things around and Ford will be a key cog in the rebirth of Raider Nation.

57. Jrue Holiday, 20, Philadelphia 76ers PG - The second year 76er is blossoming into one of the league's best young point guards. At just 20 years old, the UCLA alum has plenty of time to hone his skills.

58. Logan Coutoure, 21, San Jose Sharks C - Currently, the Sharks center is second in rookie scoring, trailing Jeff Skinner by just one point. Though the Sharks were king of the Starter Jacket in the early 90's, their cards are far from king due to the warm weather factor.

59. Aaron Hernandez, 21, New England Patriots TE - The 6'1", 245 pound TE moves more like a WR, possesing a Jermichael Finley-esque speed/strength combo. Hernandez's biggest hurdle to achieving long term hobby success is that he plays on the same team as another dominant 2010 rookie TE, Rob Gronkowski.

60. Pedro Alvarez, 23, Pittsburgh Pirates 3B -If the bucs' "swing for the fences" third baseman played for the Red Sox or Yankees, his cards would be worth five fold what they currently are. Unfortunately, playing for the Pirates means you have to be the next Evan Longoria to get noticed.

61. Nazem Kadri, 20, Toronto Maple Leafs C - The fact that Kadri, the 7th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, has yet to score a goal during his rookie campaign has only mildly scared off card collectors. Playing in Toronto will grant Kadri's trading cards plenty of opportunity to grow.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 8462. Rob Gronkowski, 21, New England Patriots TE -Can two TE's attain hobby glorry on the same team? Probably not, but for the time being the 6-6, 265 lb Arizona alum is enjoying unprecidented hobby success for a guy who began the season in the shadow of flashy fellow Pats' rookie TE Aaron Hernandez.

63. Rolando McClain, 21, Oakland Raiders LB - The 'Bama beast started off the season in style with a spectacular slam tackle that was obviously flagged by the NFL because Roger Goodell is set on forcing a work stoppage even if both sides can hash out the league's money issues, then injury slowed the 2010 draft top LB, but after a strong finish, 2011 could be his Patrick Willis breakout campaign.

64. Cam Fowler, 19, Anahiem Ducks D- Fowler will probably live in the hobby shadow of fellow rookie defenseman P.K. Subban, but that doesn't mean Fowler's cards can't still make some noise during the 2010-11 hockey card season.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 8865. Mike Moustakas, 22, Kansas City Royals 3B/OF - You'd be hard pressed to find a minor leaguer who had a bigger season in 2010 that Moustakas. Out of all the Royals blue chip prospects, he might be the closest to the majors. Should he head north with the Royals, he stands a great shot of capturing the 2011 AL Rookie of the Year award.

66. Derek Stepan, 20, New York Rangers C - The Hastings, Minnesota native has been one of this year's biggest surprise rookies. During the back end of December, the Rangers center scored a goal in 4 straight games. Stepan's 23 points are currently 3rd best among all rookies.

67. Chris Ivory, 22, New Orleans Saints HB - Not a big fan, but plenty of collectors are. Ivory has one major hobby factor on his side, due to the fact that the speedy scat back from tiny Tiffin University wen't undrafted, he has very few cards, which means if he does become a star, the value of his cards will sky rocket.

  • 2010 NFL Stats: 683 Rushing Yards, 5 TD's
  • Cardboard Connection Recommendation: No Recommendations At This Time

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 9168. Landry Fields, 22, New York Knicks G - A perfect name for New York, fitting of a women's hand bag store or some other wierd store I have no intention on ever going near. So far, Fields is the surprise rookie of the 2010 NBA Draft Class, going from ashy to classy in a matter of 1/2 an NBA Season! Fields currently ranks third in rookie scoring, but trails most rookies when it comes to autographed cards produced.

69. Jonny Flynn, 21, Minnesota Timberwolves PG - A great deal was asked of the youngster out of Syracuse during his rookie season, not many point guards are asked to learn the vaunted triangle offense year one. Injuries have cost Flynn the majority of the 2010-11 season, but there's something likeable about the gritty, lightning quick point guard.

70. James Harden, 21, Oklahoma City Thunder SG - Once the talented second year 2-guard out of ASU figures out how to mesh with fellow Thunder superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Harden could be part of one of the league's most lethal trios.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 9571. Danny Valencia, 26, Minnesota Twins 3B- In 2010, Valencia was one of the league's top rookies and gave the Twins their first legit 3rd baseman since Corey Koskie. Valencia's age certaintly didn't scare off collectors, when his first ever card came way of 2010 Topps Update, Twins' fan paid up to $20 a piece. Although Minnesota has always been considered a middle of the pack market, Twins fans are among the hobby's most loyal collectors.

72. Julio Teheran, 19, Atlanta Braves SP - Yet another part of the cardboard cash crop known as 2010 Bowman Baseball. The Braves lightning armed light weight (150 lbs) is one of the two or three best pitching prospects in the game.

73. Dexter McCluster, 22, Kansas City Chiefs HB/WR - Proof that one player can't be everything to everyone. I liked the idea of Dexter McCluster when he was drafted, but the hobby is secretly dumping his cards in order to stear clear of having a collection of Josh Cribbs, Devin Hester and ______ rookie autos.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 9974. Eric Berry, 22, Kansas City Chiefs S - If "tough actin' Tinactin" were a rookie Safety, Eric Berry it would be. Berry was a key contributer on the NFL's biggest surprise playoff team and posseses a skill set that has intrigued collectors all year long.

75. Jaime Garcia, 24, St. Louis Cardinals SP - The secret to St. Louis' lack of success in 2010 had nothing to do with Garcia. Despite putting up crazy rookie numbers, collectors wanted little to do with the Cards' hurler's cards.

76. Darren Collison, 23, Indiana Pacers PG - Last season as a member of the Hornets, the Jayhawk averaged nearly 20 ppg and 10 apg filling in for an injured Chris Paul. In order to improve other positions, the talented point guard was traded from the Hornets to the Pacers during the off-season.

77. Desmond Jennings, 24, Tampa Bay Rays - Jennings struggled in the minors in 2010, but now that Carl C. has left the dreaded Tampa humidity for Beantown, the young speedster will get his chance to bat in the same lineup as Evan Longoria.

78. Eric Bledsoe, 21, Los Angeles Clippers PG - Bledsoe's story is eerily similar to the one that played out last year with Darren Collison, the big difference is that Baron Davis certainly isn't Chris Paul, so Bledsoe could soon become Blake Griffin's point man.

79. Nick Franklin, 19, Seattle Mariners SS - Franklin is one of the top 5 SS prospects in the game, Seattle fans should be extremely excited about a potential Franklin-Ackley middle infield.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 10680. Jose Tabata, 22, Pittsburgh Pirates - This guy is good, really good, it's a shame not many people noticed the solid season the young speedster pieced together on a bad Pirates team.

81. Michael Del Zotto, 20, New York Rangers D - Named to the 2009-10 NHL All-Rookie team along with fellow hockey hobby favorites Tyler Myers, Matt Duchene, John Tavares, Jimmy Howard and Niclas Bergfors.

82. Grant Green, 23, Oakland A's SS - The minors are stacked with potential stars at Short Stop (Machado, Sano, Franklin, Flores, Gordon, Iglesias, Profar, etc.), but it's the 13th overall pick from the 2009 MLB Draft that is the closest to reaching the bigs.

83. Jonas Gustavsson, 26, Toronto Maple Leafs G - Despite his downright horrible play this year, collectors are willing to ride the lows due to a belief that greatness lies down the road for Gustavsson.

84. Jermaine Gresham, 22, Cincinati Bengals TE - Believe it or not, the Tight End position is actually cool and collectible. Football is the ever evolving struggle between offense and defense. Each side is constantly trying to expose the other's weaknesses, the super athletic TE is the latest weapon currently exposing defensive deficiencies.

85. Ty Lawson, 23, Denver Nuggets PG - The heir apparent to Chauncey Billips in Denver, the only problem is that Carmelo Anthony won't be present to see the passing of the torch. Think Aaron Brooks when it comes to hobby potential.

86. Antti Niemi, 26, San Jose Sharks G - What's more wierd, the fact that there are two Goalies in the NHL named Antti Niemi or the fact that the Chicago Blackhawks parted ways with the rookie after he helped them capture the 2009-10 Stanley Cup?

87. Shelby Miller, 20, St. Louis Cardinals - The 19th overall pick in the 2009 draft is considered the Cardinals top prospect, which means his cards are valuable, as Cardinals fans are among the hobby's loyalist collectors.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 11588. Other Guys From the 2010 MLB Draft Class (Too hard to pick just 1) - Bryce Brentz, Zack Cox, Josh Sale, Kolbrin Vitek, Justin O'Conner, Christian Yelich, Drew Pomeranz, Delino Deshields Jr., Michael Choice, Chevez Clarke, Cito Culver, Yasmani Grandal, Christian Colon, Chris Sale.

89. Toby Gerhart, 23, Minnesota Vikings HB - Gerhart has shown vast improvement over the course of the 2010 NFL Season, unfortunately he plays behind a living legend and game's best HB Adrian Peterson.

90. Ike Davis, 23, New York Mets 1B - The Edina, MN native got off to hot start, but as the season progressed both his play and hobby status went cold. Never the less, Davis is a young first baseman playing in the biggest city in the world, which is a major hobby plus. Another plus is that Davis has a great plate approach and eye, which usually translates to long term success.

91. Eric Hosmer, 21, Kansas City Royals 1B - Man is the Royals minor league system stacked! If the Royals can't turn baseball's best crop of prospects into a major league team this time around, I don't know that they ever will.

92. Jordan Shipley, 25, Cinicinnati Bengals WR -It's too bad Shipley has to play with 2 of the league's 3 most disfunctional people. The only knock against the longhorm alum is that he's 25! I didn't reallize that until I was putting this article together, wow, 25?!

93. Aaron Hicks, 21, Minnesota Twins OF - Hicks is one of a handful of prospects that signed with Razor several years back. Topps found a way to circumvent this deal with the ugly, yet popular AFLAC cut signatures that came out of 2010 Topps Pro Debut. Hicks' numbers have never measured up to his talent, but they will soon, check out that OBP!

  • 2010 Minor League Stats (A) - .279 AVG, 8 HR, 49 RBI, 86 Runs, 21 SB, .401 OBP
  • Cardboard Connection Recommendation: Hold off on all Hicks cards until next season

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 12094. Jackie Bradley Jr, 20, South Carolina Gamecocks OF - Meet JBJ, I'm not sure if there is a relation to Milton Bradley Jr., but I'm willing to look the other way for the time being. Bradley should be a top 10 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft should he declare. The swift footed Outfielder currently has numerous cards from various 2010 Bowman and Topps USA sets.

95. Devin McCourty, 23, New England Patriots CB - 7 picks + playing for the Patriots + limited amount of cards + pro bowl rookie = one of the year's most suprising hobby success stories.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 12396. Jonathan Singleton, 19, Philadelphia Phillies 1B/OF - Singleton used his clockwork swing to burst onto the hobby scene in 2010, with his AFLAC cut signature setting the stage for the feeding frenzy that would take place once the first of his 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Autos hit eBay.

97. Demaryius Thomas, 23, Denver Broncos WR - Thomas' rookie campaign was mared by injury issues, but there could be big time value down the road for Tim Tebow's potential go to WR. People sometimes forget he was the first WR taken in the 2010 NFL Draft, which means he's got talent and could breakout in 2011.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 12698. Four Other Guys From 2010 Bowman/Topps USA Baseball - Gerrit Cole, Bubba Starling, Nelson Rodriguez

99. John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals QB - Thursday Night Football's Joe Theisman (best booth in football) proclaims: "Skelton is a more elusive, quicker version of Joe Flacco". Thankfully, no one heard that statement. Skelton is an absolute mystery, your guess is as good as mine.

100. Joe Haden, 21, Cleveland Browns CB- In a few years time, the shutdown rookie Corner from Gator Country will be one of the NFL's top 5 shutdown corners. Unfortunately, the role of best Corner in football isn't even in professional football yet, Patrick Peterson.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 129Jim Leyland Clubhouse Bonus 101st Player:

101. Justin Smoak, 24, Seattle Mariners 1B - The first Smoak in a major league dugout since the league smoking ban forced Jim Leyland to light up in the clubhouse. If the M's can cash out some additional prospects from their stacked system, Smoak could be  in a nice position to succeed in the next 5 years.

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 131
Al-Farouq Aminu, Greg Monroe, Earl Thomas, Brandon Belt, Brett Jackson, Freddie Freeman, Michael Neuvirth, Tony Moeaki, Tyler Colvin, Max Hall, Eric Decker, Wesley Matthews, Brayden Schenn, Ekpe Udoh, Gordon Hayward, Alcides Escobar, Jeremy Hellickson, Ian Desmond, Wade Davis, James Starks, John Carlson, Gerald McCoy, Chris Johnson (Astros), Brennan Boesch, Mike Leake, Tyler Hansbrough, Xavier Henry, Erik Karlsson, Tyler Bozak, Brian Matusz, Arrelious Benn, Jamar Chaney, Brandon Spikes, Logan Morrison, Jeremy Hellickson, Dee Gordon, Adeinis Hechavarria, Matt Davidson, Martin Perez, Francisco Peguero, Carlos Peguero, Nolan Arenado, Gary Brown, Freddie Freeman, Andrew Cashner, Brett Wallace, Drew Storen, Ryan Kalish, Dayan Viciedo, Hank Conger, Ben Revere, Kyle Gibson, Chris Carter, J.P. Arencibia, Jason Kipnis, Matt Moore, Brett Jackson,Chris Archer

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 132
Andrew Luck, Patrick Peterson, Julio Jones, Mark Ingram, Ryan Mallet, Jake Locker, Justin Blackmon, Prince Amukamara, Jonathan Baldwin, Cam Newton, A.J. Green, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Mike Leshoure, Ryan Broyles, DeMarco Murray, Daniel Thomas, Michael Floyd, Austin Pettis, Terrance Toliver, DeVier Posey, Ryan Williams, Chris Owusu, Sean Couturier, Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jacob Markstrom, Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones, Terrence Jones, Jared Sullinger, Enes Kanter, Brandon Knight, Kyrie Irving

The 2010 Kings of Cardboard: Rookies and Prospects 133Making purchases through affiliate links can earn the site a commission
Brett is a former contributor to The Cardboard Connection.

User Comments

Kent Ritchie
Kent Ritchie

Where’s John Axford???

@Kent Ritchie: Sorry, there was only room for one rookie closer on the list. I gave it a lot of thought but his cards just didn’t sell very well and on top of that he didn’t have very many cards. Like defensive players in football, I wish Closer cards were more popular but there not. Let’s just say your consolation prize is Zack Greinke, as a Twins fans I am pretty envious of that trade.

Steve Hau
Steve Hau

Holy crap, you never cease to amaze me Brett man! This is way cool stuff, thanks for making cards fun again, can’t wait to see what you guys have in store for 2011!

@Steve Hau: thanks man, I appreciate the support

Great work…I appreciate u making these lists. Please keep doing it.

David Tenneson
David Tenneson

Very nice list here, Brett. Awesome work, great read!

Leave a Comment:

will not be published