Last year was a big year for baseball, especially when it comes to the hobby. Not only did you have the emergence of new stars across the board, but arguably one of the most popular teams won the world series. I am not a huge baseball fan, but I definitely know a bit about baseball cards, and here are a few things I would watch this season. Of course, there are a lot of stories to be had, but these ones are big news.
Yasiel Puig – Can He Follow Up His Rookie Campaign?
Its rare that a young player like Puig starts off with as much fire as he did in 2013, and this always begs the question of whether or not it can be followed up with something better. Puig trailed off as the season came to a close, even though his card values really never did. Now that he is back for his sophomore run, many collectors who invested big bucks for him are asking if they will make good on their investment. I think he has a good season, but nothing like 2013. Sorry Folks!
Masahiro Tanaka – Import Dream or Just Another Pitcher?
There was not a bigger story this offseason than Tanaka signing with the Yankees, especially when you consider that imports from Japan ALWAYS sell well. Tanaka looks to be one of those pitchers that can change the face of a season, but its unclear what his true hobby impact will be until he gets some cards in a Yankees uniform. So far, his cards from the WBC have been selling through the roof, but his first autographs will be insane. I hope he does well, even though I hate the Yankees.
Mike Trout – Will He Make A Third Run at MVP?
Trout recently signed a humongous contract to make up for the two years of playing out of his mind in Anaheim. The guy is a generational talent from all accounts, and deserves every penny he got. That being said, he has been the top guy in the hobby for that span as well, and its going to be clear that his cards will continue to be the best until he falls off. Considering that day may never come, it’s a very good thing for the hobby. I say he wins this year.
Miguel Cabrera – Is He Worth the Money?
When I saw what the Tigers did, its clear they wanted Cabrera for the rest of his career. The problem is, he is already past the point in his career where a 10 year contract makes sense. Its obvious that he is one of the best players in baseball, but to lock him up past his 40th birthday rarely ever pans out. For some reason, Cabrera was never worth all that much in the hobby, which is odd with the seasons he has put up. He has won world titles, and a triple crown, and yet Trout outsells him frequently. This year I cant see him playing the way he did over 2012 and 2013, but he will still do amazing things barring an injury.
Bryce Harper – Can He Break Through for an MVP Caliber Season?
To say he has been on a bit of a roller coaster since his debut is an understatement. Harper has had more ups and downs than anyone of his stature, but many still remain confident that he will be the type of player that Mike Trout has turned out to be. His attitude and performance continue to be a question, but people in the hobby still love the hell out of him. Topps recently signed him to an exclusive deal, and I think it will be worth the price. I say he has a great year.
Opening day is still a fun time for me, good luck to everyone this season.