Saturday, June 29, 2013

2013 Panini USA Carlos Rodon and Trea Turner Cards

I picked up a pair of cards from 2013 Panini USA Baseball this week featuring NC State baseball stars Carlos Rodon and Trea Turner.  NC State, my alma mater, had one of its most successful seasons ever on the diamond in large part to the exploits of these two players.  Last summer both played on the USA Baseball college team, so both have appeared in the Panini USA baseball releases the past two summers.  I've added several cards of both players to my collection already and was happy to add another pair this week.

2013 Panini Pride Carlos Rodon 

The Rodon card is pretty cool.  At first glance I thought that the flag might be a manupatch, but it is not.  Still a really nice design and a good photograph of the left-handed hurler delivering a pitch.  The back of the card lists Rodon as an infielder too, but I am pretty sure that he will not be playing anywhere besides the pitchers mound once he gets drafted.  Rodon does have a few autographs in the Panini set this year, but the prices are a bit high.  I will work on it.

2013 Panini Game Gear Trea Turner Jersey Card

My newest Trea Turner card features a small swatch of jersey.  While Turner has several cards in the new Panini USA set, he has no autograph cards.  He does have a base card and a few relic cards, but I think I am going to just stick to the one since they are very ordinary looking.  No patches, or anything unique.  The shortstop out of Florida is one of the top base stealers in the country and has a little bit of pop in his bat too.

Interestingly enough, ESPN recently ran an Insider Story, written by Christopher Crawford, examining the possibility of these two NC State sophomores landing in the first two slots of the 2014 MLB amateur draft.  The highest two drafted pair of teammates in the history of the draft were UCLA pitchers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer.  So, what are the chance that these two great college players top Cole and Bauer?

I think it all depends on where Turner sits at the time of the draft next year.  Rodon is a big, hard-throwing left-handed pitcher.  He tops out in the mid to upper 90s, sitting around 95-96, with great secondary pitches.  He is a slam dunk top draft pick.  I am not sure of any team that would not want the left-hander.  His only knock is that NC State has pitched him a lot.  Turner is a speed guy, scores runs, fields well, but would you draft that kind of player in the first few picks?  Not sure that I would do that with a high draft pick, but then again I am not making any draft picks.

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