Thursday, August 4, 2011

When you get knocked down, get your ass back on eBay

6 straight losses! 1 game under .500 and 6.5 games out of first place. YUCK!

I thought last night's game would go much better for the Bucs.  Charlie Morton was sensational on the mound and the right guys were up at the plate when there were key run scoring opportunities. Unfortunately none of them could get the job done and the Bucs lost to the Cubbies 1-0 thanks to a solo HR by Starlin Castro off Chris Resop in the top of the 8th.  Another tough loss for the Buccos.  When Ryan Doumit came up to pinch hit, I felt like he was going to have a walk off HR, but reality had to settle in as he struck out in the 9th to end the game.  I've always liked Dewey, but he's always getting injured.  If he could stay healthy for a full season, he could be a top catcher in the NL.

I have recently added Ryan Doumit to players I collect so sell or trade me your Doumits.  Here's my only relics I have of Ryan.  I have some base cards, but need a whole lot more.


Anyway, after the game ended last night I decided to get on eBay and try to win some CHEAP auctions of future Pirates stars.  I gave myself a $20 budget and 20 hours to try and get some autos, relics, parallels, etc.  BTW, my $20 budget does not include s/h.  This is what I came up with, starting with the 2011 Draft Class.

Up first is an Alex Dickerson 2010 Topps Chrome USA Auto that I won for $5.75.  Alex was a 3rd Round pick of the Pirates in the 2011 Draft and signed for slot money early.  He's currently in low A ball playing 1B/OF for the State College Spikes.  He's off to a very good start despite a small sample size of only 16 games.  His slash line is .287/.358/.467 and he has 1HR, 1 3B, and 6 2B of his 17 total hits.  Even his K:BB ratio (7:5) is looking good so far.  Alex was ranked one of the top 50 prospects in the draft prior to draft day.

Up next is one of the future aces of the Pirates. It would be very hard for Gerrit to turn down all that #1 overall pick money, so I'm assuming he's going to sign.  Gerrit's stuff is simply electric and he's built for 200+ innings.  There is no pitcher in the draft that projects better than Gerrit does and that's why the Bucs selected him number 1 overall.  This 2010 Bowman Sterling USA jersey card of Gerrit Cole was purchased for a whopping $1.26. 

From the 2008 draft class and my favorite of the Pirates prospects to watch play is Chase D'arnaud.  I got a chance to watch Chase play a couple games when he was with AA Altoona last year and saw him play one game this year while in AAA.  I knew he was going to be in the majors before the end of this season.  The guy flat out plays hard.  He may have struggled with MLB pitching and made a few mental errors in his time with the Pirates last month, but there's no doubt in my mind he's the shortstop of the future for the team.  This 2011 Topps Pro Debut Double A All Stars card of Chase was won for $1.00 (with free shipping) I realize I may have over paid for a base card, but the free shipping of a player I really enjoy for a buck was too tough to resist.

That brought my total to $8.01 so I wasn't even half way through before I came across this 2011 Bowman Chrome Matt Hague Autograph which I snagged up for $3.99.  Matt wasn't considered a top prospect in the organization until this year and probably still isn't.  The reality is that the Pirates just don't have a lot of quality depth at the 1B position in the immediate future.  Personally I think Matt Curry may be the answer, but that's probably another two years away.  Matt Hague was drafted by the Pirates in the 9th round of the 2008 draft and is currently playing for the AAA Indianapolis Indians.  He's got 9 HR on the year and is batting a solid .314.  He has been consistently near .300 for his minor league career so if he were to bat .275 or so in the majors that would be a great improvement on what the Pirates have sent out in the past.

I'd say with $8 still left to spend, I've already got a good collection of cards for the budget, but you're probably thinking, where's the representation of the 2009 and 2010 draft classes though?  Without further ado I present to you a blue parallel from the 2010 Topps Pro Debut of Brock Holt which I won for $1.50.  I'm not a huge fan of parallel cards as I often forget which versions I have when collecting, but the blue border on this card goes really nice with the State College Spikes uniform.  Brock was selected in the 9th round of 2009 out of Rice University.  He's currently in AA Altoona hitting .277 with 15SB. He can play 2B and SS and could be a good utility player in the Pirates future.  This card is numbered 35/259.

After winning the Holt with a Best Offer almost instantly, I tried my hand at Pirates #1 prospect going into the 2011 season, Jameson Taillon.  Jamo has pitched much better then his numbers indicate for the 2011 season.  There has been a few games in West Virginia where his defense has taken bad routes to fly balls which has lead to earned runs that should have been caught.  As proven in the Adrian Gonzalez trade this past offseason, numbers are practically meaningless to minor league development.  So although the numbers may not represent it early in his career, there's little doubt that in a few years Jameson will be leading the Pirates rotation with Gerrit Cole.  This 2011 Bowman Platinum XFractor was won for $2.00. Jameson is the type of player that I will probably collect when a good opportunity presents itself, but I won't ever consider myself a super collector of his because of the high price tags often attached to his cards.

With just a minute left on the auction I saw this 2011 Bowman Platinum Jameson Taillon AUTO with only 1 bid. I took a stab at it and won it for $6.99.

That brought me to $22.49, which was over my budget.

I still had a bid on this Robbie Grossman 2009 Bowman Sterling AUTO which I won for $1.75.  Robbie was drafted in the 6th round of the 2008 draft out of Cypress Texas High School.  He projects to be a very athletic center fielder with some pop.  He's currently playing for the Bradenton Marauders where he has scored 102 runs in only 107 games.  He made a commitment prior to the season that he was going to score at least 100 runs and be more aggressive on the base paths.  I'd say that philosophy has worked so far.  He's batting .287 with an OBP of .427.  He's struck out 85 times but has 94 walks.  He's also got 23 SB on the year so far.

Well, I went over budget by $4.24 but let's recap what I bought: 4 autos, 1 jersey relic, 1 numbered parallel, and 1 base insert.  Not a bad haul.  Factor in $7.75 s&h and I'd say I did fairly respectable.  I hope you all enjoyed this little budget planning experiment and hopefully learned a little about the Pirates prospects.  Next time I will hit the budget and use S/H as part of the budget.  Taillon autos are just too good to pass up for $7.


  1. Hey man just stumbled onto your blog. Do you have any Andrew McCutchen cards for trade? He's one of the main players I collect.

  2. Thanks for coming across my blog. Cutch is my main player I collect, everything Cutch is in my PC. Sorry, but if I ever come across doubles I will be happy to offer them to you.

  3. Your site has now been added to the Sports Card Blogroll.


    JayBee Anama