The past few weeks, when we’ve had suggestion threads and other conversations on the boards regarding who might be eligible for the Hot List – there hasn’t been a whole lot of fodder. Sure, there has been new product galore but we were right in the middle of the calm before the storm, for the baseball season. Often times, that calm void is filled by basketball rookie cards and *grumble, grumble* I have already said plenty about that.
That said, this week the baseball season started and away we went. The first name to be hyped was Yoennis Cespedes, who did his best Sammy Sosa impression, a whole load of strikeouts, some absolute missiles that left the ballpark and a familiar hop, with a stare that was a little too long. Yoennis’ batted balls weren’t the only thing skyrocketing, so were his rookie cards and he was just the first of many, you see people love to extrapolate anything in life (you know, I can run a 100 in 14 seconds and therefore, I can run a mile 3:44, really) and baseball is no different. If you listened to this week’s podcast, you would know that they were jokingly talking about Yoennis hitting 100 or even 200 home runs before Chris and Tim got sidetracked by the thought of a good Cuban sandwich.
The 100 home run prediction was of course done in a joking manner but in a somewhat less absurd manner collectors do the exact same thing. A player that has had roughly the same stats for the past 5 years hits 3 home runs in the first week and up go the rookie cards, breakout year, or not. None the less, as a person who writes articles based on tracking price spikes each week, this all suits me just fine. I joke about the veteran that starts off hot and does nothing different than any other year but as you’ll see, many of this week’s Hot List subjects are young players that people are excited to finally see results.
All that said about baseball and we’ll go ahead and start with a golfer named Bubba.
1. Bubba Watson 2011 UD Goodwin Auto
Comments: So I looked up “Bubba” and found out he is an imposter. His real name is Gerry Lester, that is if you consider Gerry Lester a real name, I think only Maurice Lester could be worse. Bubba who seems to have the right name to win a tournament in Georgia, won the Masters this week with an incredible shot to beat a guy with a very different name, it sounds like “oot housin” but Mr. Watson didn’t care, beating him in the playoff. Bubba is the reason that people are excited about a yearly golf release like Leaf Metal. Although he didn’t have a card in Leaf Metal, his cards in UD Goodwin demonstrated what a potential Leaf Golf card could do when they went from $36 pre-Masters to near $150 post-Masters and now down to more like $110.
2. Jordan Schafer 2008 Bowman Chrome Auto
Comments: The ups and downs of Jordan Schafer’s career and therefore baseball cards have been well documented on FCB due to the tremendous amount of Braves fans we have on board. At one point, Jordan’s 2005 Chrome cards were some of the hottest in the hobby, then the bottom fell out when he got the 50 game suspension for failing a drug test. Jordan was traded away from the Braves (hobby heaven) to the Astros (hobby hell?) and honestly I have to believe that many of us, myself included thought that was the last we’d hear from the crooked hat wearing center fielder. However, in his first 23 at bats Jordan has 8 hits and clearly that has some excited as he has a Chrome Auto selling for $15+ versus the prior sale of $5.
3. Kyle Seager 2010 Bowman Chrome Auto
Comments: Every time I hear the last name Seager, I’m tempted to make a Bob Seger joke. No, the last names aren’t spelled the same and no there isn’t really anything else similar about these two, except for the fact that Kyle and the Mariners began the season with a 6 game road trip. So the line, “here I am, on the road again” would have been very apt on the Mariners’ team plane. The difference is, while Seger’s “Turn the Page” has a very depressing tone to it, the road has treated Kyle quite well and he’s off to a .300+ start this year. His autos are also moving nicely, up from $5 to $14 this week and honestly, if Bob Seger had a Gold Refractor Auto, I would seriously consider buying it and so would you, don’t lie.
4. Jeff Samardzija 2007 Bowman Chrome Auto
Comments: If you Google “Jeff Samardzija” one of the pictures that shows up is this. I was unaware Jon Bon Jovi played football and baseball at Notre Dame and the photo that worked for Bo doesn’t for Jeff. In case you forgot Jeff was a really really good wide receiver at Notre Dame, NFL good and I know that I wondered why he’d sign with the Cubs. To date, Jeff’s had a really forgettable baseball career, he had a nice year as a middle reliever last year but that’s hardly NFL wide receiver type success. Jeff seems to be one of the many young relievers trying to make the switch to starter this year and his first start went exceptionally well. In spite of their always crummy performance, the Cubs have a very devoted fan base of which I am one and their cards sell well. Jeff’s 2007 Bowman Chrome Auto moved from $7.50 to $17 this week.
5. Josh Willingham 2003 Bowmans Best Auto
Comments: The veteran guy who I was referring to in the opening there. Yeah, that was Josh Willingham, no disrespect to the Willinghammer but the former Marlin/National is pretty much a .260 hitter who is going to have an OPS in the low to mid .800s. Those are very respectable numbers, they are not “your cards sell well in a non-premium position” numbers. Josh is with the Twins this year and has been hitting the ball out of the park at a more rapid pace than usual early in the year which has led to his 2003 Bowman’s Best Autos moving from$8 to $15 this week.
6. Yoennis Cespedes 2009 WBC Bowman Chrome Parallels
Comments: Yes, it took this long to get to Yoennis; a big part of the reason for that was that Yoennis’ cards were already selling really well before he went all beast mode on the first part of the season. Yoennis’ Bowman Chrome WBC Refractors went from $25 to near $50 this week. It sure doesn’t hurt that guys like he and Yu Darvish get an indordinate amount of coverage on shows like Baseball Tonight and other media outlets. However, guys hitting bombs like Yoennis are going to get noticed in all scenarios. Interesting statistic, Yoennis has struck out half the times he’s been at the plate thus far – Adam Dunn beware, you have competition.
7. Austin Jackson 2008 Bowman Chrome Auto
Comments: If Austin Jackson gets on base he is going to score a ton of runs this season. When you’ve got Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera behind you, you have a wonderful chance of tapping your foot on home. So far, Austin has been as impressive, if not more than Cabrera and Fielder, he’s batting freaking .500! Austin is an interesting case when it comes to the card side of things. His 2007 Elite Autos were THE big sellers when the product first released, commanding prices of $60 and upwards. He was one of the big sells for one of the crummiest Bowman products of the decade, 2008 Bowman Chrome and at different times, you could have had both of those cards for peanuts. However, the only peanuts available now are the discarded ones on the floor of the Tigers dugout. Austin is getting on base and playing a great CF and you have to think at the top of this potent lineup he is going to see a ton of pitches and has all sorts of potential. 2008 Chrome Autos went from $15 to $30 this week.
8. Noah Syndergaard 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Auto
Comments: Honestly, the spelling on this list, Yoennis, Jeff and now Noah this week is insane. If you haven’t noticed, the Blue Jays have a lot of good pitching prospects and all reports are that when it comes to the fastball, Noah is the best of the best and dealing 97 mph heat in Lansing. Noah had a great opening start and that was all it took to get his 2010 Bowman Chrome Draft Autos out of the cheap bin, they moved from $6 to $12 this week.
9. Zack Cozart 2007 Elite Auto GU /100
Comments: These patch auto cards for 2007 Elite had all sorts of potential, I mean, guys like Josh Vitters and Mat Latos were available. At the time of busting, Cozart was the dog but canine he is no more (that came out very Yoda esque). Cozart has had a great start as the Reds shortstop this season and is batting an insane .455 currently. These GU Autos /100 were selling for $20 and have quickly moved to $35.
10. Dylan Bundy 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Auto
Comments: With many high end prospects, all buyers and prospectors are looking for is just a little confirmation, just a little bit, six innings, that’ll do it. After six innings we’ll run around screaming “he is what I thought he is, just like Denny Green said, I knew it, most polished pitcher EVERRRRRR!!!” I’m exaggerating slightly, except for the Denny Green reference. Bundy was tagged as polished high school pitcher in this past years draft which of course caused the Orioles to spend the #4 pick on him. He’s pitched 6 innings so far and struck out 12 guys, nothing to sniff at by anyone’s standards and his Chrome Draft Autos immediately went from just below $40 to BINs hit of $60 Thursday evening.
11. Eric Hosmer 2011 Bowman Chrome Auto
Comments: Speaking of players who people expected big things from this year, we come to Mr. Eric Hosmer. Eric had a fantastic debut last year with the Royals and there is a feeling that all of that good talent that K.C. drafted might actually be starting to show up in Kansas City. Eric’s situation in 2011 Bowman Chrome was very unique. It was announced that he would be in the product, exciting many and then subsequently announced that he would be next to impossible to pull, pissing off many of the same. However, as a result of it being super SP’d the Hosmer 2011 Bowman Chrome Auto sold for insane money last week ($500) and even more insane money this week ($670).