Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I Still Love Oscar

I have heard so much the past few months about all of the different prospects that have moved up the ladder during the 2014 season and are now either knocking down the door to the Majors, or they have gotten the call up with expanded rosters in September.  Some of the prospects are legit talents who will be around for a long time to come.  I had a chance to see Ruseny Castillo last week with Pawtucket and was really impressed by his performance in the International League playoffs.  He should be a force for years to come along with Mookie Betts.

Other prospects have entered the Majors and have had a slow start.  Cubs shortstop Javy Baez has 9 home runs in his first 41 Major League games, but is hitting .169 and has 74 strikeouts in 178 plate appearances.  The poor initial performance out of the Cubs infielder has cooled off the values of some of his cards.  A quick search of completed items on Ebay shows that his 2011 Bowman Sterling autograph was frequently selling north of $50 at the beginning of the baseball season in April and into the middle of summer before his call up to Chicago.  Collectors can now find a copy of the Baez rookie for less than $30.

Similar to Baez, Cardinals prospect Oscar Taveras saw the prices of his cards fall throughout the 2014 baseball season after he was called up to the Majors and failed to produce much beyond a .200 batting average with limited power.  While Baez's average has gone from .188 in August to .130 (with a .278 slugging) in September, Taveras has actually started to rebound and produce better numbers and results for the Cardinals.

In July, the first full month for Taveras, he posted a .176/.216/.206 line which started the fall of his card values.  Last month during August his numbers were up to .244/.292/.289.  It's an improvement, but still it was trending up.  This month?  Taveras has played a dozen games in September posting a .385/429/.538 line.  More than okay.  Of course, his card values did not magically recoup over night.  Autographs of the Cardinals right fielder are still hovering under $20.  Pretty cheap.  I am taking advantage of the current prices.....

This is the blue version of the Taveras 2014 Topps Chrome autograph which is serial numbered out of /199.  While the regular 2014 Topps Chrome card sells for less than $20 the serial numbered version of the card sells for just a few dollars more.  Five to ten dollars more get you a limited print run of a great looking card.  I am not going to put together the rainbow of this card, but I would still love to add a regular base autograph of Taveras.  I am also curious how these cards will fair if Oscar continues to improve his on the field performance.  A nice postseason run with some big hits by Taveras can only help.

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