Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Life of a Prospect Autograph

Release Date - one month

I try not to buy prospect Bowman Chrome autos upon release. Hype and impatient buyers drive up demand and supply is still low because cases have yet to be cracked. 
Wait at least a month until supply increases and hype tones down. 

Pre-Season Debut

During the pre-season, analysts release their prospect rankings. High rankings add to hype and demand and can boost the value of a prospect even if his auto was just released. 
This is a good time to sell older prospects who have shot up rankings. 

Debut Season

This is the first season of a prospect after his chrome auto was released. Here's where most of the
action is, which is where we like to be.

I try to take profits where I can, so any quick spike of 25% during the first season is a nice time to take profits.

Keep note of rumors and news, and sell on the news of promotions or rumors of possible promotions.

Look for top prospects you like who are struggling in their first month or so and load up.  Take special note of prospect hitters who are struggling in CAL or PCL, as hitters in those leagues tend to heat up with the weather.  For the most part, steer clear of catchers, second basemen, and limit your holdings of pitchers to only about 20% of your portfolio.

The Road to the Bigs

I like to hold a handful of prospects through the end of the first year, into the next.  Look to start buying during the height of the NFL season, when prices are low due to no demand.

After that first year, try to find prospects who aren't overly hyped, but might make their debut on a Top 100 prospect list, so you get a spike when the list comes out.

Take note of hitters who might play next year in the CAL or PCL.  These are hitter's leagues.  Here are the teams:

CAL (A Advanced)
Bakersfield Blaze  - Cincinnati Reds
Modesto Nuts  - Colorado Rockies
San Jose Giants  - San Francisco Giants
Stockton Ports  - Oakland Athletics
Visalia Rawhide  - Arizona Diamondbacks
High Desert Mavericks  - Seattle Mariners
Inland Empire 66ers  - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Lake Elsinore Storm  - San Diego Padres
Lancaster JetHawks  - Houston Astros
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes  - Los Angeles Dodgers

Colorado Springs Sky Sox  - Colorado Rockies
Iowa Cubs  - Chicago Cubs
Oklahoma City RedHawks  - Houston Astros
Omaha Storm Chasers  - Kansas City Royals
Memphis Redbirds- St. Louis Cardinals
Nashville Sounds  - Milwaukee Brewers
New Orleans Zephyrs  - Miami Marlins
Round Rock Express  - Texas Rangers
Fresno Grizzlies  - San Francisco Giants
Reno Aces  - Arizona Diamondbacks
Sacramento River Cats  - Oakland Athletics
Tacoma Rainiers  - Seattle Mariners
Albuquerque Isotopes- Los Angeles Dodgers
El Paso Chihuahuas  - San Diego Padres
Las Vegas 51s  - New York Mets
Salt Lake Bees  - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Getting the Call

I almost never hold through a prospect's promotion.  Prospectors just don't get that excited once a prospect is a MLB regular.  However, values do spike when rumors or news come out pointing to a prospect's promotion.  This is when I sell.  I don't care what he does when he gets promoted.  I profit when I can.


Up next will be an article with the few exceptions to the "No Major Leaguer" rule: players who have lost prospect status or are expected to make their major league rosters this year.

These guys are few and far between, but I'll tell you who I think is currently undervalued...

There's a recurring theme if you're paying attention.  It seems counter-intuitive, but it's not. Sell when a prospect is hot.  Buy when they're struggling.  Highlight/Circle/Type in bold/stick post it notes on your wall - any hitter (esp. with a history of plenty of doubles), who will be playing in CAL or PCL in the near future.

Brandon Wood is a career .186 hitter.  In 2005, he played in BOTH the PCL and CAL... the result?
.321 - 53 doubles - 43 HR -- one of the best minor league seasons of all time... and this inflation happens every year in the PCL and CAL.

Thanks for reading.