Thursday, February 23, 2012

Robert Stephenson (RHP, Reds)


Robert Stephenson (RHP, Reds)

For only about 5 bucks, you can own a 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Base Auto of a kid who threw 2 no-hitters in his first 2 starts last year as a senior in high school.  Oh, and he struck out 20 in the second of those starts.

Stephenson is currently a "raw" prospect (but name a high school draftee who scouts don't consider raw... you can't).  Despite reports claiming he needs "time to develop", Stephenson already throws in the low to mid nineties, and already has a feel for a change and a curve.

In my opinion, his ceiling is as high as any pitcher in the 2011 MLB draft (he went #27 overall), and this was a pitcher-heavy draft with guys like Hultzen, Bauer, Bradley, Bundy, and Cole.  That says a lot when you consider most of those guys have autos ranging from $30-50.

I expect Stephenson to dominate in rookie-level ball this year, and quickly rise up the ranks of top prospects.  Instead of spending $50 or so on a Bauer or Bundy auto, I'd much rather accumulate 10 Stephenson autos.  A strong outing early on (something like 6 IP, 1 Hit, 10 K), and possibly an appearance on the weekly Baseball America hot list could mean an easy double on your investment... almost overnight. 

RECOMMENDATION: STRONG BUY


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cory Spangenberg (2B, Padres)

I love gritty players... players like my boys from the 1986 Mets.  That's probably why I'm so high on Cory Spangenberg (2B, Padres).

Spangenberg is regarded by most to be the top Second Base prospect.  I expect low-end double digit HR as he fills into body (he'll be hampered at PETCO though), increased SB (rated a 70 on the speed scouting scale, which is elite), a hard worker, improving fielder, and great hitter.

He's the type of player who can grow a following, and quickly.  He's fun to watch, loves the game of baseball, and works his butt off.

His prices have fallen as money moves elsewhere (the new release of NFL Contenders, the big pitching prospects, power hitting prospects) and his base Bowman Chrome Draft auto can be had for a few bucks.  Simply put, how can you NOT buy the TOP positional prospect's chrome ink if it's only a few bucks?!?!


Useful links:
ARTICLE #1
Debunks the myth that relevant MLB second basemen are shortstops in the minors.  Not true, so no red flags that Spangenberg is at 2B right now.

ARTICLE #2
Nice, positive scouting report from baseballnewshound.com

STATS - MiLB
Spangenberg's minor league stats

Schoop vs. Spangenberg
Great comparison thanks to Craig Goldstein over at faketeams.com


Heir to a Prince

Prince Fielder is gone.  Who will take over at first for Milwaukee?

Early reports are hinting at Mat Gamel to get the nod.  Here are his MLB totals thus far:
171 AB - .222 - 67 K

That's about all I need to know to start buying Hunter Morris.  He's what you can consider a common auto from 2011 Bowman Chrome, yet he's shown no signs of being common.  For my money, he's a much better heir to the first base job than Gamel.

Since Braun is out for 50 games, I don't expect the Brewers to contend.  So, it would behoove them to at least see what they have with Morris at first.  Even if he platoons with Gamel, I don't expect Morris' Bowman Chrome auto to stay at $3 as an MLB-relevant first baseman....  even a little price spike makes him a worthy investment.

Another aspect I'd like to add is that Morris could end up playing in the CAL league, a tremendous hitter's league, and the very same league Gyorko had his monster (inflated statistical) season at last year.  So, pick your poison:  MLB first baseman or elite power in a hitter's league where 30-40 HR is a feasible possibility.  Exactly.  Either option is good news for Hunter Morris collectors.

Recommendations: 
Hunter Morris: STRONG BUY

Own:
(1) Gold Ref Auto /50 
(4) Blue Ref Auto /150
(2) Base Auto

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cashing In on Yankees Prospects

Cashing in on Yankees Prospects

With the departure of Jesus Montero and an aging roster, Yankees fans are desperate for something to look forward to.  Despite the "Win Now" attitude that comes with rooting for a New York team, smarter fans are starting to take notice of the Yankees promising farm system: namely the killer B's and the catching prospects.

As teams begin Spring training, it's the perfect time to invest and speculate on players who can make an impact quickly and get that spike you need for a quick profit.  For me, there are no better names than 3 Yankees prospects, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, and Austin Romine.

The market has been buying heavily into another Yankees prospect, Mason Williams.  I predict this money begins to similarly flow away from Williams into the 3 guys I mentioned.  The reason being: Yankees fans have that "NOW" attitude.  Mason Williams is too young to make an impact at the MLB level, whereas Banuelos, Betances, and Romine ALL have a chance at making the roster and turning heads in the Spring.

The keys to a noticeable Spring are simple for these guys.  Both Banuelos and Betances, 2 pitchers with ace potential, have always had control problems.  If they show an improvement early on, the media will be all over them, and collectors will as well.

As for Romine, I love his potential for a pretty unique reason... the Yankees manager is Joe Girardi.  Romine, a terrific fielding catcher with mediocre potential at the plate, can easily win a spot on the MLB roster because Girardi (a former catcher) appreciates the art of catching and Romine is a protoypical catcher-first, hitter-second player.  Thus, he has a better short term outlook than a guy like Gary Sanchez, who is a terrible fielder and way too young to make the roster.

RECOMMENDATION:
Banuelos -- STRONG BUY
Betances -- BUY
Romine -- BUY

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sky-Walker Weickel

If a guaranteed first round draft pick in the June MLB Draft already had a Bowman Chrome auto, you'd be excited. But if there only existed 900 total copies, of all variations, you should be ecstatic.

Such is the case with Walker Weickel. Released in the 2011 Bowman Chrome USA 18u National Team Autograph insert set, Weickel's autograph (as well as the others in the set) have pretty limited print runs. The parallels are as follows:

  • Refractor: #/417
  • X-Fractor: #/299
  • Blue: #/99
  • Gold: #/50
  • Orange: #/25
  • Red: #/5
  • Superfractor: 1/1
  • Printing Plates: 1/1 - 4 different colored plates

That means only about 900 Weickel Bowman Chrome Autos exist.

Right now, this is an incredible investment. The smart investors are grabbing these for their collections at the moment, and supply is already starting to dry up. Once the June MLB draft comes around, Weickel will start becoming a household name (predicted by many to be a top 10 pick)... think Taillon or Pomeranz.

Once people start learning about Weickel and reading scouting reports, demand will rise quickly. Yet, the supply will not be there as most will already have been scooped up. Low supply + high demand = huge prices. Simple economics.

Recommendation: STRONG BUY

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Intro

This is a blog revolving around the investment of prospect baseball cards, geared towards the prospect collector who already has a moderate familiarity with the hobby. Rather than teach you what a refractor is, I delve right into strategies and predictions regarding prospects as they relate to cards.

My system revolves around "flipping" and "speculating".  Flipping is selling something soon after it is purchased (e.g. buy a lot of 10 cards, then sell them individually for a profit), whereas speculating is making an investment based on predictions of the future (i.e. buying a player whom you think will have a breakout season.)

Basically, I flip so I could have money to speculate.  The blog focuses on the speculation aspect, which encompasses a stock market-type mentality, and as such, each post will conclude with a Buy/Sell recommendation.

My name is Adam. In no way do I guarantee you financial success, but I still take great pride in mapping out and executing profitable investments.

I'd love to hear from you... questions, comments, criticisms, etc.  Make sure you follow the blog and check up on older posts as I'll be updating them as new information surfaces.  Also, be sure to tell your friends.

You can contact me at prospects4cash@gmail.com

Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy and be profitable...