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.