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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hamels Back on Track After DL

Phillies ace Cole Hamels had a spectacular start on Friday against the Nationals, pitching 8 shutout innings, and allowing just 6 hits & 1 BB with 13 K's. This was Hamels' 3rd start since returning from the DL, but it was his first decision.

With Philadelphia now on top of the NL East, and probably heading for the postseason, Hamels will have to play a key role in the team's success. If the Mets don't clinch a playoff spot, I'm expecting the World Series to showcase the Yankees vs. Phillies. This will create an opportunity for Hamels and his teammates to show their skills to much broader audience, and possibly elevate their hobby standing.

Hamels' 02 Bowman Chrome Draft RC has been sliding downward for the past few months, averaging $27 in June, $22 in July, $21 in August, and now $16-17 in September. I saw one of his BCD Ref RC's #'d 300 sell this month for $68 TAC.

I think that this 23-year-old pitcher is a solid buy at the current price range, and his values could easily double if he can continue to improve, along with his team.

Friday, September 28, 2007

D-Backs' Owings Shows He Can Hit & Pitch...Again!

Micah Owings had a great outing on Thursday, pitching 6-1/3 shutout innings, AND going 4-for-4 at the plate, with 3 doubles & 3 RBI. He became the first pitcher to have two 4-hit games in a season since Whitey Ford did it in '53.

Owings has been quite spectacular at the plate this season, batting .339 with 15 RBI and 20 hits; 12 of which have been extra-base hits (including 4 HR!). On the mound, though, he's been quite inconsistent. He's 8-8 with a 4.30 ERA for the season, but in his last two starts, he's 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Hopefully this is a sign that he's finally finding his groove (the timing couldn't be better, with the D-Backs fighting to hold onto the NL West lead, and preparing for the post-season).

Owings' only rookie auto is his 05 Topps Chrome Update Auto RC, which is averaging $9.36 TAC in September; down from it's $15 average in August, when he had that great game against the braves, hitting 2 HR & 6 RBI (his other 4-hit game). Now might be a great time to buy this 24-year-old's cards (he just turned 24 today), while they're trading at very affordable prices. I still think that he could be a risky investment, but for less than $10, it might just be a risk worth taking!

Owings is also included in the 03 UD USA set. I saw one of his Red Auto's #'d 750 sell for $7.69 TAC this month.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

MLB Briefs
  • Padres' ace Jake Peavy picked up an uncharacteristic win on Wednesday over the Giants, striking out a season-low 1 batter, in 7 innings pitched. Peavy is now 19-6 with a 2.36 ERA (he leads the NL in both W's & ERA). His 01 Bowman Chrome Ref RC is averaging around $47 TAC for September, up from $40.65 in August. I expect it to rise into the $50's range next month. Oh, did I mention that he also leads the NL in K's, with 234?
  • Dustin McGowan is still trying to find consistency on the mound. The 25-year-old Bluejays pitcher has 12 starts in which he's allowed 2 or fewer earned runs. He also has 8 starts in which he's allowed 4 or more earned. His 03 Bowman's Best Auto RC is averaging $12.90 TAC in September, and has been selling more recently in $14-15 range. I still think that McGowan is a good investment, and a good buy at around $10-12.
  • Troy Tulowitzki, the 22-year-old Colorado infielder, has played an integral role in his team's efforts to win the wild card this season. Through August & September, he's hitting .319 with 11 HR & 46 RBI (pretty good for a SS). His 05 Topps Rookie Cup Auto #'d 399 (the only set containing his rookie year auto) is averaging $41.24 in September; flat compared to August prices, and up from July's average of $35. Tulowitzki is still very young, and remains a very solid investment with strong long-term prospects.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

MLB Briefs
  • Alfonso Soriano had a big night on Saturday, going 3-for-4 with 2 HR, a 2B & 5 RBI against the Pirates. He has 12 HR & 22 RBI so far in September, his most productive month this season. Soriano's 99 Topps Traded Auto has been selling for between $95-105 through the August-September period, down from around $120 during June & July. Soriano is just 2 stolen bases away from having a 30 HR-20 SB season (he hasn't had a stolen base since August 1).
  • Boston ace Josh Beckett earned his league-leading 20th W of the season on Friday against the D-Rays, out-dueling the young up-and-comer, Scott Kazmir. Beckett's 99 Ultimate Victory RC, probably his best base rookie card, has been averaging around $19 TAC this month, down from $24 in August. Collectors seem to have taken an increased interest in his 00 SPx Auto #'d 1500. It's averaging $57.50 in September, up from $35 in August, and $50 in July.
  • Carlos Pena is having a slugger's dream of a season this year (see my related post on Sports Lizard) He went deep twice on Saturday to increase his season total to 42 HR (the most home runs he's had in previous seasons is 27 back in '04). Pena's 99 Topps Traded Auto was averaging around $60 TAC through the first 10 days of the September, but then strangely fell to around $20 the following week (one actually sold for $13.99 on 9/13!). Maybe collectors are being skeptical about his future prospects. I would say that if you can find one for $15-20, it's a pretty good price to buy at. Given his history, I just think that he needed to find the right team setting that would allow him to really show what he can do, and Tampa Bay just might be that team.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

MLB Briefs
  • Ken Griffey Jr., just 6 home runs shy of 600, suffered a season-ending groin strain on Wednesday against the Cubs. His 89 UD RC has been falling in TAC value for the past couple of months, averaging around $37 in July, $29 in August, and $27 in September. In the past few days, it's been selling for right around $20. Since we're going to have to wait till next season to him reach his career milestone, I expect his cards to drop a little more in the weeks to come.
  • The D-Backs' Micah Owings had a great outing on 9/18 against the Giants, making us think that he's decided to focus on being a pitcher instead of a hitter. He tossed his first career shutout, allowing just 2 hits & 1 BB, with 4 K's. It's a big improvement over his last two starts, in which he allowed 7 earned in 5-2/3 innings pitched. Owings experienced increased hobby interest last month when he hit 2 HR & 6 RBI against the Braves, in addition to getting the W with 7 K's in 7 IP. His 05 Topps Chrome Update Auto RC averaged around $15 TAC in August. Since then, the hype has died down, and that same RC card has been selling for around $8 in September. I still think that Owings carries quite a bit risk as an investment, but for $8 TAC, the price may be right to buy.
  • The Angels' Ervin Santana has been a feast or famine type of pitcher. This season, he's had 9 starts in which he's allowed 5 or more earned runs. On the other hand, he's had 10 starts in which he's allowed 2 or fewer earned. The 24-year-old has some skill, but is still obviously struggling to gain consistency. His 04 Bowman's Best Auto RC is probably his best base rookie card. There aren't many of them on auction, but those that are listed can probably be picked up at very reasonable prices. I would say that if you can find one in the $6 to $9 TAC range, it would be a decent price to buy at.

Monday, September 17, 2007

ML Briefs
  • Padres ace Jake Peavy, now with a NL leading 18 W's & MLB leading 2.39 ERA, seems to be getting back on track with back-to-back wins, after a terrible outing against the D-Backs in which he allowed 8 earned in 4 IP. For the past month or so, there have been a noticeably fewer of his 01 Bowman Chrome Ref RC's listed on auction. For September, sales have been averaging around $47 TAC; higher than it's July or August averages. Expect sales to increase to the $50-60 range very soon, as Peavy runs away with the NL Cy Young.
  • Yovani Gallardo pitched 8 shutout innings to beat the Astros on Monday, extending his scoreless streak to 13 innings. His 04 Donruss Elite EE Auto RC #'d 803 has been falling in value every month though, averaging around $59 in June, $54 in July, and $47 in August. Now may be a good time to buy, with sales averaging $43 for the month of September. His 04 SP Prospects Auto RC #'d 400 on the other hand is red hot. It's averaging $110.51, up from $67.37 in August.
  • Ryan Howard blasted 2 home runs & 5 RBI on Monday, to help his team beat the Cards 13-11. Howard is the #2 HR & RBI hitter in the NL. His 01 UD Prospect Premiers XRC is averaging around $21 TAC this month, with recent sales going for $16-19. There's just too much supply available for this card. His 03 Bowman's Best Auto RC is averaging $374.53 this month, with the Blue version /50 averaging $1,075.50, and one Red version /25 selling for $1,832 TAC. All of Howard's cards are down from their previous highs, and should have room to grow in value as Howard continues to hit home runs. I think that they would benefit even more if he raised his batting average (.262) and struck out less (185).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rick Ankiel's Rookie Cards Plummet!

In an earlier post this past week, I mentioned how this whole HGH situation has caused Rick Ankiel's play to really hit the skids, and that as a result, his rookie cards are also heading downward. Boy was that an understatement! I saw one of his 99 SP Top Prospects Autos sell today for $8.04, and one of his 99 Ultimate Victory RC's sell for $7.55 TAC, after averaging $25.48 & $29.90 respectively for September.

I really hope that he can get past this whole controversy and regain his focus. He was having such a great comeback.

Friday, September 14, 2007

MLB Briefs
  • The Yankees 22-year-old rookie pitcher Ian Kennedy had a strong outing on Thursday against the Blue Jays, going 7 innings and allowing just 1 hit, 1 run & 4 BB with 7 K's. He left the game tied up 1-1, and got a no decision. After three major league starts, Kennedy is 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA and is averaging 7.1 K's/9IP. I haven't seen any major league card releases for Kennedy, but he does have a few 04 UD USA Auto & Auto/Jsy cards that are seeing some activity on auction.
  • Alfonso Soriano is only 2 stolen bases away from achieving his 5th 20 HR-20 SB season (last year he actually had a 40-40 season). Soriano is one of the best lead-off hitters in the league, but because he's been having a lot slower season (compared to last year), his 99 Topps Traded Auto has been falling in price every month. It averaged around $122 in June, then $118 in July and $97 in August. Now might be a good time to buy, if you can find them in the $90 range.
  • Justin Verlander picked up his 17th win on Wednesday, striking out 7 in 7 innings, allowing just 1 run & 1 walk against the Rangers. The 24-year-old Detroit starter is on his way to having more wins, more K's/9IP, a lower ERA and fewer HR allowed this season than last. His 05 Bowman Sterling Auto RC & Bowman Chrome Auto RC remain relative deals, averaging around $35 & $60 respectively. This guy is going to be one of the best pitchers over the next decade (or two), and remains a great investment.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rick Ankiel Slumping Since HGH Report

The Cardinals' Rick Ankiel was red hot through 9/6, batting .358 with 9 HR & 29 RBI in 81 AB. Then came the report on ESPN about his alleged use of human growth hormones back in '04, before they were banned in '05. That report has had an obvious negative affect on Ankiel's play. Since 9/7, the day of the report, he has gone 2-for-24 with 0 HR & 0 RBI, dropping his overall batting average to .295.

Ankiel's key cards from '99 have dropped in value as a result of his current slump. His Ultimate Victory RC was selling for around $36 TAC last week, but is now averaging $19, with one selling yesterday for $17.01. His Ultimate Victory Parallel was selling in the $60's range last week, and is now going for less than half that price. His SP Top Prospects Auto was in the $30-40 range last week, and one sold today for $13.50.

I hope that Ankiel can snap back soon, and resume his dominant play at the plate. If he did indeed stop usage of HGH before it's ban, I think that it sucks that it was brought up now, while he was having such a great major league comeback.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

MLB Briefs
  • D-Rays ace Scott Kazmir had a dominating outing on 9/10, shutting down the Red Sox 1-0. Kazmir pitched 7 innings, allowing 5 hits 0 runs & 2 BB, with 10 K's. He out dueled veteran Curt Schilling, who also had a solid start, going 6 innings and allowed 5 hits, 1 run, 1 BB with 5 K's. In 5 starts against Boston, Kazmir is 1-2 with a 2.64 ERA & 8.8 K's/9 IP. If he played for a better team, he probably would've been 3-2 (in his 2 no decisions, he didn't allow a single run, pitching 12 shutout innings). There haven't been too many sales for Kazmir's Auto rookies this month. His 02 UD Prospect Premiers Auto XRC is averaging around $41 TAC.
  • Yovani Gallardo has started off the month of September very strong. In his first two starts, he's 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and is averaging 8.31 K's/9 IP. A great turnaround after his terrible August, when he went 3-3 in six starts, with a season-worst 7.55 ERA. His 04 Donruss Elite EE Auto #'d 803 is selling in the high $40's this month, and his 04 SP Prospects Auto #'d 400 is averaging around $110 TAC.
  • Wily Mo Pena had a hot night on 9/10 vs. the Marlins, going 3-for-4 with 2 HR & 3 RBI. Collectors have been waiting a long time for the 25-year-old slugger to find the right team to give him the chance to have a breakout season. Hopefully the Nationals will be one. His 99 Bowman Chrome RC can probably be found for less than $5 TAC on auction. I'm keeping my eye out for deals on his 99 Bowman Chrome Refractor.
Pitching Match-Up: Dustin McGowan vs Edwin Jackson

On 9/7, two young guns matched up for a strike-out fest. Dustin McGowan & Edwin Jackson combined for 18 K's in 13-2/3 IP (11.85 K's/9IP). The 25-year-old McGowan emerged victorious, allowing just 2 runs off of 4 hits, with 1 BB & 12 K's in 8 IP. Jackson allowed 7 earned in 5-2/3 IP (with 6 K's), including a 3-run homer to the Blue Jays' veteran catcher Gregg Zaun.

McGowan's been having an up-and-down year, and his 03 Bowman's Best Auto RC has reflected it. It averaged $33 TAC in June, then fell to around $13 in July, then back up to $19 in August. Month-to-date, it's averaging around $13, with it's last sale at $9.75. One of his 03 Bowman's Best Red Auto's, which are limited to 25, sold last week for $207.50 TAC.

Jackson had a terrible first 3 months this season, with a 2-11 record & 6.56 ERA. It looked like he was turning things around in August, going 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 5 starts (in two of those starts, he only allowed 2 ER, but got a loss & a no decision), but September has been his worst month of all, through his first two starts (0-2 & 13.00 ERA). There are very few of Jackson's key rookie cards up on auction, so I'm guessing that collectors are waiting for him to have a break out season, and values to rise before selling them. At only 24 years old, I think that he still has a chance to gain consistency and fulfill his potential. I like his 03 Donruss Elite EE TOTC Auto #'d 100.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Pitching Match-Up: Dustin McGowan vs Edwin Jackson

On 9/7, two young guns matched up for a strike-out fest. Dustin McGowan & Edwin Jackson combined for 18 K's in 13-2/3 IP (11.85 K's/9IP). The 25-year-old McGowan emerged victorious, allowing just 2 runs off of 4 hits, with 1 BB & 12 K's in 8 IP. Jackson allowed 7 earned in 5-2/3 IP (with 6 K's), including a 3-run homer to the Blue Jays' veteran catcher Gregg Zaun.

McGowan has been having an up-and-down year, and his 03 Bowman's Best Auto RC has reflected it. It averaged $33 TAC in June, then fell to around $13 in July, then back up to $19 in August. Month-to-date, it's averaging around $13, with it's last sale at $9.75. One of his 03 Bowman's Best Red Auto's, which are limited to 25, sold last week for $207.50 TAC.

Jackson, on the other hand, had a horrible first few months of the season (2-11, 6.56 ERA through July), and was finally getting it together in August (2-1, 2.45 ERA for the month). Unfortunately, September has been looking pretty bleak; he's 0-2 in his first 2 starts, with a 13.00 ERA. I still think that he has potential, and his rookie cards are worth investing in. I like his 03 Donruss Elite EE TOTC Auto #'d 100. There are very few of his key rookies listed on auction, so people are probably holding on to them until he has a break out season, and his values start to rise.

Both pitchers are fairly young, have potential to be stars, and their rookie cards are very affordable. Sounds like the makings of a good investment to me.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

MLB Briefs
  • Alex Rodriguez became the first Yankee since Roger Maris & Mickey Mantle (1961) to hit 50 home runs in a single season. In his last 4 games, he's batting .643 with 6 HR. Hopefully ARod will be able to continue his awesome offense in the post-season, unlike in the past. His 94 SP RC is currently selling in the $100-110 TAC range. The last sale that I saw for his 94 SP D/C RC was for $133 TAC.
  • Jim Thome looks to become the next member of the 500 HR club, hitting his 497th on 9/8. Unfortunately, his rookie cards were included in the overproduced '91 sets, so he doesn't get much hobby love.
  • Phillies' ace Cole Hamels is expected to return in about 2 weeks. His 02 Bowman Chrome Draft RC was averaging around $17 TAC this month, until one sold today for $28.50. Not sure if it's a sign of collector confidence rebounding, or just a case of auction fever. His BCD RC averaged $22 in August, and $23 in July.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Most Underrated: Tom Gorzelanny

One of the most underrated pitchers in the hobby is the Pirates' Tom Gorzelanny. Overall this season, he's 14-7 with a 3.48 ERA (for a team that's 62-79; 2nd worst in the NL). His ERA is better than some of the hotter pitchers out there, like Chien-Ming Wang (3.68), Roy Halladay (3.94), Justin Verlander (3.56) and Carlos Zambrano (4.35), but his rookie cards don't even come close to these players' card values. This year, he's allowed 3 or fewer runs in 21 of his 28 starts (2 or fewer runs in 16 starts).

His best rookie (in my opinion) is his 03 UD Prospect Premiers Auto, which was selling in the $14-15 TAC range through June & July, but fell to $10-11 in August, and now can be found for less than $10.

The other rookie-year Auto that I've seen is his 03 Bowman Heritage Auto, which can be found in the $7-10 TAC range.

Gorzelanny is having a break out season, and hopefully it's just the start of a solid career.
In the News: Erik Bedard

Orioles' ace Erik Bedard may be out for the rest of the season. With a strained right oblique muscle and just 3 weeks left to play, it may not make sense for him to go through rehab and try to return this year (and possibly make his injury worse). Bedard was having a career season, with a 13-5 record, 3.16 ERA and a league-leading 221 K's (a club record for a single season).

Bedard's best rookie, his 01 Donruss Class of 2001 RC #'d 625, was selling for around $60 TAC before his injury. On 9/5, while his immediate future was still up in the air, one sold for $54.01. I expect future sales of this card to drop a little more if he doesn't come back this year. Nothing has indicated that this injury is career threatening, so Bedard should still remain a decent hobby buy. I say just "decent" only because he seems to be a little injury-prone. He definitely has the skill to be a top-notch ace.
Rick Ankiel & HGH

The New York Daily News reported yesterday that Rick Ankiel had received a 12-month supply of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) in '04, but stopped receiving it before the the ban in '05. MLB said that players who have used HGH, or were in possession of it after the ban could face a 50-game suspension. Hopefully no wrongdoing will be found, and Ankiel will be able to continue to help the Cards make a run at the NL Wild Card.
Player Focus: Tom Shearn

30-year-old rookie pitcher Tom Shearn was playing for Louisville of the International League before his 8/26 call-up, where he posted an unspectacular 7-10 record and 4.20 ERA. He replaced Kirk Saarloos in the Reds' rotation. Shearn seems to be doing better in the majors than he did at Triple-A, going 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in his first 3 starts. He was very impressive in his last outing against the NL-leading Mets, going 6 innings and allowing only 3 hits, 0 runs & 3 BB, helping his team to a 7-0 win.

Looking on ebay, it seems like Shearn has several rookies from '02, but the only Auto that I see is his 02 SPx Auto RC. Given his age, I don't know how big of a hobby hit he'll become, but for true fans of Shearn or the Reds who want to buy his cards, they should be able to find them at very affordable price levels.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Rick Ankiel Has Found His Calling

Rick Ankiel had a monster game today, going 3-for-4, hitting 2 home runs, a double and 7 RBI! With this type of play, it's no wonder why his hobby status is climbing so quickly. His 99 Ultimate Victory RC & SP Top Prospects Auto are averaging $31 & $40 respectively, up from around $16 & $25 in August. His 99 Ultimate Victory Parallel is selling in the $50's range, up from the high $20's last month.

Ankiel may replace Ryan Braun at the top of the hobby charts if he keeps this pace up!
Player Focus: Yovani Gallardo

On 9/5, Yovani Gallardo pitched 7 shut-out innings to help the Brewers beat the Astros 14-2. Sluggers Prince Fielder & Ryan Braun contributed a HR & 3 RBI each to help with the team's offense.

Gallardo was 3-1 with a 2.72 ERA through the end of July, but really hit some rough patches in August. In three of this starts that month, he allowed a combined 23 ER in 11-1/3 IP, which jumped his overall ERA from the mid 2.00's to the high 4.00's. His 04 Donruss Elite EE Auto RC #'d 803 fell from an average TAC price of $54.50 in July to $47.53 in August, as a result. His 04 SP Prospects Auto RC #'d 400 was selling in the $160-170 range in August. One sold on 9/2 for $105.

Hopefully Gallardo has gotten all of the bad out of his system, and can now focus on helping his team into the post-season. The Brewers' rotation could really use the boost, with 4 of their 6 starters posting an ERA of 4.75 or higher.
Player Update: Jake Peavy

I guess Jake Peavy's dominant unbeaten streak couldn't last forever. In a crucial game against NL West-rival Arizona, Peavy took an uncharacteristic pounding, giving up 8 earned in just 4 innings pitched. This was his first loss since 7/22.

In this series, the D-Backs were able to beat both of the Padres' ace starters. On 9/4, Chris Young lasted only 4 innings, as Arizona tagged him for 5 runs off of 2 home runs.
Micah Owings: Is He Playing the Wrong Position?

On 9/3, Micah Owings was out dueled by future HOF'er Greg Maddux. Owings pitched just 3 innings, allowing 5 earned runs, and 4 home runs (2 to Brian Giles). That loss dropped him to 6-8 overall, with a 4.74 ERA. On the bright side, he did hit a double that game (1 for 1), raising his batting average to .294. Maybe he should follow the path of former pitcher turned outfielder Rick Ankiel? The D-Backs may be able to use hit bat in their line-up.

Since that game vs. Atlanta in which he hit 2 home runs, vaulting him onto the hobby map, Owings has gone 0-2 in three starts, allowing 9 ER in 16 IP (5.06 ERA). I think that he needs to get his mind off of the hitting and back onto the pitching if he wants to succeed at this level (unless he changes his position!). The D-Backs are fighting to win the NL West title, and can't afford to have a weak link in their rotation.

Owings' 05 Topps Chrome Update Auto RC is now selling in the $7-8 TAC level; about half of what it was selling for soon after his 2-HR game. This, if nothing else, shows the skepticism surrounding his hobby status.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

MLB Briefs
  • Royals pitcher Zack Greinke tossed a gem on 9/3 against the Rangers, going 5 innings and allowing 5 hits, 0 runs & 0 BB with 4 K's. Greinke hasn't allowed a run since 8/4 (19IP - 3 starts + 7 relief appearances). I like his 02 UD Prospect Premiers Auto XRC. It's still quite affordable, and a very nice card.
  • Felix Hernandez, on his long road to recovering his pre-injury form, out dueled Roger Clemens on 9/3, helping the Mariners beat the Yankees 7-1. With that win, Hernandez is now 11-7 with a 3.96 ERA for the season. In August, his 04 Bowman Chrome Auto RC & 04 Bowman's Best Auto RC averaged $102.27 & $56.77 respectively. I expect these two key rookie cards to increase in value before the end of the season, as long as Hernandez can keep on improving.
  • Alex Rodriguez, who hurt his ankle sliding into 3rd base yesterday, hit 2 home runs today against the Mariners, and now has a league-leading 48 homers for the season. Demand for this 94 SP & SP D/C RC's is starting to rise again (no surprise). One of his SP D/C RC's sold today for an amazing $747.99 TAC! This card was ungraded, but the seller stated that it was in perfect condition. I still can't believe it! That's got to be a record for this card. I had to keep reading the description to make sure that it really was just that one card being sold. Guess those are the things that keep this hobby interesting.
Player Focus: Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz became the first Red Sox rookie to to pitch a no-no on 9/1, improving to 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA for the season. As expected, collectors flocked to the auctions, paying top dollar for the 23-year-old's RC's. The first sales that I saw after that game, on 9/2, went for (prices in ( ) are for sales a few days later):
  • 05 Bowman Chrome Draft RC - $49.16 ($22-23.50)
  • 05 BCD Refractor $78.00 ($46.96)
  • 05 BCD Xfractor - $121.00 ($104.33)
  • 05 BCD Gold Refractor #'d 50 - $444.00
  • 05 Bowman Sterling - $40.25
Like most players who quickly become hot because of a single game, those same cards experienced drastic drops in sales prices just a few days later. I think that Buchholz will have to show that he can pitch well in his next few outings to keep his RC prices up.

He definitely has some skill, and he's playing for the high-profile Red Sox, so hobby stardom could be his for the taking. We'll see what he does in future starts.
Rick Ankiel's SP Top Prospects Chirography Auto

While looking on ebay, I noticed that there are quite a few of Rick Ankiel's SP Top Prospects Chirography Autograph cards listed as '98 issues. Just to clear things up, although it says 1998 on the back of the card, these are from the 1999 SP Top Prospects set. The '98 set's Auto's have a silver foil border, with a gold foil "SP" logo on the bottom right corner and a gold foil minor league team logo on the bottom left corner.
Player Focus: Johan Santana

Johan Santana is probably the most accomplished & dominant pitchers, under 30 years old, in the majors. Recently, though, he's been struggling. In his last 10 starts, he's 3-5 with a 4.23 ERA. He saw his season ERA go from 2.65 to 3.16 during that period. His only memorable outing was on 8/19, when he pitched a near-perfect 8 innings, allowing just 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks and had 17 K's against the Rangers. On 9/3, in his last start, he was out dueled by C.C. Sabathia, who tossed 8 shutout innings to beat the Twins 5-0.

I have to say that Santana is one of the most resilient players in the hobby. Even when he's slumping, his cards don't drop much in value. Collectors probably view him as a veteran future HOF'er who doesn't have to prove what he can do; just continue to rack up stats for the various career milestones that he's headed toward.

His top two rookie cards, 00 Bowman's Best #'d 2999 & 00 Finest #'d 3000, have been steady sellers at around $55-65 & $55-70 TAC, respectively, over the past few months. Expect to pay around $100+ for his 00 Finest Ref #'d 1000.
Peavy Continues Dominance

Jake Peavy is definitely back on top of his game. In his last 8 starts, he's 7-0 with a 1.17 ERA & 11.74 K's/9IP. His one no-decision came on 8/17 vs. Houston, when he went 7 innings, allowing just 4 hits, 1 ER, 2 BB & had 11 K's. He left the game with the score tied 1-1 in the 7th. Peavy now leads the NL in W's, ERA & K's.

His 01 Bowman Chrome Ref RC is finally starting to show signs of a rebound, after averaging around $40 TAC during August. The last sale that I saw was on 9/1, for $57.19.

Peavy's next start is tonight, closing out their current series with the D-Backs. A win would put San Diego a full game ahead of Arizona in the NL West standings. I think that if Peavy has a strong showing tonight, his BC Ref RC will remain in the $50's TAC range.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Black Out

Haven't been able to post for the past few days due to a black out on our street. Just got power back, so will be up & posting from tomorrow.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Player Update: Rick Ankiel

In his first 61 at-bats, Rick Ankiel has hit .354 with 5 HR (12.2 AB/HR) & 17 RBI (3.59 AB/RBI). The only down side is that he also has 19 strike-outs (3.21 AB/SO). Collectors seemed to have been a little hesitant to buy into Ankiel for the first few weeks, waiting to see he really could hold his own in the majors as a position player. His 99 Ultimate Victory RC was averaging around $12.20 TAC through the end of August. Then, one sold yesterday for $36.08! One of his 99 Ultimate Victory parallels sold for $48 yesterday, and $63.85 today! It was like all of the sudden people decided that he was going to be a hobby hit, so they all jumped in.

His 99 SP Top Prospects Auto is probably his best RC year autograph card. It averaged $25.66 in August, with a high of $34.99 and a low of $14 TAC.

It looks like Ankiel is here to stay, so expect increased action on his key cards in the weeks to come. They will be commons no more.