This list is our interpretation of prospects in the sports card market, and how we see the cards stacking up based on player content. We took into consideration the players current prospect status, room for growth, and cards already on the market. I hope you guys have as much fun reading this as I did writing it. Thanks to FCB moderator Rob Zeida for the assist on some of the athletes I had trouble with write-ups on. If you are looking for their cards on eBay after reading this, the links will take you where you need to go.
16. Jeff Skinner -Carolina Hurricanes Center- Jeff is the youngest all star in NHL History. He is also the front runner for the Calder Trophy, given to the NHL Rookie of the Year. In a draft that has received so much hype via Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin, this is the guy who stands out initially. His performance and position on so many statistical leader boards has people thinking maybe he is the NHL rookie to watch. I can’t wait to see what The Cup Hockey has in store, especially for cards of an Jeff Skinner. Not the guy I thought I would be excited about getting cards of, but when he plays like a superstar these things happen. His young guns card is a hot commodity as well.
17. Wil Myers -Kansas City Royals Outfielder- Teenagers aren’t supposed to smack around Carolina League pitching with a .966 ops. Yet Wil Myers did just that, making him one of the bigger steals of the 2009 draft, as he slid to the second round. He is going to move to right field now, as catcher didn’t work out. His bat profiles well there, and he should see more at bats because of the position change. His 2010 Bowman autograph is the key card, although his 2010 sterling parallels are quite nice as well even without an autograph.
18. Gary Sanchez -New York Yankees Catcher- Unlike senior Yankee farmhand Jesus Montero, young import Gary Sanchez is considered a top notch defender. Offensively he has put up staggering numbers in a short stint in the gulf coast rookie league, followed by an acceptable intro to full season baseball. Gary reminds me of another pudgy 16 year old kid with the ability to rip a baseball named Miguel Cabrera. The pinstripes and Yankee logo he wears helps his card stock even more. He will be a must have for Yankee collectors making his 2010 Bowman Draft autograph a key hobby card.
19. Freddie Freeman -Atlanta Braves First Baseman- Freddie is a personal favorite of mine, and I currently own one of his best cards. The 2007 Bowman Draft Superfractor of Freddie Freeman has been a favorite in my collection since FCB member BigFan5 made it possible for me to own it. As a prospect Freddie brings plenty of the table when the discussion is offense. He’s mashed all levels of the minors with an approach that is aggressive when it has to be, and selective enough to hit for average and move runners. He’s simply a smart hitter, and should be a fantastic run producer. Freddie is also a plus defender with good instincts and a great arm. He does not run well, but his job is to drive in runs not steal bases. Freddie’s 09 Bowman chrome auto is the card to get, but don’t ignore the 2008 Aflac autograph. That card has massive potential.
20. Manny Machado -Baltimore Orioles Short Stop- Manny has drawn comparisons to super star Alex Rodriguez. I think it’s best to step back from that comp and realize that they are mainly talking about the obvious similarities such as frame, and position rather than a comparison of skill. Yes it’s true that Manny is excellent at the plate and has the ability to drive the ball to all fields. However A-Rod was a different animal than Machado as he did absolutely everything on the baseball field right. He will have to slide to third base as he fills out, the range isn’t there to play short stop in the majors. His bat should still be good to elite even with the position change, so this isn’t a big worry when considering his card status. Pick up the 2010 Bowman Draft autograph, it is the best auto in the set.