D-Rays Players: Long-Term Value
One reader wrote the comment: "I just cannot buy cards of D-Rays players. The investment angle is iffy at best. Have they ever had a player who retained high value over the past 10 years?"
In response, I would say no, there hasn't been any hobby-worthy players in their organization since their inception 10 years ago, which isn't that surprising for an expansion team. As a matter of fact, how many teams overall have had a player that has sustained hobby success consistently over the last decade? It's probably a pretty short list. Scott Kazmir is probably the D-Rays' best bet for making their mark in this arena. Through his first three full seasons, he has a combined ERA of 3.52 and is averaging 9.65 K's/9IP (10.30/9IP over his last two seasons). He was, and remains, my top pick for pitchers in his age range. His 02 UD Prospect Premiers Auto XRC has been selling in the $60's TAC range, and his 04 Bowman Sterling Auto/Jsy RC can be found for around $20.
Carlos Pena was hot last season, but as we saw in the market, his cards couldn't hold their lofty values for more than a few months, before falling to about half of their peak value. The rest of Tampa Bay's young, up-and-coming players are a pretty risky bet; but that's part of the fun of prospecting!
In reality, I don't see the D-Rays making a run for the Series anytime soon, but you never know. Look at the D-Backs, who won the Series just 3 years after their debut season. With the right draft picks & trades, anything is possible.