Sunday, August 29, 2021

My Thoughts on the Fanatics Sports Card Takeover

In one of the biggest deals in sports card history, Fanatics has reached an agreement with the MLB, NFL, and NBA player's associations to distribute all their cards starting around 2025. Its an interesting deal to say the least. I watch a ton of CNBC and always noticed that Fanatics was raising a ton of money every funding round. No one saw something like this coming but maybe we should have. Cards have exploded in sales and when big time money sees an opportunity to get a piece of the pie they move in. I want to take this post to follow the money and suggest why this happened and what will happen next. 

Why Do I Think This Happened? 
Since the pandemic started modern cards have been selling for millions of dollars (Giannis, Luka, Lebron). The players who signed these cards were not paid much up front in comparison to what the card sold for. Imagine being a prospect and signing for Bowman Draft for a few thousand bucks and your card sells for millions a decade later if not sooner. Not sure if I would be happy about that. I think the players want their cut on the front end. The big part that no one seems to mention is that each league will have an equity stake in the company. That is why this is happening. It all came down to getting more money. 

Predictions 
1. Fanatics will file to go Public very soon. Might not be a bad buy as they hold the license to the three most popular sports in the US. (Not Investment Advice) 
2. Fanatics will buy Topps and Panini. Right now I would say they would be better off buying Topps and creating their own brands for NFL and NBA cards.
3. Distribution will forever change. Everything will go through Fanatics. They run the show. Group breakers may run into issues. 
4. I could see a scenario where auto's of certain players never make it into a hobby box. A high profile player's auto would automatically go to auction.
5. Fanatics teams up with PSA for grading. I could also see a team up with Goldin Auctions. Look out for more vertical integration like this. A one stop shop for all things cards. Fanatics does not want you going anywhere else to do business. Buying, selling and grading will all be done on their site or one of their partners.  

Sunday, July 25, 2021

A Few Notes on Justin Foscue ( Texas Rangers, 3B)

When the 2020 draft wrapped up last year no on liked the Texas Rangers draft. It seems those people are wrong (Including me to a degree). Justin Foscue is on fire right now hitting a home run in eight games straight. I have to say he is now on everyone's radar. Those who bought early are loving what they are seeing. Overall the lesson is don't worry about what the experts say. Make your own choices. If you like a player go for it and buy a few autos. 

Sunday, July 4, 2021

MLB Prospect Statistical Analysis (Stats Don't Lie) Pitching Report

In my previous stats report, I discussed some of the standout hitters that got my attention. For this report lets show some pitchers a little love. Expect more stat breakdowns moving forward as the season heats up. The report was ran July 1. 












I wanted to show the pitchers that have a high K/9 rate with a low walk rate. There are some other good arms playing right now but their walk rates are high. Max Meyer is included because of his high ground ball rate. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

MLB Prospect Statistical Analysis (Stats Don't Lie) Hitting Report

We are officially a month and a half into the season and I ran some reports today to see who is performing well so far. I have to say there are some eye popping stats out there. I have listed some of the names below that have caught my attention. Report was ran on Fangraphs. 

Milwaukee Brewers - Joe Gray Jr. - Joe has 10 homers and 16 extra base hits. Impressive. 

Kansas City Royals - Nick Pratto - Impressive walk rate and a swing changed has improved his power. 11 homers so far.

Los Angeles Dodgers - Andy Pages - Good power numbers. Looking forward to more improvement. 10 homers and 10 XBH. 

San Diego Padres - Robert Hassell III - Only 19 and he is striking out 20% of the time. Very good for a high school draft prospect. 

St. Louis Cardinals - Nolan Gorman - Big improvement here. Power numbers are good but the swing and miss is down. K rate is 25%. 

Arizona Diamondbacks - A.J. Vukovich - 19 year old prospect that has good power potential. 0.193 ISO.

Detroit Tigers - Gage Workman  - Strikeout rate is high but the walk rate is good (15%). Not a ton of home runs but has 13 XBH. 

Monday, May 31, 2021

2021 Bowman Draft Baseball - Pricing Trends Update

Here are the pricing trend updates for 2021 Bowman. The product has been out for a month so prices are normalized. Overall I see a ton of value.  Please note I am only looking at the base auto sales.


Buy the Baseball America 2021 Prospect Handbook via Ebay


Adael Amador - Colorado Rockies, SS – $15-$25. Not bad if you like the player.

Eddy Diaz - Colorado Rockies SS – $10. Affordable. 


Darryl Collins - Kansas City Royals OF – $15. Another affordable prospect. 


Kevin Alcantara - New York Yankees OF – $100. High end prospect. 

Alexander Vargas - New York Yankees SS – I've seen as low as $20 and as high as $30. 


Ivan Johnson - Cincinnati Reds 2B – Auto is selling for $10-$15. I think this is a steal. 


Austin Martin - Toronto Blue Jays SS – Redemption over $350. Very high but he can really play.  


Angel Martinez - Cleveland Indians SS – Around $35. 

Gabriel Arias - Cleveland Indians SS - Around $30. 

Jose Tena - Cleveland Indians SS - Around $25. 


Alexander Ramirez – Los Angeles Angels OF – $50. People are buying the youth and upside. 

D'Shawn Knowles – Los Angeles Angels OF –  $15. I think this is another steal. Only 20 years old. 


Adinso Reyes - Detroit Tigers SS – $20-$25. Not bad at all. 


Aaron Sabato - Minnesota Twins 1B – $80. People are aware of the power potential. The Twins also do a great job with player development. 


Brainer Bonaci - Boston Red Sox SS – $15-$20. Another affordable prospect. 

Blaze Jordan - Boston Red Sox 3B/1B – $200. High as expected. 


Jose Salas - Miami Marlins SS – $35. Has not played yet but the hype is there. 


Coby Mayo - Baltimore Orioles 3B – $45-$50. For the price to be this high with no at bats is interesting. 


Dylan MacLean - Texas Rangers LHP - Under $10.

Maximo Acosta - Texas Rangers SS – $120. As expected. 

Marcus Smith - Texas Rangers OF - Base is around $15 and lower. Good price. 

Heriberto Hernandez - Texas Rangers OF/1B (Note He’s a Tampa Bay Ray) – Around $55. Tampa effect? 


Ji-Hwan Bae - Pittsburgh Pirates SS – $15. Its possible to get this card for lower than that though. 


Endy Rodriguez - New York Mets C/OF (Now a Pittsburg Pirate) $15. Not bad at all.  

Freddy Valdez - New York Mets OF – $20-$30. A little on the high end for him. In my opinion. 


Jeremy De La Rosa - Washington Nationals OF – Average is around $60. Not surprised. Next Soto? 


Jeferson Espinal - Arizona Diamondbacks OF – Around $15-$20. Properly priced. 


Jairo Pomares - San Francisco Giants OF – Around $30. I agree with the price. 


Johan Rojas - Philadelphia Phillies OF – Around $20-$30. I just worry that the Phillies won't develop him properly. 

Mick Abel - Philadelphia Phillies – Around $40. First round talent. 


Luis Santana - Houston Astros 2B - Under $15. Contact hitter that is a little older. 


Jake Vogel - Los Angeles Dodgers OF -  Around $30. 


Hedbert Perez - Milwaukee Brewers OF – Prices vary. Low as $100 to as high as $150. Top international signing. 


Ismael Mena - Chicago Cubs OF – $15-$25. Has not played yet but is another project. 


Brayan Buelvas - Oakland Athletics OF – $15-$20. Decent price. Need to see more from the player.


Jose Rodriguez - Chicago White Sox SS – Around $25. 

Yoelqui Cespedes - Chicago White Sox OF - Around $100. I honestly though the price would be higher. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Jordan Walker (St. Louis Cardinals, 3B) Has Impressed So Far

Jordan Walker is playing his first year of professional baseball and I have to admit I am beyond impressed. His walk rate is currently 17.5% and his K rate is around 20%. Its only 57 plate appearances but there are some flashes of superstar talent here. The main thing that has my attention is per the reports I am reading, he hits the ball very hard. The exit velocities are elite. The Cardinals have found another good prospect. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

2021 Bowman Baseball - Full Prospect Analysis

Prospects for Cash is back and 2021 Bowman Baseball is launching this week. The checklist has 72 players. The big issue that has people buzzing is the amount of prospects that signed second autos. This is not new but double digit second autos is most likely here to stay with the demand so high. Overall this checklist is solid with a mix of international prospects that are projects and middle ranked prospects. Feel free to contact me with any questions. 


Buy the Baseball America 2021 Prospect Handbook via Ebay


Adael Amador - Colorado Rockies, SS – International signing that has yet to debut. 

Eddy Diaz - Colorado Rockies SS – Nice player that has not played past rookie ball.

Daniel Montano - Colorado Rockies OF – Pass.


Darryl Collins - Kansas City Royals OF – Young talented player. A project but I like the talent.

Austin Cox - Kansas City Royals P – Pass. Too old.


Beck Way - New York Yankees RHP – Pass. Reliever. 

Kevin Alcantara - New York Yankees OF – A talented young player that is a project. Worth buying and holding long term. I do trust the Yankees and their development staff. 

Alexander Vargas - New York Yankees SS – I like the talent. Not sure about the power yet.

Antonio Gomez - New York Yankees C – Pass for now.


Mariel Bautista - Cincinnati Reds OF - 23 years old. Its a pass for me.

Mac Wainwright - Cincinnati Reds OF - As of right now. I'm not touching this guy. He must of signed ages ago. 

Ivan Johnson - Cincinnati Reds 2B – Nice player. I am interested. Hard worker. 


Austin Martin - Toronto Blue Jays SS – Top pick. Awesome talent. Will be high priced and its valid. 


Angel Martinez - Cleveland Indians SS – Classic Cleveland player that will develop well. 

Gabriel Arias - Cleveland Indians SS - Another solid Cleveland prospect. 

Jose Tena - Cleveland Indians SS - See above. Its interesting what Cleveland likes. Contact over power. I love the philosophy. 


Alexander Ramirez – Los Angeles Angels OF – Power hitter with some swing and miss. 

D'Shawn Knowles – Los Angeles Angels OF – Crazy to say this but I love Knowles more than Kyren Paris. 

William Holmes – Los Angeles Angels RHP – Good pitching talent. I think he’s a reliever though. 


Adinso Reyes - Detroit Tigers SS – International signing with potential. I’m interested. 


Aaron Sabato - Minnesota Twins 1B – HUGE power hitter. The bat will carry him. Can’t wait to see him play. I want to see if he can draw walks consistently. 

Yunior Severino - Minnesota Twins 2B - Pass. I need to see better whiff rates. 


Brainer Bonaci - Boston Red Sox SS – Nice talent here. Will sell. 

Jeremy Wu-Yelland - Boston Red Sox LHP – Pass. Future reliver. 

Blaze Jordan - Boston Red Sox 3B/1B – There will be a ton of hype for this auto. He is a power hitting player. For me I need to see him play first. I expect the strikeouts to be high initially.


Jake Eder - Miami Marlins LHP - Pass

Jose Salas - Miami Marlins SS – A player to keep an eye on. Has not played but could breakout. 

Breidy Encarnacion - Miami Marlins OF – Pass. Too many K’s. 


Coby Mayo - Baltimore Orioles 3B – Power bat that has not played yet. I cannot wait to see the cost. 


Dylan MacLean - Texas Rangers LHP - I don't have much here. Seems to be a decent talent. Will revisit. 

Maximo Acosta - Texas Rangers SS – Exciting potential but I want to see him play. 

Marcus Smith - Texas Rangers OF - Not a bad player. A project but can make contact. 

Heriberto Hernandez - Texas Rangers OF/1B (Note He’s a Tampa Bay Ray) – Classic power hitting player. Needs to cut down on the strikeouts. 


Ji-Hwan Bae - Pittsburgh Pirates SS – Bae will not hit for much power but could be an exciting leadoff hitter.


Endy Rodriguez - New York Mets C/OF – Solid prospect. Should be affordable. 

Freddy Valdez - New York Mets OF – Long term project. Possesses power but needs to make contact more. 


Jackson Cluff - Washington Nationals SS – Pass. Too old. 

Jeremy De La Rosa - Washington Nationals OF – Project but has some tools. I like the player. Very confident kid. 

Eddy Yean - Washington Nationals RHP – Pass. 


Jeferson Espinal - Arizona Diamondbacks OF – Another project. I plan to monitor.  

Luis Frias - Arizona Diamondbacks RHP – Pass. 


Jairo Pomares - San Francisco Giants OF – Young with time to develop. I plan to monitor. I like what the Giants are doing. 


Johan Rojas - Philadelphia Phillies OF – Has upside but is a project. I'm skeptical of the Phillies to develop him.

Mick Abel - Philadelphia Phillies – Top pick. Will be high priced. 

Nick Maton - Philadelphia Phillies SS – Pass. Too old. 


Luis Santana - Houston Astros 2B - Solid player who is built for contact not power.


Jake Vogel - Los Angeles Dodgers OF - Young and a project but I trust the Dodgers to develop anyone.

Hyun-il Choi - Los Angeles Dodgers RHP - Reliever. Pass for me. 


Hedbert Perez - Milwaukee Brewers OF – Scouts love the talent. Already has power and will be a top prospect within the organization soon. 


Ismael Mena - San Diego Padres OF – Project but the reports are good so far and I think he will be high priced. If not I would be shocked. 


Stevie Emanuels - Oakland Athletics RHP - 2020 draft pick. Will revisit. 

Brayan Buelvas - Oakland Athletics OF – Solid all around player with talent. Maybe will be a utility player.


Michael McAvene - Chicago Cubs RHP - Pass

Kohl Franklin - Chicago Cubs RHP - Pass

Riley Thompson - Chicago Cubs RHP - Pass

Sandy Gaston - Tampa Bay Rays RHP - Hard throwing pitching prospect. Very young. 


Jose Rodriguez - Chicago White Sox SS – Long term project. There are some tools to work with here.

Jared Kelley - Chicago White Sox RHP – Pass.

Yolbert Sanchez - Chicago White Sox SS – Pass. Too old. 

Yoelqui Cespedes - Chicago White Sox OF - The number one international prospect this year. Prices will be high but he has not played yet. I may love the talent but I cannot make a recommendation to buy. 


2nd Bowman Autos

Zac Veen - Colorado Rockies OF

Spencer Torkelson - Detroit Tigers 1B 

Robert Hassell - San Diego Padres OF

Nick Gonzales - Pittsburgh Pirates SS

Heston Kjerstad - Baltimore Orioles OF 

Asa Lacy - Kansas City Royals LHP

Garrett Mitchell - Milwaukee Brewers OF

Ed Howard - Chicago Cubs SS

Max Meyer - Miami Marlins RHP

Emerson Hancock - Seattle Mariners RHP

Austin Hendrick - Cincinnati Reds OF 

Patrick Bailey - San Francisco Giants C

Note: All these players are top prospects but the 1st auto is the best auto.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

CJ Abrams Could Be A Potential Superstar (San Diego Padres, 2B)

A few days ago I wrote about who I thought were the next generational talents in baseball. After watching a few spring training games I am adding CJ Abrams to this list. I think this kid has a star quality in addition to his baseball ability. His personality is perfect for the cameras. Right now the power is not there but he hits the ball hard and I could see a 20 home run player in the future. I think he is a few years away but I am expecting big things soon. 

Link to Stats via Fangraphs

Spencer Torkelson Scouting Report (Detroit Tigers, 1B/3B/DH)

Age: 21 (8/26/1999)

Bats/Throws: R/R

Height/Weight: 6'1/220

Position: 1B/3B/DH

Team: Detroit Tigers

Drafted: Round 1, Pick 1, 2020 MLB Draft


Top Card: 2020 Bowman Draft Baseball 

Base Auto Price (Subject to Change) - 
$600-$1000

2020 Stats: Did not play.

Torkelson was the best hitter in college baseball at Arizona State University. He broke Barry Bonds freshman HR record. The combination of contact and power tools made him pretty much a lock to go one overall in the draft. In addition to his on field skills, Spencer has great makeup and leadership skills. 

Conclusion: Torkelson possesses 80 grade power with the ability to make contact. The high tool grades that he possesses has caused his card prices to skyrocket upon the release of 2020 Bowman Draft. My thought is that these prices are appropriate despite the delay of his pro debut. I expect him to be one of the better power hitters in baseball and move quickly through the minors. When a player's hitting ability is this good, the defensive ability does not matter and will not impact card prices. Due to the high price of his 1st Bowman Auto, non-auto cards may have to be explored if looking for affordable options.   

Wander Franco Scouting Report (Tampa Bay Rays, SS)

Age: 20 (3/1/2001)

Bats/Throws: S/R

Height/Weight: 5'10/189

Position: SS

Team: Tampa Bay Rays

Drafted: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic

Top Card: 2019 Bowman Baseball 

Base Auto Price (Subject to Change) - 
$1000+ 

2020 Stats: Did not play.
 
Wander Franco seems to be the perfect prospect. He has hit at every level showing an advanced approach at the plate. Wander is a tough out and seems to not have too many holes in his swing. He hits the ball hard and seems to be on the path of being a MVP candidate. His K rate has never been over 10% since his pro debut. 

Conclusion: It seems that across the industry there is no debate that Wander Franco is the number one prospect in baseball heading into the 2021 season. In previous years a prospect in Tampa Bay would get limited attention. These days market location does not matter. Franco's debut will be well covered and the Rays will be competitive. Its just a matter of time before his card prices explode even more. I expect him to make an impact immediately and hit for some power. Due to the high price of his 1st Bowman Auto, non-auto cards may have to be explored if looking for affordable options.