Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Complete Set: 2013 Topps Heritage Minor League

One of my favorite sets of the year dropped just last week and I have made short order of putting together a complete set of all 200 cards in this years Topps Heritage Minor League Set.  Topps has put this set out for the past three years and I have been able to put together the set all three years.  The basic concept for the set is it uses the same card design as the regular Topps Heritage set, but the cards feature minor league players.  To separate out the product a little bit from Bowman, Topps uses pictures of players in their minor league uniforms (not their major league unis airbrushed over their minor league unis).  It's a step up from Pro Debut which also features minor leaguers in minor league uniforms, but on the base Topps design from the current year.  Here's a look at this year's set:

2013 Topps Heritage Minor League Ethan Martin 

Pretty cool looking set in my opinion.  I had to throw in an Iron Pigs card to my post too, not enough Iron Pigs cards are made, but Topps put a few in this set.  As a minor league baseball fan, it's great to see all the players in the minors on cardboard.  Of course, there all not here, but Topps really does a good job with the checklist in this set.  After putting the set together I broke out a few cards that I will highlight as some suggested pick ups and one to avoid.  First, if you are looking for a cool team to collect out of the set I recommend the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.  They are the Phillies AAA team and they play in the International LEague's North Division.  Cool name, cool uniforms.  What's not to love?

2013 Topps Heritage Minor League Hak Ju Lee 

The Durham Bulls would also be a good choice to collect, except there is only one Rays AAA prospect in the set.  Hak Ju Lee had a lost year in Durham with a knee injury, but I am guessing he will come back strong.  In my opinion, he's already good enough to play in the Majors defensively.  He just needs to hit, which he was doing at a .400 plus clip before he blew out his knee.  Good card to pick up, but you hear me say that about Hak Ju Lee twice a month.

2013 Topps Heritage Minor League Sean Gilmartin 

 Does Beckett still do their Rookie Rolodex issue?  The one where every Minor League player is going to be someone?  I bet Sean Gilmartin was Tom Glavine in that issue.  He was a first round draft pick out of Florida State by the Braves in 2011.  He was okay at Florida State.  The first round seemed a bit of a stretch.  I saw him pitch last year for the Gwinnett Braves.  He was a stretch.  Gilmartin had an ERA of almost 6 and struck out only 60 batters in more than 90 innings of work.  He throws hard, but it's rather flat.  The first game I saw him pitch I was not quite sure if batting practice ever ended for the Durham Bulls.  What ever Beckett tells you, Gilmartin cards will be cheap in the future.

2013 Topps Heritage Minor League Francisco Lindor

My sleeper in the set is Carolina Mudcats shortstop Francisco Lindor.  He's a lot like Hak Ju Lee, but I think he's better offensively.  Lindor played great D this summer for the Mudcats, the other team close to my house, and earned a promotion up to Double A Akron late in the summer.  Lindor has pretty inexpensive cards, including autographs, and is one of the reasons that there are rumblings about Asdrubal Cabrera being traded away.  While I think Iglesias (Tigers) is a better fielder, I think Lindor has the potential to be the better all around player.

2013 Topps Heritage Minor League Matt Andriese 

I've got to put this one up.  I've been putting together minor league sets the past three years.  Every year there is a Missions card.  Decent name being in San Antonio and a bonus since it's a Padres minor league team.  Theme?  Yes.  What's going on with the jersey?  It looks like a giant iron-on of the Alamo and frankly reminds me a little bit of the t-shirts they sell in Walgreens.  I live two blocks from a Walgreens and they sell t-shirts for the town of Apex, where I live and type my blog.  Quiz:

According to Walgreens the biggest landmark in Apex is:
A. The Walgreens
B. A Train Depot
C. An Antique Store
D. A Water Tower

According to a bunch of corporate guys in Chicago it's:

Most knowledgable people in Apex would have answered B, or maybe C if you are older than 50.  However, the biggest and tallest thing around Apex is this water tower.  It clears the top of our pine trees.  Just because something is a monument does not means its attractive.  The Alamo is not attractive.  It also does not have a basement....

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