More Insanity From 2010 Bowman

I just saw this posted on FCB, and I believe this price on the Dustin Ackley Superfractor auto 1/1 is totally and utterly insane. Even if this guy turns out to be a perennial all star, maybe winning a few MVPs, there is no way this price has anywhere to go but down. Look at what Ryan Braun sold for, and then consider the price on this guy. I mean think of all you could have instead of dropping this kind of coin on a guy who may OR may not pan out. I can understand spending 100 bucks, maybe 200 if you are a huge Mariners fan who wants to get some cards of the highly touted prospect. But that kind of money? Cmon.

Ackley isnt the only one garnering ridiculous prices for his parallels either:
I mean, I get that they are 1/1s, but you could have an auto of just about anyone for those prices. Wow. Prospecting is one thing, this is completely different.

Ha-Ha: Selvin Young Cut

If you remember back to the beginning of last year, I wrote a post about the ridiculous prices that people were paying for a Selvin Young SPA RC auto. I mean, the cards were going for close to 150 bucks.

As of yesterday, the Denver Broncos have decided to move in another direction and waive Young after drafting or signing quite a bit of new talent, most notably Knowshon Moreno.
Young will find another job without a problem, but this is where the Peterson effect makes people look like complete fools. Yes, Terell Davis was a 250th round pick, and yes he had an amazing career in Denver, but Selvin Young is not Terell Davis, idiot. See, people will just throw money at any player, in baseball too, that gets a start. Score a TD, and its time to pay out your wallet’s limit for an SPA auto.
This example is why my new mantra is “dont be that guy,” plain and simple. Otherwise you may end up with a card you paid 150 bucks for that is worth nothing based on a dumb prospecting move that made no sense.

The 2009 Autolic Test: NFL Draft Edition

I thought now was as good a time as any to go over this, mainly because I have a feeling that many of you are wondering. For each draft class we all pick our people. We go over the rounds and decide on a guy based on team, college, style whatever. I also know that many of you want to see an auto before you decide. Or, as I put it, whether or not the guy passes or fails your version of the Wonderlic Autograph Test (The Autolic Test). For those of you who are not familiar, the Wonderlic is a test given to all prospects at the combine to test a number of different things about their intelligence, football intelligence, etc. The Autolic test is one performed by many collectors to determine if the autograph has merit or is subject to the Morency quotient.

This year, I think we are ridiculously lucky as long as none of the players decide to pull a press pass and sign better when there are few cards to sign, and give up when there are many. Top QB autos have been very good the last few years, and Stafford is no exception. The guy is great, he should be hailed for his detail and penmanship. Nice job. Same goes for Beanie Wells, who has a great auto for his cards. Sanchez has a loopy swoopy graph, that I don’t mind, and Moreno’s isnt bad either. Harvin and Crabtree have a nice visual appeal to theirs, as well, as both should do pretty amazing when you see them on better cards.

On the other hand, Josh Freeman is a jumbled mess. If I gave you this pic and told you to pick his out, you would really have to go through a few deductions in your head before pointing the finger in his direction. Heyward-bey isnt horrible, but it is boring to me for some reason, mainly because you could practically draw a line through his sig and hit every stroke of every letter. Like I said, not horrible, just boring.

You may think that I put too much thought into this, but I will give this fact as the reason for my use of the Autolic test. I hate give up autos, and I hate weird looking autos. If the player puts no effort into it, I will not keep any of their cards. I did not buy a single Chris Johnson card last year, mainly for that exact reason.

Im sure as the card season progresses, we will see numbers added and all sorts of changes as the cards transfer from on card to sticker and back on card. However, as of now, this class’ graphs pass the test with flying colors.



2009 NFL Draft: My Reflections

As we enter into the football-less wasteland of summer, the draft is what will have to sustain us until the pre-season starts in august. Overall, I think the draft was pretty fun to watch this whole time, and the first round had me glued to the TV now that teams were forced to pick a little quicker and because ESPN (no NFL Network access at my house) didnt miss any picks this year.

There were no shortage of surprises in the first round, especially with the Jets trading up to get Sanchez, and the Raiders taking Heyward-Bey at #7. When we look back on this draft in a few years, I think both of these moves will be considered pretty dumb, mainly the depth at WR in the first round DID NOT justify the Raiders’ pick with Maclin AND Crabtree on the board. As for Sanchez, the Jets would have probably been better waiting until next year, with a much deeper and more talented bunch of QBs that will be coming out.
There were quite a few reaches as there were last year as well, mainly Larry English being drafted mid first round, and the reach at three by the Chiefs, or why you pass up Curry for a guy who probably would have been better to trade down for. Then when the Bungles pass on Crabtree at number 6 to take the Sta-puft Marshmallow man, I almost gasped out loud. You lose Housh, you have to deal constantly with Chad Johnson, and you pass on a great talent a la Calvin Johnson to take a guy who couldnt even put it together for the job interview of his life. Good job.
As for the people who fell, Beanie Wells making it all the way to Cardinals is a shock, and I think the people like the Eagles will be sorry that they didnt get someone to tag team with the aging and somewhat fragile Westbrook. Maualunga falling as far as he did was also pretty ridiculous, though great USC linebackers do come a dime a dozen as we have found out.
I will give props to Oher, who remained driven and positive despite ESPN constantly playing the awful “troubled past” card. He just wants to play, and the Ravens were right to jump all over him. ESPN needs to learn that a human interest story is only interesting if it is not beaten to death. Then again, with Chris “YWML” Berman at the desk, thats pretty tough to avoid.
As we moved into the second round, and the Broncos traded NEXT year’s #1 for a pick to get Alphonso Smith, I couldnt help but think things were heading down a bad road for a team that just lost a huge piece. Then again, they did great with drafting Moreno, so hopefully Neckbeard wont be without too many options.
Lastly, in terms of hobby impact, here are how I think things will sort out now that we know the teams that the top guys went to:
1) Matthew Stafford
2) Knowshon Moreno
3) Michael Crabtree
4) Mark Sanchez
5) Josh Freeman
6) Beanie Wells (Peterson Effect*)
7) Donald Brown (Peterson Effect*)
8) Jeremy Maclin
9) Darrius Heyward-Bey
10) Percy Harvin
* Peterson Effect – Prices start high solely because of idiots wanting to get in on the bottom level for a guy that plays the same position that AD plays. Yeah, like lightning is going to strike twice in 2 years, right?

When Prospecting Attacks…

From my experience, prospectors are the only people I have seen make money in this industry. It requires a lot of work and a ton of patience to REALLY make it worthwhile, but when you hit it big, it can be nuts. In order to accomplish the big buys, you have to monitor the MILB stat lines, scour the BA prospect reports, and make sound decisions on what cards to invest in. Its not easy in the slightest. I know that the term “invest” makes no sense in cards, because no one ever makes any money, but this is a little different. These people buy cards for the sole purpose of holding on to them until the MLB debut, and they always have money in mind. I don’t necessarily find that much wrong with the concept, only because its like stock investing in a long term scope.

Lately, things have gotten a little extreme with a few “prospects” that havent even reached pro level ball. They have not been drafted, and one is still a sophomore in high school, 2-4 years away from actual MLB service. Steven Strasburg, a pitcher, has been widely considered as the person who will be the top pick in the draft in the first year he is eligible. He recently played on Team USA and showed amazing potential as a future ace for any number of MLB teams. Bryce Harper is in a similar situation as a catcher for a Las Vegas high school. He also played on Team USA, and again, showed major potential just like Strasburg. His videos have become a sensation on YouTube, especially the HR derby one where he hit a few MLB sized bombs.

As a result of this hype and the buzz from the prospecting community, the auto cards that have been inserted into Sweet Spot and the Team USA box sets have been fetching hundreds of dollars on eBay. It seems as though people think that these guys will be the next superstars to really make a hobby impact a la Pujols, Wright, and Longoria. Although I agree that these are some incredibly talented players, I wont be investing THIS early. I think its pretty crazy that Harper’s cards have eclipsed both Pujols and Jeter, two of the hobby’s biggest names, and he has yet to even be drafted.

A lot of collectors think prospectors are idiots, and I am NOT one of those collectors. They cant understand why someone would pay for cards of players who havent even played a single pro game in the top levels of the league. Personally, I think that mentality is quite closed minded. See, I have seen quite a few people get rich off of a collection that cost them only a few hundred dollars, and they have used that money to build some of the most incredible collections of players you do know. Of course, there are flip sides to everything, but the smart ones don’t usually fail. However, I think paying $250 for either of these players takes that paradigm of collecting to an absolutely crazy level.