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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mid April MLB Outlook

We're now into our 3rd week of the season, and there are some early standouts that have been attracting attention in the hobby. To name a few, there's Alex Rodriguez, who began the season hitting 6 HR's in his first 7 games. Grady Sizemore, in his first 3 games of the season, had 3 HR's (rare for a lead off hitter), and went 6 for 14 (.429 BA). Felix Hernandez, who's the hottest of them all, has gone 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 18 K's through his first 17 IP.

ARod's 1994 SP RC was averaging $54.11 during the 2nd half of March leading up to the start of the season. Through the 1st half of April, it has jumped to $71.57, a +32.3% increase. That doesn't mean you still can't find deals out there though. Selling prices this month have ranged from $51 to $103.99. His SP Die-Cut RC averaged $64.94 in late March, and increased to $78.20 so far in April (a +32% change).

Grady Sizemore's hottest RC issue is his 2000 Bowman Draft Picks Autograph. So far in April, it's averaged $431.18; 172.5% of it's $250 BV! The selling price range has been $384.58 to $489.99.

Felix Hernandez's two hot Auto RC's are his 2004 Bowman Chrome & Bowman's Best. The Chrome averaged $141.69 in late March, then jumped to $175.76 (+24%) after his 1st shutout, and then to $205.65 (+17%) after his 2nd shutout. Expect to pay in the $215-230 range for this card now. His Bowman's Best averaged $50.33 in late March, then jumped to $80.66 (+60%) after his 1st shutout, then to $107.71 (+33.5%) after his 2nd shutout. Expect to pay $110-125 for this card now. One sale of his Chrome X-Fractor Auto RC in late March went for $182. Another sold on 4/12 (one day after his 2nd shutout) for $422.99 (+132%)!

A few other pitchers to keep an eye on are Jake Peavy (2-0, 0.90 ERA, 12 K's in 20 IP), C.C. Sabathia (3-0, 2.14 ERA, 19 K's in 21 IP), and Ian Snell (1-1, 1.80 ERA, 20 K's in 20 IP). These players are still young, and have a chance to reach various career milestones if they stay healthy & consistent.

A few other hitters to watch are Vladimir Guerrero (.364 BA, 3 HR, 12 RBI), Ian Kinsler (.343, 5 HR, 10 RBI) and Elijah Dukes (.171, 2 HR, 2 RBI). I've included the 22 year old Dukes because of his 5-tool potential, and the bet that he's put his personal troubles behind him. We'll see if he can pick up his production as the season moves forward.

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