Here are some updates for players that I'm watching, comparing their month to month on-field performances, and predicting how some of their key RC's will do. (All June stats are through 6/17).
- Adrian Gonzalez (SD) - Gonzalez started the season hot, hitting .309, 7 HR & 25 RBI in April. He then cooled in May with .284, 5 HR & 12 RBI. In June, he's hitting .295, 2 HR & 13 RBI. I'm thinking that he's now heating back up, and his key RC's will probably follow. His best RC year card is his 00 Bowman Draft Auto (BV $100).
- Manny Ramirez (BOS) - Ramirez, who has been one of the best hitters in the game over the last decade, had a very slow April, hitting .202 with 3 HR & 13 RBI. He found his swing in May, hitting .327, 5 HR & 18 RBI. In June, he's hitting .388, 2 HR & 7 RBI, making me think that the usual big hitting Manny is back to stay. Unfortunately, Ramirez hasn't received much hobby love over the years, even though he's a career .313 batter, and averages 41 HR/162 game. I hope that as he approaches the 500 career HR mark (he currently has 480) he'll get more attention. His best RC is his 92 Bowman #532 (not his Foil #676). You can probably find them on auction in the $10-15 TAC range (BV $25).
- J.J. Hardy (MIL) - Hardy has emerged as one of the best hitting SS in the majors. He had a decent start this season, hitting .282, 6 HR & 17 RBI in April. Then in May, he tore it up, hitting .325, 9 HR & 29 RBI! So far in June though he's slowed down, hitting .200, 2 HR & 3 RBI. His 02 UD USA Auto #'d 375 has been a hot seller throughout the season, averaging a TAC of $77 in June. Sales have ranged between $56 & $95 this month, so if you watch carefully, you may be able score one for a very decent price (especially if his production doesn't pick back up soon).
- Hunter Pence (HOU) - Pence is one of the hottest players in the hobby right now. He was called up at the end of April, and hit .342, 4 HR, 19 RBI & 3 SB in May. So far in June, he's hitting .328, 1 HR, 9 RBI & 2 SB. Pence has been one of the few bright spots on this slumping Astros team (30-40 record this season). His key Auto RC's have already elevated to superstar levels. Expect to pay around $95 to $100 for his 04 Donruss Elite EE Auto #'d 672, $250 to $270 for his 04 SP Prospects Auto #'d 600 and $135 to $140 for his 04 Fleer Hot Prospects Auto #'d 299. You can probably find these cards for a little lower if you look carefully (i.e. find auctions ending during the day or at odd times, etc...).