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Friday, August 31, 2007

Players to Buy Right Now

There are some players who's cards, for one reason or another, have dropped in price recently, well below their potential values. I believe that these players have very bright futures ahead of them, and that their card values will rise (or rise again) over time.
  • Prince Fielder - Fielder's cards were the hottest items in the hobby before the All-Star break. Then came Ryan Braun. Braun stole the spotlight in Milwaukee, and Fielder's cards started to fall (even though he still leads the AL with his 39 HR - 2nd in the majors). His 02 UD Prospect Premiers Auto XRC was averaging $206 in June (with a high sale of around $240). It then dropped to $185 in July, and now down to $148 in August. Today one sold for $131 TAC. I think that they're a good buy in the $120-130 range, especially knowing that they have the potential to sell for at least $100 more than that. His 05 SPx Auto RC #'d 185 was averaging in the $240-250 TAC range through June & July. This month, it's dropped to $172, with one selling last week for $131. At only 23 years old, he has his whole career ahead of him.
  • C.C. Sabathia - Through the end of June, Sabathia was 12-2 with 3.20 ERA. His sole rookie year Auto, his 99 Topps Traded Auto, was selling in the $50 range (still low in my opinion, given his skill & potential). His record has fallen off some, now at 15-7, but his ERA is still very respectable, at 3.37. I think that finicky buyers moved on after Sabathia had a few rocky starts, so demand for his cards have waned. The last sale that I saw for his TT Auto went for a meager $32.10. What a deal! There aren't that many listed on auction each month, but if you time it right, you can find one at a good price. A worthwhile investment in my opinion. At only 27 year of age, he already has over 1100 career K's, making him a potential candidate to reach that coveted 3000 K career mark.
  • Ryan Raburn - Although Raburn isn't hitting as well as he did in July (.387, 3 HR, 10 RBI in 31 AB), he's still doing quite well, with an overall batting average of .330. His 02 Bowman Chrome Auto RC averaged $24 in July, but has since been falling each week in August. The last sale that I saw, yesterday, went for $11.39. I don't know how much of a star Raburn will be in the future, but to pay around $10 for a BC Auto RC, it isn't much of a risk. If Raburn starts to play more frequently and can maintain his performance level at the plate, I think that his cards have a chance to go back up to their July levels.
  • Scott Kazmir - I know that I keep on saying the same thing, but Kazmir is, in my opinion, the best pitcher aged 23 or younger in the majors right now. He already has 572 career K's; over 1/6 of the way to 3000. A guy like Erik Bedard (age 28), who leads the majors in strike-outs, only has 639 for his career, and he's 5 years older than Kazmir! He's averaging 9.94 K's/9IP for the season (11.95 for the month of August), with a very decent 3.74 ERA. If he played for a better team, he'd probably have a much better record to go with his other stats (he's had 5 no decisions this year in which he allowed 1 or no earned runs). His 04 Bowman Sterling Auto/Jsy RC is averaging $15.71 in August, down from $15.88 in July & $19.80 in June. One even sold for $11.59 about a week ago. This is definitely a player to buy now. Barring any unforeseen difficulties, he's on his way to becoming baseball's next big ace.

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