Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bison Graph

Every year I try to pick out a few players who are primed for a good season, or primed for a good bounce back in their career.  You can usually find a few young players whose numbers are steadily climbing towards something great, but it's also easy sometimes to find a player who could be special if they came back and resume their career at it's past level.  Of course you have to sort out some players who are declining because of age and usually you have a few options left to choose from.  

This year I am going to hedge a little bit on Matt Kemp.  He has had difficulty staying on the field the past year and a half, but has been great when he has shown up.  Before playing about a third of the season last year while injured, Kemp had two great seasons in a row at ages 26 and 27.  In fact, I am still not sure how he did not win the MVP in 2011.  During the 2011 season Kemp posted a OPS+ of 172 and lead the National League in home runs and RBIs.  In 2012 he ended with an OPS+ of 147, but missed parts of that season.  The first half of the year he hit .355 with a dozen homers.  Since the injuries have piled on.  

Kemp is still south of 30 and who remembers his cards being red hot in 2012?  Me.  Probably a lot of other people too.  The price of Kemp cardboard has definitely comeback to Earth, but he is still a player who seems like he's worth a role of the dice on.  So, here's my first gamble on Matt Kemp this year:


2012 Topps Heritage Matt Kemp Autograph 
   

The pricing on Kemp cards has been a bit crazy this year.  If you search the sold items on EBay there is a blue ink autograph, just like my copy, which sold for $100.  However, there is also a red version with a print run of 63 which sold for $60.  Go figure.  To avoid the crazy fluctuations, I decided to trade for this copy of this card.  I put together a package of White Sox autographs and a pair of World Series relics from the 2006 Topps set to land this card.  

Hopefully buying and trade for Kemp cards on the cheap will pay off and "The Bison" will put together a good season for the Dodgers.  If not, well....I like Matt Kemp.  

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