size="31" type="text"/>

Friday, February 20, 2009

Last Home Run Hero Standing

Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi (and of course, Barry Bonds)...all tied to performance-enhancing drugs. Vladimir Guerrero has been hampered with injuries and may not reach the 500 HR milestone. Looks like Ken Griffey Jr. may be the last of the old school big bats not tarnished by HOF-preventing elements, and not questionable regarding his ability to accomplish the milestone marks.

In this decade, Griffey has been overshadowed by the big names listed above, and has suffered significant slow-down in achievement due to heath issues. Now, as he makes his storied way back to Seattle, where he began his career, and he continues to add to his current 611 HR count, I would think that collectors would develop a renewed interest in his top rookie issues. You can still find his 89 UD RC for $20 or less TAC on ebay; a steal for an unmarred star like Griffey.

Griffey is #5 on the All-Time HR list, and will likely end his career at #4, behind only Ruth, Aaron and Bonds (*). Now, if we were to find out that he too juiced up during the pre-ban era, I guess we would have no choice but to put our hopes in some of these younger guys like Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder, and wait to see where they land in 10-15 years.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Yankees Bulk Up Their Rotation

With the Yankees failing to make the World Series since '03, and not even making the post season in '08, they've decided to start bulking up their rotation this off season by acquiring C.C. Sabathia & A.J. Burnett. Sabathia is coming off of a near-perfect 3-month run with the Brewers in '08, going 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA and 8.8 K's/9IP. Burnett posted career-highs in IP (221.1), W's (18), K's (231 - 9.4/9IP), and starts (34) with the Jays in '08.

Sabathia's 99 Topps Traded Auto remains his best rookie-year issue, and is currently selling on ebay for between $122-199 in fixed-price auctions. It sold for between $48 to $64 TAC during the '08 season, so if you want to pick one of these gems up, I would wait until someone posts one in a bidding auction to get it for a better price.

Burnett's best rookie-year card is also the 99 Topps Traded Auto. These aren't as easy to find (probably because of the lower demand), and should be available (when found) at lower price levels than Sabathia's. I'm guessing in the $25 to $35 TAC range.

These pitchers join a young Yankees rotation consisting of Phil Hughes, Chien-Ming Wang and others, and could potentially be a what NY needs to get back into the post season. Personally, I think that they will need more young bats to get them past the Red Sox & Rays in the AL East.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rays Going to Their First World Series

Thanks to those readers who wrote in while I was M.I.A. What an exciting weekend this was, watching the cinderella Rays finally take down the defending champ Red Sox. Tampa Bay has had several young players with impressive performances, but two that are still very hobby-affordable are Matt Garza & Willy Aybar.

Garza's rookie auto's have been fairly inexpensive all season, with his 05 Bowman Chrome Draft Auto RC selling in the $17-25 TAC range, and his 05 Topps Chrome Auto RC in the $12-20 range. After tonights dominant performance (7IP, 2 hits, 1 ER, 3 BB & 9 K's), I would hope that his cards finally start to pick up some hobby steam.

I've been an Aybar fan since he was with the Dodgers organization. After playing for a couple of different teams, he seems to have finally found his groove in Tampa Bay. After a slow ALDS against the White Sox, he really stepped up his game in the ALCS, batting .421 with 2 HR & 6 RBI. He only has two MLB rookie cards: 01 Bowman's Best RC #'d 2999 and 01 Bowman's Best Auto, both of which I believe were a part of exclusive rookie subsets for that product. Both of these cards have been selling for less than $10 each for a long time, and still remain at that level on the open market. I pulled one of his BB Auto cards back in '01, and have been holding onto it ever since.

Both of these players are 25 years old this year (Garza will be 25 in November), and can potentially have long & prosperous careers ahead of them. With other young players like Scott Kazmir, B.J. Upton & Evan Longoria playing by their side, you can expect this Rays team to be in the post-season for years to come. Was anyone else impressed with the maturity and confidence that Longoria & David Price displayed through this high-stress series? These two 23-year-olds are definitely ones to watch for the future.

I'm very sad that my Dodgers got knocked out by Philly, but I have to admit that they did get further than I had thought they would. Hiroki Kuroda was a nice surprise, Manny Ramirez was great as expected, and Chad Billingsley was disappointing - my take of their performance in a nutshell.

Thanks for reading...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sorry everybody, I've been out of the country for the past few weeks, and haven't been able to keep up with what's been going on, and as a result, haven't written any new posts. I hope to have something up soon. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Players Who's Values Were Hot in '07, and Not in '08

Last season, several players had cards that were hot hobby commodities. One of them was Dan Haren. In his final year with Oakland, he achieved career-bests in wins (15), ERA (3.07) & strike-outs (192). As a result, his 03 Bowman's Best Auto RC was selling in the $35-40 TAC range by mid season. He cooled after the break, but his BB RC still maintained a $20-30 market value. This season, Haren is on track to improve in wins & strike-outs, and repeat his low 3.00's ERA. Pretty darn good, especially considering that it's his first year with the D-Backs. And what is his BB RC doing? Plummeting with every month that passes by. In April it averaged $22.75, then fell to $22.25 in May, $20.61 in June, $17.17 in July, and now $15.77 in August. So Haren went to a play-off contender, improved his overall stats, and his values are dropping. Is something wrong with this picture?

Alfonso Soriano, despite missing 50 games so far this season, is batting .293 with 23 HR, 63 RBI & 17 SB (only 2 CS) in the lead-off spot for the NL-leading Cubs. He'll probably reach the 300 HR-300 SB milestone within the next couple of seasons (he's currently 264-246). All this, and his 99 Topps Traded Auto (his only rookie-year auto) is selling for around 38% less than it was at it's peak in '07. It's averaging $76.38 TAC this month, close to the lowest it's been in over a year. I consider Soriano to be the best established lead-off hitter in the game, who's cards should experience a rise in value, possibly during this year's post-season play.

The Tigers' Justin Verlander is giving up more runs & walks, and striking out fewer batters this season vs last, and his team is 11 games behind the AL Central-leading White Sox. What's the good news? Collectors have an opportunity to buy his key rookies cards at good prices! His 05 Bowman Chrome Auto RC is averaging in the $40-45 TAC range, down from it's $65-80 range in '07. His 05 Bowman Sterling Auto/Jsy RC is selling for $20-30, down from $35-45 in '07. Despite his high 4.43 ERA, he's still had 14 outings this season in which he's allowed 2 or fewer earned runs. It's those 9 other outings with 5+ earned that have really hurt him. Verlander was quite consistent in '07, and I believe that he will regain his old form going forward.

Friday, August 22, 2008

One to Buy: Edinson Volquez

The Reds' Edinson Volquez has been one of the biggest pitcher success stories of the season. His 15-5 record is amazing, considering his team is 57-72, and his ERA of 2.73 ranks him 3rd in the NL. Despite all this, and his 8.9 K's/9IP, Volquez's cards have been falling in value over the past month. In June, his 05 Bowman Chrome Draft RC averaged around $9.20 TAC. In July it dropped to below $8.50, and in August it can be found for around $4.50. You can find his 05 BCD Ref #'d 500 & Xfractor #'d 250 in the mid to high $20's range.

During the April to June time period, Volquez was red hot, going 10-3 with a 2.08 ERA, putting him on the hobby map. For the month of July, he posted a 4.54 ERA (despite going 3-1), which explains his drop in value. So far in August, he seems to be getting back on track, posting a 2.89 ERA over 3 starts.

Volquez is one of a handful of 25-and-under pitchers that should regularly find a spot atop the statistical charts for years to come. Now appears to be a good time to buy, as the upside potential of his cards outweighs the downside.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

No Posts - Watching the Olympics

I don't normally get too into watching the Olympics, but I've been strangely finding myself watching it every night since the opening ceremonies. From beach volleyball, to gymnastics, to swimming, it's become like a daily routine. Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh are so great to watch. Their 100+ game winning streak is amazing! They both have Auto cards in the 2007 Topps Allen & Ginters set, and you can bet that their values are on the rise. Did anyone have the foresight to secure the rights to a Michael Phelps Auto and/or memorabilia card? Actually, Donruss had a Fans of the Game Auto insert back in 04, inserted in their Leaf Rookies & Stars baseball packs. It's now selling in the $600-700 TAC range.

Anyway, I realize that I haven't posted anything since the beginning of the month, so I'm now working on getting something up soon. Possibly highlighting the MLB players that have dropped off the radar since last season, or players who are currently selling below their values. We'll see.