Tyler Matzek. That was the name that you wanted to pull when you were opening 2009 Bowman Draft. He brought the biggest money. Tyler long ago lost the crown of being the most distinguished auto from that class of autographs but in the past month, that set has taken on 2001 Bowman Chrome proportions due to the play of a man who has frequented this year’s Hot Lists.
Someone who nominated him in the Hot List thread said it best, “Trout has reached Pujols prices.” For those who aren’t familiar, let me give you a two sentence briefing. Albert Pujols is the bar by which all hot rookie cards are judged, anything with his face on it labeled 2001 is worth good money. Albert Pujols helped establish the prospect market by setting the bar extraordinarily high when he came up to the majors and started dominating immediately.
And on that note, what does every prospector want? A high ceiling right? Typically this is thought of in terms of skill set but inevitably some combination of that skill set, on the field play, market dynamics, team dynamics and plenty of other variables translate into the price someone is willing to pay on eBay for any given card. One of the things that can play into this mix is what prospect cards of similar players, with similar variables have previously sold for. The fact that Mike Trout base Draft Autos are near $500, Blue Refractors $1350, Sterling 9.5s $350, Elite Parallels near $500 and on and on and on is setting that ceiling higher for the prospect market – Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg eat your heart out.
And speaking of eating your heart out, everyone is going to have a story for you regarding Trout cards that they bought and “sold too early.” Now it’s true, those who held this long are cashing in, in ways unseen before in the prospect market and it is also true that the Trout phenomenon is probably going to cause prospectors to find a bunch of other players that they’ll hold to the bitter end, even when they aren’t performing like Trout but honestly, at the moment, lets just stand back in awe – those prices make you say “what recession?”
1. Mike Trout Anything
Comments: Let’s play a game, who has 16 home runs, is 20 points ahead in the AL batting race, has 31 stolen bases (has only been caught 3 times??!!??) and has an OPS of 1.019. If you guessed the Cookie Monster or Stuart Scott, it’s now time to punish yourself. The answer of course is Mr. Trout, about whom we spent the whole intro fawning over. Mike’s season has been nothing short of stellar but his card prices have been perhaps even more amazing. Refractors were around $400 the previous week and now are up to $660. Seriously, could anyone have imagined Albert being this overshadowed? Simply unreal.
2. Matt Harvey 2010 Bowman Chrome Autos
Comments: This is the story of a boy, who cried a river and drowned the whole world. I apologize for making you read that but there’s two relevant piece of information related to my crappy parody. First, it just came up on my Pandora and secondly, I sold some Matt Harvey about a month ago and if I was flexible enough to kick myself in the face I just might. Matt got called up and in 5 and 1/3 innings went beast mode on the Diamondbacks Thursday night striking out 11. His Refractor Autos have easily doubled up from $30 last week and we’ve all seen where Mets prices can go…
3. Jered Weaver 2005 Bowman Chrome Draft Autos
Comments: Speaking of beast mode, which is probably an outdated phrase at this juncture that I should get over, it’s where Jered Weaver lives. His ERA in 2010 was 3.10, last year, 2.42 and this year on pace for 2.21. There’s really only 1 A.L pitcher with comparable numbers and his name is Justin Verlander. It seems like collectors are finally starting to take notice of this guy who headlined 2005 BCDP (Stephen who?) and his Refractor Autos which were more like $45 last week moved up to $60 and then had a recent sale over $100 this week.
4. Starling Marte 2011 Bowman Chrome Autos
Comments: Distraction. It’s the word I would have most frequently used to describe Starling up until a few months ago. Whenever I wanted to look up Bubba Starling Chrome Autos I would search “starling chrome au*” and up would pop Mr. Marte. However, after he got some notoriety for a great spring training Starling became more a name of his own. This week Starling got called up to the bigs and Thursday night in his leadoff at bat, first ever at bat in the Majors, Starling goes yard. How.sweet.is.that. Starling’s Chrome Autos jumped from $15 to $35 as a result.
5. Clay Holmes 2012 Bowman Chrome Autos
Comments: Pitchers drafted in the 9th round by the Pirates out of high school often don’t get a whole lot of attention. Such was the case with Clay Holmes who prior to this week had Chrome Autographs that could be obtained for roughly $3. However, players who pike up the kind of stats Clay has, even in short season generate a lot more interest – causing autograph prices to double.
6. Michael Fulmer 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Autos
Comments: Michael was one of the lesser known names in the 2011 Draft autograph class but that hasn’t bothered him a bit (as if he’d know…). Michael has had a great season and continued that this week with two starts where he pitched 11 innings, struck out 15 allowed only one run. Michael’s auto prices doubled from last week.
7. David Price 2008 Bowman Chrome Autos
Comments: 2011 was a bit of a down year for David with a 12-13 record and an ERA in the mid-3s. For 90% of the starting pitchers in the MLB, the ERA alone would represent a banner year but for David after coming off a 19-6 season where he had an ERA in the mid-2s, it wasn’t so good. He’s back on track this year with 14 wins already and at this pace it seems very very likely he should get his first 20 win season. Chrome Autos from 2008 Bowman moved up about 50% this week as a result of David’s continued excellent performance.
8. Dayan Viciedo 2009 Bowman Chrome Autos
Comments: Dayan is most well known in the card world for his 2008 Contenders Super SP Auto that sold for huge dollars upon release. However, since then Dayan hasn’t been talked about as much except for a Hot List appearance earlier this year. However, Dayan continues to compile a solid season for the White Sox and 2009 Chrome Refractor Autos moved to near $20 this week from $10-$15 last week.
9. Javier Baez 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Autos
Comments: Javier continues to excite Cubs fans as he does it all, lots of extra base hits, stolen bases and 49 games into the season an OPS that is still hovering near the number 1. As long as he performs like this Javier’s Chrome Autos are going to continue rising and they did just that moving to $35 this week.
10. 2009 Draft Wax
Comments: Guess what you can get in 2009 Wax? Trout, Mike Trout. Why not bookend the list with the guy who is hotter than anyone has been in years. It’s not just Mike Trout singles prices that are rising, it’s 2009 Elite, Bowman Sterling and Bowman Draft boxes and in the chance you could get them, cases. As is typically the case with wax, you are probably better off buying singles but the wax buyers will take their chances anyway!