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Prospecting MLB Prospects

The state of Major League Baseball is as strong as recent memory. The MLB leaderboards have been littered with twenty-somethings posting gaudy numbers at such an early age. Rookie of the Year and MVP are becoming almost synonymous is some respects. Kids fresh off the draft boards are rising through the ranks after a year or two in the Minor Leagues. Pitchers are hitting triple digits routinely on the radar gun and these young batters are turning on those fastballs are knocking out of the park. Truly a special era for America’s Pastime.

With so many bright stars joining the MLB ranks, which players are the best for collectors to target? Which young stars are already priced too high based on hype? This Sports Collectibles exclusive post will answer all questions regarding the cream of the MLB crop.

No Ceiling – Collector’s Choice
Francisco Lindor – The next great MLB shortstop is on our hands. Lindor’s smooth fielding, contacts hitting, base running and charisma have been on full display in his young, successful career. The word “Cleveland” across his chest is the only reason he is not getting the press other young players have gotten. In baseball circles, Lindor is one of the most exciting players in the game. Worth the price of admission. Lindor has the glove like Omar Vizquel and can hit like Derek Jeter. The total package for a shortstop. His prices are beyond reasonable at this time. Worth the investment.

Nolan Arenado – Sure, the thin Rocky Mountain air helps batters in Coors Field. But there is no home field advantage for Nolan Arenado’s fielding. Arenado’s acrobatic, incredible glove and arm have earned him consecutive Gold Glove awards in his first two seasons. The power and the fielding are going to be there for the long haul. Arenado seems destined to bring Colorado their first MVP since Larry Walker in 1997. If Arenado played in a larger market, he would be parallel to the likes of Harper, Trout and Bryant. Sustainable future, good price.

Xander Bogaerts – The X Man leads a young core of Red Sox into 2016 and beyond. Bogaerts is a hitting machine. If we loved Nomar’s early career offense, Xander has that and more. Bogaerts is a sure bet to become Boston’s star after the retirement of David Ortiz. Bogaerts stars on the infield and plays in a major baseball market. He has already won a World Series and will have many midsummer classics in his future. An easy choice for a great Red Sox career. Fan favorite.

Manny Machado – i.e. Cal Ripken Jr, Brooks Robinson. Machado’s shows off all five tools on a nightly basis at Camden Yards. Orioles fans have been spoiled with shortstops and third basemen for decades now. Machado appears to be every bit as talented as his predecessors. Machado’s silky fielding paired with MVP caliber batting will allow him to enjoy a successful career. Machado may very well be the best player in the game today. No reason to think he will not be the best tomorrow either. A sure bet. A transcendent talent.

Star Ceiling – Popularity Kings

Kris Bryant – The Cubs are the toast of the league and nobody is more responsible for that then 2015 Rookie of the Year, Kris Bryant. Bryant’s talent, demeanor and hope he has given fans is unmatched in the MLB. Bryant is as about of a sure thing as there can be. Collectors are also aware. His prices have eclipsed his fellow young stars. Bryant is approaching Trout level as far as pricing goes. A great player, projectable success but there is just too much out there.

Noah Syndergaard – The perfect fastball. The perfect nickname. Noah “Thor” Syndergaard has the look of a Cy Young and popular player for years to come. Similar to Bryant, Syndergaard broke onto the scene with a popular teams and had success in his first postseason. His fastball is not going away and neither is that NYC fame. Noah boasts a triple digit fastball and over triple digit autograph already at age 23. Get the autograph today or the price may skyrocket.

Corey Seager – The Dodgers are undoubtedly Kershaw’s team but the future is on the shoulders of tall short stop, Corey Seager. Seager is on pace for Rookie of the Year consideration and possesses everything you would like to see in a blue chip prospect. Corey is a very approachable guy and his swing is here to stay. Seager will be a staple in LA for years to come. Lots of Seager autographs out there, lots of hype. Not great value.

Carlos Correa – The Astros savior, Carlos Correa is one of the biggest names in today’s game. The product of Puerto Rico won the 2015 American League Rookie of the Year and is on a great pace for 2016. Correa was the #1 Pick a few years back and progressed quickly through the Minor Leagues. His impact lifted the Houston Astros to an improbable postseason appearance in 2015. Correa and Machado are truly the class of young power hitting infielders moving forward. Lots of product circulating. Not the best buy at this time.

Sleeper Level – Worth A Glance
Gregory Polanco – Overshadowed in his own outfielder Gregory Polanco quietly has put together an excellent 2016 campaign with his long frame and five-tool skill set. If his Pirates can make it out of the Wild Card Game, the national exposure will help uncover of the hidden gems in the National League. Potential MVP talent. Multiple All-Stars in his future.

Jurickson Profar – Jurickson very well could be listed in all four categories. He’s been a #1 prospect; he has been deemed a bust. But where he stands right now, he is stationed under the radar because he has not had a lot of the instance success that many from this 23 and under club have enjoyed. Still crazy talented and a potential impact player in the 2016 MLB Playoffs. Many collectors have moved on. Good buy low opportunity.

Steven Matz – His stats indicate it is hard to outshine this kid, but Matz is the fourth most popular pitcher in the heralded New York Mets starting rotation. Matz is a native of New York and has that “it” factor that you want to root for. He will not blow 100 mph smoke by you, but has that crafty left skill set similar to Tom Glavine. On a staff like the Mets, he will enjoy long success and become a household name. Good value for autograph.

Mookie Betts – Can I copy and paste Xander Bogaerts’ rationale? Betts is no second fiddle to anyone. Bogaerts and Betts are the new face of the Boston Red Sox. Big Papi’s 2016 Farewell Season is overshadowing Betts’ tremendous season and potential. Betts exhibits great speed, power at the ripe age of 22. Betts’ learning curve has been admirable in 2016 and the peripherals suggest he is no fluke. The Red Sox look destined for a fair shot at a late 2010’s dynasty. Bet Betts.

I’ll Pass – Saturated, Overhyped
Yaisel Puig – Puig could have graduated this list as “prospect” but the book is still out on Yasiel. Many analysts wonder if he will ever be the player we saw when he broke onto the scene in 2013. Consecutive underwhelming seasons. Yasiel Puig grabs the headlines weekly but at this stage in his career, his autograph is over circulated and not worth the price.

Byron Buxton – If a Minnesota Twins prospect is turning heads, he must be a special talent. Buxton may very well just be in a funk as I write this, and could be a perennial All-Star in the American League. This could be the overreaction I referenced in Profar’s case but he carries a whole lot of hype without results. Not going to call him a bust, just not going to claim him a collector’s favorite target at this point in time.

Michael Wacha – Wacha took the 2013 Playoffs by storm with his dazzling performance on the mound. Not predicting injury or anything, but I have trouble seeing a long, long career for Wacha. I see more Mark Prior than Adam Wainwright in his repertoire. His biggest moments in the MLB may be behind him. Seems like a trade candidate in the near future, hurting his collector value. For the price and for the future, not big on Wacha’s career.

Joc Pederson – Pederson was the toast of Los Angeles during the first half of his rookie 2015 campaign. Joc was blasting bombs into Chavez Ravine. Pitchers adapted to his power stroke and Pederson nosedived in the second half. Do not see long-term MLB success with Pederson. Can very well be an Andre Ethier type Dodger, but that is not going to move the needle on the Memorabilia Scale.


2015 Bestsellers

2016 MLB Best-Selling Line Up Card

2016 MLB Best-Selling Line Up Card

C – Salvador Perez (KC)
1B – Eric Hosmer (KC)
2B – Ben Zobrist (CHC)
3B – Manny Machado (BAL)
SS – Carlos Correa (HOU)
LF – Yoenis Cespedes (NYM)
CF – Nomar Mazara (TEX)
RF – Jose Bautista (TOR)
SP – Clayton Kershaw (LAD)

CatcherSalvador Perez leads all MLB catchers in hitting, Gatorade baths and personality. “Salvy” is the ladle that stirs the Gatorade in the cooler he will pour on a teammate after another Royals win. Perez’s signed baseball has been highly coveted following the Royals World Series win. His energy is infectious and the whole team seems to feed off his undeniable love for the game. Perez’s ascension into the elite level of backstops is just beginning. Salvador has a long career in Royal Blue ahead of him and a lot more Gatorade baths to give.

First Base – Perez’s teammate, Eric Hosmer is hitting his stride in his sixth MLB season. “Hos” has steadily improved with each season, now a decorated fielder at first, an All-Star and World Champion. Hosmer’s daring gamble in Game 6 of the World Series help lead his Royals to their first World Series title in over three decades. Eric Hosmer has graduated from the ranks of up and coming player to MVP candidate. Hosmer’s all-around game has him on pace for plenty of accolades in his presumably long, Kansas City career.

Second Base – The Super Utility Man, Ben Zobrist appears to be peaking in his late 30’s. Fresh off a World Series title with Kansas City, Zobrist signed a lucrative four year pact with the Chicago Cubs to rejoin his former Manager, Joe Maddon. Zobrist has dipped himself in the fountain of youth located somewhere near Lake Michigan. Ben earned Player of the Month honors in May of 2016. Zobrist plays all over the diamond at Wrigley Field and has Cubbie Faithful not wishing but expecting October Baseball on the North Side of Chicago.

Third Base – Arguably the quietest superstar in today’s game, Manny Machado has been posting obscene offensive numbers while flashing leather Orioles faithful have not seen since a Human Vacuum once occupied the hot corner. Machado’s smooth play and violent bat have placed him in American League MVP circles. Experts love his intangibles and cannot believe he does not get the press that Harper and Trout receive. Manny Machado signed baseballs are undervalued at the moment and we recommend grabbing some before demand raises his price.

Shortstop – Houston’s twenty-two year old phenom, Carlos Correa has lifted the Astros into the stratosphere with moon shots. Correa has lived up to the hype a first overall pick is accustomed to. Carlos Correa was one of the hottest selling autographs last winter and has remained amongst the best sellers in 2016.

Left FieldYoenis Cespedes was one of the hottest names in 2015 after his trade to the New York Mets. Cespedes led the Mets to the World Series and later re-signed with the club. Yo’s towering shots have become a staple at Citi Field. Fans have embraced this macho man bravado. Cespedes has been bounced around four teams in his MLB career but he seems to have found a home in Flushing with the Mets. Yoenis Cespedes signed baseballs are hard to find.

Center Field – Another season, another top prospect promoted to Arlington. Nomar Mazara has lived up to his billing. Mazara is off to a torrid start to 2016 and many believe he has the inside track to American League Rookie of the Year. Collectors love loading up on the next big prospect so Nomar Mazara signed baseballs have been selling quite well. Mazara certainly appears to be the next big star out in Texas.

Right Field – You cannot mention the Texas Rangers without thinking about Jose Bautista. Despite taking a haymaker from Texas’ Roughned Odor, “Joey Bats” has been another popular seller. Bautista is on his last year of contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. Bautista has been adamant about wanting to remain north of the border with the Jays. Bautista has been a polarizing player since his climb up the Home Run leaders. Bautista now at a later stage in his career has been selling rather well.

Starting PitcherClayton Kershaw seems to be setting a new MLB record every time he is on the mound. The Dodgers ace has been about as unhittable as anyone in the past few decades. Kershaw’s fastball on the black, his looping curve and changing of speeds have made him in the conversation as one of the best pitchers of all time. Clayton Kershaw autographed baseballs are undervalued, especially if we continued this stretch he is on to win another Cy Young Award.


Archie Gvwy

We Give, You Receive

Here at Sports Collectibles, we like to keep our loyal customers in the loop and offer them great deals year round.  This week’s free giveaway is below! Good luck. Ends on 1/11/16.

ENTER HERE for Archie Griffin Signed Football Giveaway

Archie Gvwy


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Get the 411 on the Ink

We have your back here at Sports Collectibles, here are upcoming autograph signings around the country.  Be sure to come back and check up on who is signing graphs near you.  Whether you are a die hard autograph chaser or just a fan of a certain player, signings are always great events to meet athletes and get autographs at a great price.  Check out a few of our highlighted players below:

Tyrod Taylor Signing

Miguel Sano Signing

Jack Eichel Signing

Le’Veon Bell Signing


SF

Bummed Out

We love baseball because you will see a play or a situation you have never seen every single game you watch.  Game 7 proved that once again. You could write multiple novels on everything we have witnessed in the past month of October baseball.  Some would be heartbreaking tales, some triumph and another a tale of excellence.  Madison Bumgarner could play many roles in this story – the villian, the savior, the machine.  Bumgarner cemented his legacy with three appearances that will never be duplicated.  Out after out, he picked apart a pesky Royals bunch.

Game 7 lived up to its billing.  Often described as the best night in sports because every pitch, every swing can change the fate of a city.  There is no tomorrow and managers will use every ounce of energy these ballplayers have left.  The Royals miraculous run through October ended last night – 90 feet away from tying the game.  You knew they would not go quietly with the resilience they showed all October. The Royals gave not only Kansas City a month to remember but an entire nation seemed to be pulling for the underdogs.  Of course a World Series would have been the perfect storybook ending but it was not in the cards this time.

Although the build up of the World Series was not as big as years pasts, this Fall Classic delivered wonderfully. These teams battled to seven games which happens about once a decade. And we got to see history with Bumgarner’s numbers.  Writers predicted it to be the “Worst World Series of All-Time” but it was far from that.  It was a well played, well managed and fun series all around.  The only problem with the series is that they are done playing. Couldn’t we get a Best of 9 going for a series this close?  Another great postseason in the books, congrats to the San Francisco Giants!