Of course, just like minor league games, one of the best parts of college baseball is watching players before they reach the major leagues. One of the first players I followed with regularity was Andrew Miller at UNC. The left-handed starter was considered the best pitcher in the country during the 2006 season and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers with the sixth pick of the draft.
Miller was later traded to the Marlins, along with a few other young players, for Miguel Cabrera. He would never quite live up to the hype and has bounced around since.
My newest card comes from a much hyped player from another ACC school. Sean Doolittle was a pitcher and first baseman for the Virginia Cavaliers. While he was slightly overshadowed by Ryan Zimmerman during his time at UVA, Doolittle was still an excellent college player who left the school as the all-time wins leader and one of the best offensive players too. The Oakland A's would select Doolittle in the first round of the 2007 draft as a first baseman.
2008 Donruss Threads Sean Doolittle Bat Card
After Doolittle was drafted I added one of his cards to my collection immediately since I had seen him play in person. After a few injuries in the minors Doolittle disappeared for awhile and apparently went back to pitching. I was watching an Angels/A's game late one night this summer, mainly to root against Pujols, and saw the name flash on the screen. I was a little surprised to see him in a game as a pitcher and actually had to go look him up to make sure it was the same Sean Doolittle.
Sure enough it was and I tried to keep an eye on him during the season. He actually pitched quite well during his first season in the bigs holding hitters to a WHIP of 1.07 with more than a strikeout per inning. Doolittle had a little bit of a rough time during the postseason, but I still thought enough of him to run out and pick up an autograph.
2008 Donruss Elite Collegiate Patches Sean Doolittle Autograph
I love the Donruss College patch cards and saw this card and picked up for a small sum. Doolittle does not have any certified autographs as a A's player, but has quiet a few Donruss products as a minor leaguer and college player. Sean Doolittle also played for USA Baseball and appears as a signer in some of the mid 2000s Upper Deck issues. Most of his autographs can be had for under $10 and would be an excellent addition to your collection.