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Saturday, December 08, 2007

MLB Season Wrap-Up: Part 2

Here's part 2, showing the real average market pricing, or TAC, for some of the players that I've been watching. The first price is for September, second is October, and third is November.
  • 02 UD Prospect Premiers Prince Fielder Auto: $147.49 -> $113.03 -> $105.50
  • 03 Bowman's Best Dan Haren Auto: $22.96 -> $17.39 -> $34.99
  • 04 SP Prospects Hunter Pence Auto #'d 600: $203.62 -> $199.54 -> $166.76
  • 04 Donruss Elite EE Yovani Gallardo Auto #'d 803: $44.04 -> $41.32 -> $37.44
  • 05 Topps Rookie Cup Troy Tulowitzki Auto #'d 399: $41.24 -> $74.50 -> $49.00
  • 05 Bowman Chrome Draft Ryan Braun Auto: $164.45 -> $130.85 -> $137.44
  • 05 Bowman Chrome Draft Clay Buchholz: $21.25 -> $11.68 -> $11.59
Prince Fielder broke out this season in a huge way, slamming 50 HR & 119 RBI for the almost-cinderella Brewers. He was one of the hottest players in the hobby before the break, and his UD PP Auto XRC was selling for around $200. After the break, teammate Ryan Braun took over the spotlight, and that same card dropped every month till the end of the season, and beyond. Fielder is gonna be great for years to come, so why sell for so cheap? This card will definitely be back well above it's current $100 range in no time.

Braun's BCD Auto RC also experienced a similar cycle, peaking around August in the $180-200 range, before slowly falling to it's current level. He hit .324 with 34 HR & 97 RBI, in only 113 games this season, helping him to win the NL ROY. Braun was 7th in the majors for fewest at-bats per HR (13.26 AB/HR). I think that his cards are still quite high, so you'd have to watch the market pretty closely to find a deal out there.

Dan Haren
finished the season with a very decent 15-9 record & 3.07 ERA. But, what most collectors saw was that at the end of June, he was 9-2 with a 1.91 ERA, so basically things went downhill in the second half of the year, driving his BB Auto RC's value down from it's high of around $40 in June, to it's low of around $17 in September. It looks as if collectors are either regaining faith in Haren, or are just buying without real-market knowledge (since there haven't been many for sale recently), because I saw one sell for $34.99 TAC in November.

Hunter Pence
was a red-hot commodity through mid-July (hitting .330, 12 HR, 45 RBI, 8 SB), with his SP Prospects Auto RC peaking in the $300+ range. Then he got injured and was out for almost a month. His values dropped during his absence, and never really recovered after his return, as his performance lost a step or two through the end of the season. If you're a Pence fan, this off-season might be a good time to stock up on his cards. I'm guessing that he'll be back strong in '08.

The Brewers' 21-year-old pitcher Yovani Gallardo showed that he has talent. He had a few blow-up games here & there, but overall did quite well. At the end of July, he had a 3-1 record & 2.72 ERA after 9 outings. His DE EE Auto RC hit its peak around that time in the $55-60 range. August was disastrous for Gallardo, with especially 3 terrible starts, pushing his ERA up to 4.66. Despite having a good September (3-1, 1.36 ERA for the month), his card values continued to slowly erode, falling into the current $30's range. I would rate Gallardo to be a strong buy for the future. He's playing for a young team that should be leading the NL in a couple of years.

Troy Tulowitzki
, the NL ROY runner-up, caught the hobby's interest in the latter part of the year, as he & the Rockies started to heat up and make a miraculous run for the postseason. His cards peaked in October, and dropped off after his team lost the World Series. 05 Topps Rookie Cup produced his only rookie-year base auto, but unfortunately they made too many parallel variations of it (NNO, #'d 399, 299, 199, 99 & 50).

When Boston pitcher Clay Buchholz tossed a no-no vs. the Orioles on 9/1, his 05 BCD RC became the hottest thing on the market for a couple of days, selling in the $25-50 range, before coming back down to earth less than a week later. If he had pitched in the postseason (he was injured), he might have had a chance to extend his hobby popularity (or do the opposite). Collectors seem to be keeping a close eye on Buchholz, possibly with the belief that he has a bright future in the majors. The last BCD that I saw sell this month went for $18.51 TAC.

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