Friday, June 9, 2023

New Season, New Players

We are 60 games into the Minor League Season.  

I have been to a few Durham Bulls games this year.  

There are a lot of new faces on the team this year and I have been working hard the last few weeks to pick up some cards from the new players. I am going to sort them out by quality of prospect, but some of these players are flying completely under the baseball card radar.  

First up, Taj Bradley.  

He's actually pitched a bunch of games with the Rays this year. As good as the Rays have been, they have had a ton of pitching injuries. Taj Bradley is a Top 100 Prospect across the board, throws hard, and looks like all the other pitchers the Rays crank out. Somehow he has a bunch of autographs that are between $10-$20. I have not seen Taj in person yet this year, but I imagine the Rays will send him back to Triple A once some other pitchers come back.  

Next up is Curtis Mead.  

He's going to be the third baseman for Rays at some point, but he's currently on the injured list for the Bulls. Mead is not a new face. He debuted with the Bulls back in 2021. I actually got to see his Triple A debut, which was a little odd. The Rays had to call someone up unexpectedly, the Bulls had a thin roster, so they promoted Mead from A Ball (Charleston, SC) because he could drive to Durham for the game. 

I went for Adley Rutschman, but also got Curtis Mead and Felix Bautista.  

Mead is another Top 100 Prospect. He's also Australian, that's a bonus. 

You do not get many MLB players from Idaho, but Kyle Manzardo is from the Potato State. He is also another Top 100 Prospect. Good looking first baseman/outfielder, nice looking left-handed swing.  Super cheap baseball cards too.  

This is actually a double. I picked it up in a trade, but still love Jonathan Aranda. He was on the Bulls last year, back this year. Aranda can hit, but does not really have a defensive position. Should I say it?

He's a Top 100 Prospect, but only on the Baseball America list.  

That's four Top 100 Prospects and none of them are the best player I have seen in a Bulls game this year. It's tough watching the Bulls some days. 

On to a pair of non-Top 100 Prospects.  

Picked up a pair of Kameron Misner cards. He's a Missouri native, from Poplar Bluff, and also played at Mizzou during college. Misner was drafted by the Marlins and traded to the Rays last summer for Joey Wendle. No Rays cards yet, so I went for a Marlins rookie card and a sparkly Mizzou card from Panini. 

Misner is a really good defender in the outfield, but not the best hitter. Although, he has a crazy walk rate. Misner has around 200 at-bats and has walked almost 40 times. He's doesn't quite lead the league, but close.  

Last one for tonight. 

Tanner Murray has only played a few games this year. Three of them were with the Bulls. Why did I get this card?  I am a sucker for combined shipping and this card was two dollars. That's a pretty good deal for a Bowman Chrome autograph.  

Murray was decent in the lower Minors the past two years, so why not?  

A few more Durham Bulls related cards next week.  


  1. I'm hoping to hit up at least one SJ Giants game this year. I think minor league games give you so much more bang for your buck. I also like going back and reflecting on which players went on to have solid careers. Sure hope a few of these guys go on to have big careers.

    1. I agree, MiLB games are a great value. The last game I attended, I spent $12 on the ticket and sat 10 rows directly behind home plate.

      The Rays don't miss very often with their players, so I am sure that they will end up in the Majors at some point. I am interested to see if the Rays actually trade some of these guys and go for it in the playoffs and if some of these players aren't trade bait.. Such a good team this year, another good starting pitcher or big bat might make them really hard to touch.


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