Cgilmo: The Las Vegas Industry Summit is on the way, and I am at home sick following along like all of you are. Twitter has been a really effective tool in tracking this event as news hits there before anywhere else. Thanks to Sooz, Sports Card Radio and company for keeping the tweets up.
Big news from the event has come from UD in the form of a MLBPA license. While I think that it cuts out a lot of leg work for them in that they don’t have to sign individual contracts anymore I don’t think it does much else that they couldn’t already do. I see products like last years SP Signature and I’m confused why they didn’t use images of athletes at all. That led to a highly anticipated product being one of the weakest sets in recent years.
What is certain is that there will be a 2013 Fleer Retro baseball in the works as they has a side show about it during the industry summit. The football and basketball versions have been among the strongest products of this past card season. Strong enough to secure yet another #1 slot in Corry Gross’s hot list.
Fleer is starting to party like it’s 1997 with its Retro Precious Metal Gems release. They brought back the set with parallels of red (/100), blue (/50) and green (/10) that are selling for big money. Out of the 100 cards in the set, 60 of them are rookies, and they are selling for premium prices, especially if they are of RG3, Doug Martin or Russell Wilson.
RG3′s red gems are selling for $125 and Wilson’s are up to $93. Pretty premium stuff considering that these are not even autographed. Maybe nostalgia is kicking in and people are really kicking it back old school.
Baez, the Cubs’ top prospect has held his own in Spring Training, especially in the late innings. He has come up clutch recently by hitting walk-off home runs and hitting multiple in a couple games. He has hit 4 home runs in only 14 games and has shown the raw power that he has that the scouts see in him. He may strike out a lot, but he was also hit many home runs.
With Baez showing his power, his cards have shown promise. His Bowman Sterling autographs are up to $36 this week after selling for only $15-$17 last week. His power trip has given prospectors the chance to unload their Baez stash.
Many people are excited to see what JBJ can do with the Red Sox, but they may have to wait a bit longer. Although he has impressed this spring by batting .457, he may have to wait until Jacoby Ellsbury is out the door. The South Carolina product has succeeded at every level and continues to impress.
Bradley Jr.’s cards have been on the rise this whole month. His autographs first came out in 2010 with Team USA, and they were a hot sell then, but have risen based on his prospect status. Even his 2011 Panini Prime Cuts autographs are up to the $25 mark and his low-end 2011 Leaf Metal Draft autographs are up to $15. 2012 Bowman Chrome autographs are also $60 plus. His autographs will continue to climb as he progresses towards the big leagues.
Another USA Baseball product, Gerrit Cole has been on a Spring Training hot streak. Many scouts seem impressed by his maturity and say that he could start the season with the Pirates, but he will most likely start in Triple-A. Once a number one pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, Cole consistently hits high 90s on the radar gun, and even touches 100 at times.
Cole’s autographs are selling for pretty decent prices even though he is a Pirates prospect. A 2012 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor autograph BGS 9.5/10 sold for a hefty $200. Base autographs sell for between $35 and $50. Non-autographed parallels are also selling. A blue refractor sold for $20. Even his over-produced USA autographs sell for a solid $15.
We’ve seen this before. Julio Teheran puts up great Minor League and Spring Training numbers, but it hasn’t translated in the big leagues. He is off to a great start again, posting a 1.29 ERA through four starts. Teheran seems to be a streaky player either doing really hot or really cold.
Because of his hot streak, his cards have heated up. His 2010 Bowman Chrome autographed refractors are up to $55 when they were around the $35 mark the last couple of weeks. His base ITG autos are up to $10, which is considered the low, low end. Hopefully his success can translate in the Braves’ rotation.
Since Reggie Bush was shipped out of Miami, there seems to be a new hot name in town. Lamar Miller played at the University of Miami and was drafted in the 4th round last year. Miller looks to be the frontrunner in taking over for Bush. Miller is expected to share the majority of the carries with Daniel Thomas.
Miller’s Topps Chome autographs were selling for $10 or less last week, but with Reggie Bush’s departure made more evident, they jumped to around the $20 mark. His refractor autographs /178 are up to the $40 mark. This still could be considered a bargain if he has a breakout season this year.
Profar has gotten a lot of attention recently being the top prospect in Major League Baseball. Not only that, but he was on the World Baseball Classic Kingdom of the Netherlands team, then off again, and now back on again. We will see if he can lead the team to victory. Another question looming is can he can make the Rangers team out of Spring Training? He has all the tools, but Andrus and Kinsler are blocking him in the middle infield.
Profar’s Leaf Valiant autos have seen a jump recently, moving from $32 to $45 in a short week. These will continue to rise if he can show the promise that the scouts see.