Thursday, September 11, 2014

Off-Season Backstops

The offseason for the Yankees MiLB affiliate have begun. Despite this, I've been picking up minor league cards of Yankees prospects at an insane rate recently. From whole team sets to singles picked up from God-knows where (mostly eBay or COMC). Today I thought I'd share with you all some of the Yankee catchers I've been picking up recently.

One is a certified autograph of LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS from 2013 Panini Perennial Prizm Draft Picks. This one's been on my radar for a while but I never got around to scooping one up because it was a redemption. But once I saw a live one on eBay for a relatively decent price, I swooped in and it was mine.

Another Luis card from Panini, this time it's a die-cut from 2013 Elite Extra. According to Beckett Luis does not have a base card in 2013 EEE (which isn't a problem for me lol), but what he does have are autographs (all redemptions) and a few die cuts. This is an emerald die cut numbered to 25. As of this moment it's also the only Luis card in my collection that hasn't been autographed.

Gary Sanchez is somewhat of an enigma for me. I want to like him (he's a catcher and the Yankees top prospect) but for some reason I've never considered him a top priority when it comes to my collection. Maybe that'll change if I ever get to meet the guy but for now I feel like the only reason I'm collecting Sanchez is because he's a top Yankees prospect/backstop.

Gary's most recent MiLB card is this Brandt card featuring him as a Trenton Thunder. If all goes well he may get up to Scranton (AAA) next year.

I blogged about this particular Sanchez just yesterday. I still love how shiny and sparkly it is.

A Sanchez card from the 2013 FSL Top Prospect set. For people who collect players that were pretty darn good in the minors, its cards like this that drive them nuts.

Believe it or not, Romine had a pretty decent season in AAA this season. He only appeared in two games with the big league Yankees and wasn't one of the recent September call-ups. Okay scratch that, Cervelli got hurt again and Romine got called up to be the team's third catcher.

Technically this isn't a recent pick-up but I haven't acquired any Murphy cards in the past couple of months so I'm including this pickup from November 2013 anyway. At the time I overpaid for this refractor auto (cost me $5) which were going for $2.74 (on average) on eBay and COMC. One year later, I still think I overpaid.

I was initially torn on including this one because Bird is no longer a catcher and has been converted into a first baseman. However, there is a part of me that still considers Greg Bird a catcher and I'll probably continue to think so even if there's a good chance that he'll never wear the tools of ignorance again.
BTW, I love this card because of how fantastic the photo is. I consider it one of those "so HD that it looks like a really amazing painting" photos.

Although this is a cool one too since it's a minor league exclusive :).

What would a post about Yankees catchers on my blog be without Francisco Cervelli?
His minor league cards represent a huge hole in my collection, unfortunately plugging it up is not as cheap or fast as I would like it to be.

An even older Cervelli card. If memory serves this is pretty much the second card of Cervelli ever produced/distributed. The first was his card in the 2006 Staten Island Yankees team set. And the number one card on my most wanted list.

Now what would a post on my blog about Yankees prospects be without a Staten Island Yankee?
Representing the SI Yankees here is the Higster, Kyle Higashioka. He started his career strong but since then he's been pelted with injuries.

Here's an awesome name for you, Tyson Blaser.
Blaser was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2011 and has been climbing the ladder, falling off the ladder, and re-climbing the ladder up these past few years. He skipped SI altogether and was in Trenton in 2014 before landing on the DL late in the season.

Recently I picked up the 2014 Charleston Riverdogs set as it featured a lot of former Staten Island Yankees. One of them was Kale Sumner here, who I had the pleasure of meeting in person back in 2013. He looks calm and collected, but man is he a fierce competitor.

The other catcher in the Riverdogs team set was Eduardo De Oleo here. I first heard about Oleo in late 2013 when I saw a report on potential 2014-Staten Island Yankees. Oleo spent 2013 in the GCL but skipped Staten Island and went straight to Charleston in 2014. And judging from how he was doing well enough to keep LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS in Staten Island even after his rehab stint was over, he won't be coming to SI ever. Oddly enough he follows me on Twitter. Cool!

Ending on a bittersweet note, here's O'Brien's second-to-last last MiLB card as a member of the Yankees organization. Peter O'Brien was a home run hitting monster who kept getting moved around from position to position during his tenure with New York. Even though he's now in the Diamondbacks organization, his future position is still unclear. What is clear is that, ultimately, his bat will carry him. Hopefully it carries him far in a division that has two insanely hitter friendly parks and three insanely hitter killing parks. Far enough that the Yankees sign him as a free agent a few years down the line.

Anyway as you can probably tell I have a thing for home grown Yankee catchers. Growing up I was a catcher and the closest thing I have/had to a "favorite player growing up" was Jorge Posada. As such I consider homegrown Yankee catchers as Gods and free agent catchers from other teams as the most vile humans who ever existed (looking at you McCann and Stewart).
Basically this whole post full of cards that have been zoomed in unnecessarily is to announce that I have a new mini-collection. Homegrown Yankee Catchers in the post-Posada (or post-Jesus Montero) era. This is (currently) my third biggest priority. Right behind LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS (#1) and the Staten Island Yankees (#2), and in front of the T206 Highlanders (pretty distant #4).

I apologize in advance to PATP for ripping off his love of catchers (don't worry, a batch of Rangers cards are on their way to, hopefully, make up for it) and would like to thank the rest of you readers for stopping by. As always, take care :).


  1. Catchers are the only guys on defense standing in foul territory and facing everyone else...making them really the center of attention. Catchers are great.

    And McCann is generally vile.

    1. Very true, catchers are great and McCann is quite vile.

  2. Hey, a LUIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS sighting! Awesomesauce!

  3. I like that RiverDogs team set! Nice pickups all around!

  4. That is an impressive group of cards.