Last year, something incredible happened. Something that hasnt happened before, at least in many years. Mike Trout, a late first round draft pick was called up to the Angels active roster and compiled what is being billed as the best rookie season by a player, ever. That’s historic perspective that drives a sport that functions almost completely on what has happened in the past. He should have won the MVP in my opinion, but even coming up short on that feat hasnt spoiled his party. Because his cards could be had for pennies on the dollar at the beginning of the year, now worth hundreds, prospecting with other guys thought to have similar talent is getting nuts. Case and point: prospects entering the league this year.
Oscar Taveras is the top guy right now, and it doesnt hurt that he plays for one of the top teams in baseball. Take a look, as his cards are going absolutely crazy. His rookie cards cant be bought for a reasonable price, and the paralells of his Bowman Chrome RC are even more insane. Taveras is thought to be a five tool guy, similar in his ability to take the league by storm as Harper and Trout did last year. He wasnt rated the number one prospect in the country a couple of weeks ago, but he is selling like he is.
Other guys that should compete for ROY are also seeing that the start of the MLB season are having a good effect on their values. Jurrickson Profar, of the Rangers, is slated to be in their starting lineup on opening day, and Dylan Bundy of the Orioles should also be an impact pitcher from day one. Profar is an infielder who has the power to be a fast baserunner, power hitter, and lead the Rangers in the wake of Hamilton’s departure. His cards have been soaring since the spring began. Bundy is a pitcher who should end up being an ace on a team that can compete for a division title. Pitchers historically sell very well, and Bundy’s cards are no exception. Both players share a similar recipe for huge money.
My question is, have the collectors, who are afraid of missing the next Mike Trout made these guys so valuable that they arent that type of prospect any longer? I know, these guys were top prospects since the release of their cards hit ebay, but how much of that is now compounded by what Trout has done? I have always said, there will never be another Albert Pujols, but Trout is looking like he is on his way to out-Pujols the master.
Pujols currently has the card everyone wants in their collection – a 2001 Bowman Chrome auto. However, I believe he was more expensive at release than Trout was. These guys, Taveras, Bundy and Profar are MUUUUUCH further above that from the beginning as well. You just dont see a guy like Trout come along but once in a lifetime. That’s saying that he even holds his production the same way now that Josh Hamilton is in the lineup.
Be very careful when buying big on prospects. Its one thing to take a flyer on a guy whose card sells for 20 bucks. However, to do the same at 150 and 200 bucks doesnt make much sense.