Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Buy Local, Buy Cardinals

It's fun to watch the college baseball teams around North Carolina, but the Cardinals always seem to pick up players from all the other ACC schools besides the big four North Carolina schools.  Currently there are two Cardinals who graduated from the ACC with Shane Robinson coming out of Florida State and Jon Jay coming off of Miami.  Seth Maness went to East Carolina, but nobody is quite sure what conference ECU is even in anymore.  

The Cardinals also have a few ACC grads progressing through their minor league system.  James Ramsey from Florida State is probably the best known of the bunch.  However, throughout the summer I was surprised to see a name pop up on a Cardinals minor league roster and then later in the summer on a FanGraphs countdown list celebrating the best fringe prospects.  Is that even an honor to be the best fringe prospect? 

 I am counting it as a positive at this point.  Meet former Wake Forest Demon Deacon pitcher, and current Springfield Cardinal, Tim Cooney:  

You know you are under the radar when the only actual video of you pitching on YouTube is posted to your own account.  Is he even throwing on a baseball field?  Not clear.  What is clear is that Tim Cooney was an award winning pitcher this summer.  In fact, he was on the Fringe list a grand total of four times this summer and on the next best five (honorable fringness) another time.  

Cooney was a pretty good college pitcher too, but I am not sure that he was on the best of college teams.  He was ACC pitcher of the week several times during his junior year, but we only went 6-7 with an ERA close to 4.  However, when you take a look at some of his game logs he really had some great outings.  For example, in the ACC Championship he struck a total of 10 in 6 innings against College World Series qualifier North Carolina.  However, Wake Forest got shut out in that game.

So, the real question is does Tim Cooney have anything in the way of baseball cards?  Would he have a blog post on my page if he didn't?

2012 Panini Elite Extra Edition Tim Cooney Autograph 

Cooney only has one baseball card, a 2012 Panini Elite, but the card has an autographed version on top of the regular base card.  The autograph is even on-card to make up for the fact that Panini does not have an NCAA license and airbrushed over the WF on the top of Cooney's cap.  The low print versions of this card can be pretty competitive, but the base red autograph is dirt cheap.  I picked up the card above for four dollars and the seller threw in a second card:

2012 Panini Elite Extra Edition Tim Cooney Autograph 

at the same price.  Now, I am not guaranteeing that Tim Cooney makes it to the Majors, but he ended up making the Texas League All-Star team and I have a feeling that the Cardinals will put him in Memphis next year.  Meaning he is one step, or one injury, away from being added to the roster and making his Cardinals debut.  $4 is a small gamble and if nothing else I now own the baseball card of a pretty good ACC pitcher.  Too bad he played for Wake and not State.  

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