Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Three Years Later...

For me 2012 is sort of a special year. It was the first (and only) year I went to college in Japan, it was the first time I lived on my own in a relatively urban area (my apartment was like an hour outside of Tokyo), and it was when I was fully engulfed in this hobby.

Back then I wasn't really aware that so many people in Japan were collectors. I only knew one card collector in Japan at the time and he just came over from San Francisco for a teaching gig. As such most of my cards came from either one of the half-dozen card shops I used to frequent or via cross-pacific trades conducted on forums.

During the process I managed to accomplish one thing I've yet to do since coming back to the states. 


Assemble the entire Yankees Bowman Chrome Prospect Autograph team set. That's right, I managed to obtain all eight certified chrome autographs of the Yankees prospects represented in Bowman, Bowman Chrome and Bowman Draft in 2012.

Today I thought I'd revisit the eight Yankees prospects who got a Bowman Chrome autograph that year and how they're doing three years later in 2015.


Lets start with probably the best prospect in the bunch, Greg Bird.
Bird was originally drafted as a catcher and figured to be another catcher for the system loaded with catching talent but eventually the Yankees moved him to first base. Since then Bird has ascended and turned into one of the Yankees' top prospects. He's got a ton of power, pretty good plate discipline and most of all he projects to be big league ready around the time Mark Teixeira's contract is up (he's already up in triple-A). Brian Cashman even said Bird was one of the Yankees' most untouchable prospects. Bird's the word.
How This Card Was Acquired: Via Trade


We move on from the best(?) hitter to the best(?) pitcher. Rookie Davis has had himself quite a 2015 season. He's pitched very well in high-A Tampa and was recently promoted to double-A Trenton. He's definitely boosted his status as a real legitimate prospect and some experts have even said that he now has the ceiling of a number two starter. Not bad for a fourteenth rounder eh ;)?
How This Card Was Acquired: Via Trade


Okay here we have the guy people sort of expected to be the best hitter in the bunch. Dante Bichette Jr., as some of you can probably tell, is the son of former big leaguer Dante Bichette who was the Yankees' first round pick in 2011. DBJ's development hasn't gone as smoothly as the Yankees would've liked. He figured to be in the Yankees' plan pretty soon but he started facing trouble in 2012 and struggled mightily until 2014 when he rebounded in a big way that game the Yankees confidence to send him up to double-A. However here in 2015 he's crashed back down to earth, what does the future hold for Bichette? Your guess is as good as mine.
How This Card Was Acquired: Via Trade


I assume that in every farm system there's that one guy who's got lots of talent and lots of potential, but nagging injuries seem to never allow that guy to get the chance to really show their stuff and (above all) improve. The Yankees have a lot of guys like that but Tyler Austin is the guy who currently fits that bill the most. After a few seasons that were derailed by injuries and a 2014 season that was almost derailed by injuries, Austin figured to at least show that he's still a in-house option for the outfield should Beltran or some other outfielder fall on the DL. On the whole Austin's 2015 hasn't been too bad (or has it?) but at this point he's been leapfrogged on the OF depth chart by Aaron Judge and even other injury prone OFers like Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott.
How This Card Was Acquired: Via Trade


When word of the Jesus Montero-for-Michael Pineda blockbuster swap got out, many speculated that Jose Campos was the best pitcher in the bunch. Before having Tommy John surgery he was said to be electric and had top of the rotation stuff. Tommy John slowed Campos' roll but he's still an intriguing prospect. I'm not entirely sure what his ceiling is or if he can even reach it, but he's still out there trying.
How This Card Was Acquired: Via Trade


Here we have the only guy (so far) to already be out of affiliated ball. Ravel Santana was briefly a fringe top prospect in the Yankees org after putting up an impressive campaign in rookie-ball. He's since become the most recent poster child for not believing in GCL stats as he quickly crashed and burned after he was promoted to short season Staten Island in 2012. Although rumor had it that his struggles were due to various unconfirmed and undefined injuries he suffered in late 2011 that also kept him out of action for pretty much all of 2013. He was picked up by the Astros in the 2012-13 offseason as part of the Rule 5 draft and had one more go as a member of the Tri-City Valleycats before being released. He last played professionally for San Rafael Pacifics in the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball in 2014 before calling it quits.
How This Card Was Acquired: Via Trade


Alright, back to people still playing, barely. Ty Hensley man, this guy just can't catch a break. After two years of getting surgeries all over his body with a few innings pitched thrown in between, he returned to action in late 2014 as a member of the Staten Island Yankees. It looked like he was finally going to make up for lost time and be the premier pitching prospect the Yankees drafted in the first round in 2012. Unfortunately fate had other cruel plans for him and his season ended before it started thanks to Tommy John surgery. It's really not fair. He's such a nice person. Why do bad things keep happening to him?
Maybe I'm a bit biased because I met him last year (and still dealing with how surreal it is that I guy I pulled his autograph of in Japan is a guy I met in the flesh two years later) but still.
Anyway my optimistic outlook on Hensley is that he'll regain some form in 2016 and hopefully/finally be able to reach Tampa by year's end. My pessimistic outlook is that he goes on to prove he's been a magnet for injuries who continues to break our hearts with every set back. IT'S NOT FAIR!
How This Card Was Acquired: Pack Pulled By Me :)


The last Bowman Chrome Prospect Autograph is of Austin Aune. A two way player in college, Aune's career as a professional baseball player started very slowly and pretty badly, but in 2014 he finally made it to Staten Island and here in 2015 he's really shown lots of improvement. There's still a long ways to go and Aune still has a lot to prove, but man, seeing a guy manage to somewhat get back on track sure is great. I'm still kicking myself for not taking a picture of him last year when he was a SI Yankee.
How This Card Was Acquired: Pack Pulled By Me :)


While I'm talking about the Yankees who had Bowman Chrome autographs in 2012 I might as well talk about one more guy. As you can see it's Dellin Betances who had a Bowman Chrome autograph as a rookie and not as a prospect in 2012. If you were a genuine Betances collector/fan like I was in 2012, it was a glorious time to pick up his stuff. He had just suffered one of the worst seasons of his career as a professional and his prospect status was all but gone. He later reinvented himself as a reliever who throws pure heat and turned into the best reliever the Yankees have ever had (take that Rivera!). Betances here was the only Yankee in 2012 to get a Bowman Chrome Rookie Autograph. I guess that Jesus Montero might've gotten one as well if he had stayed a Yankee (although evidence suggests Bowman originally planned to include him in 2011 Draft).
How This Card Was Acquired: Via Trade

After coming stateside I originally had plans to build the 2013 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autograph New York Yankees team set but after discovering the greatness of TTMs and IPs, obtaining certified autographs became less of a priority for me. I'm somewhat tempted to do so again here in 2015 but then again it has that three headed monster that is Severino-Refsnyder-Mateo. Maybe 2016 Bowman?

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

4 comments:

  1. Completing that set crosses my mind a lot too. As long as you don't get a super prospect like Trout, Harper and Bryant it is doable.

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    1. As long as your team is good, you should've have to worry about the uber prospect ruining your chance of assembling the team set ;).

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  2. Sigh. So much promise in those guys, without much to show for it.

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    1. Have hope man, Greg Bird is getting closer!

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