Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hunter Virant + Walker Weickel USA Autos Revisited

I am continuing a profitable (thus far) strategy to steer clear of the "hot" prospects (Bauer, Harper, Lawrie, Bundy, etc.) so I can continue picking up Bowman Chrome USA autos.  As I expected when I talked about Weickel -- analysts, scouts, and writers are slowly coming out of the woodwork and previewing the upcoming MLB Draft in June.  Part of any complete preview must include the top high school players.... and luckily for us, these high school players have Bowman Chrome USA autos.

Hopefully, you followed my advice and picked up some Weickel.  Since I wrote that post when this blog first started, Weickel has seen a significant spike in pricing and demand, and as such I cashed in my Weickel profits to the tune of about a 50% profit margin.  Now what?  The answer: Hunter Virant.

Hailed by some as one of the most athletic high school pitchers to enter this draft (and praised by Keith Law as a "projectable lefthander"), Virant is a step below Weickel.  Weickel is a top 10 pick.  Virant will fall later in the 1st round.  As such, people are flocking to Weickel, while Virant is still relatively cheap and unknown.

As I mentioned before, these Bowman Chrome USA autos have very limited print runs (about 900).  This brings about a very fortuitous opportunity when it comes to these cards... simply, at any given time, there aren't many on ebay.  That is why the Buy It Now option is critical to profiting with these USA autos.  If you do a search for completed auction listings on the higher end parallels, you will see very modest pricing.  However, you will notice a handful of much more expensive Buy It Now listings that have been purchased.  There is a logical reason.  Demand is still low, so there are no bidding wars.  Yet, all it takes is one prospector who REALLY wants to "get in early" on one of these future first rounders... so much so that they end up snagging a Buy It Now, regardless of the price, because there are simply no others available to purchase.

I will use a very recent purchase as an example.  I bought a Virant Orange Auto for $70 on a forum.  I put it up at a Buy It Now for $125, and literally within an hour, someone bought it.  We can assume Virant was on the buyer's radar and with such low supply out there, he had to act quickly when a high end Virant became available.  I did the same thing with a Virant Gold Refractor, paid $35, sold within a few days for $50 via BUY IT NOW.

So, in all, I'd sell Weickel for a profit and move to the next guy who might start picking up demand in the same way Weickel did, Hunter Virant.  And the best lesson in prospect investing:  don't be greedy.  Sure, I could've held the Weickels and possibly seen an increase when June rolled around, but I know I can make money NOW with other overlooked USA autos like Virant.  Always sell if the proceeds can be used towards a better investment.  Also, don't fall in love with players and spend all your time digging through scouting reports.
If you know a player will be a first rounder in a few months, his prices are low, and supply is low, that ALONE is logical enough to be a buyer.  So, I'm a buyer.


1 comment:

  1. I took a big position in Weickel. I plan to pull about half of my holdings off the table. I think draft time will be the time to unload the rest. I think there is another spike coming, but I completely agree on Virant.