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Saturday, June 02, 2007

L.A. Angels: Beyond Vladimir Guerrero

The Angels are atop the AL West standings partly due to their star Vladimir Guerrero's consistent strong play. But in baseball, one player, no matter how well they play, can't make a winning team. One clear example of such a failure is Alex Rodriguez during his 3 year stint with the Rangers. ARod, who only missed one game is those 3 seasons, averaged a .305 BA, 52 HR & 132 RBI. The rangers record during that time: 216-270 (they were 89-73 the very next season after ARod left).

Some of the other Angels that have been strong offensive contributors are 1B Casey Kotchman (.300, 5 HR, 26 RBI), SS Orlando Cabrera (.318, 3 HR, 27 RBI, 6 SB), CF Gary Matthews Jr. (.288, 7 HR, 33 RBI, 9 SB) and LF Reggie Willits (.326, 13 SB). Matthews Jr. & Cabrera, who have been in the league 11 & 9 years respectively, haven't received interest in the hobby, and I'm guessing they probably won't going forward either.

Kotchman's cards are now starting to pick up steam, especially his 01 UD Prospect Premieres Auto XRC #'d 1000. His 02 Bowman's Best Auto RC isn't #'d , but it books for 1/4 of his XRC Auto, making it quite affordable. Only problem is finding one to buy. I only see one currently listed on auction (it's graded BGS 8.5). His 02 Topps Pristine Personal Endorsements Auto insert is widely available and can be found at lower TAC than his two base RC autos.

Willits' RC's are harder to research, since they're not listed in Beckett (because they're considered commons). When you do a search on ebay, it looks like he had an XRC in the 03 UD Prospect Premieres set, and at least one RC card in the 06 Topps 52 set (non-Auto). If he does have an Auto RC out there, it would probably be a nice investment find to get.

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