Monday, April 30, 2018

Giving Some Attention To The Others

Bowman baseball is out. Apparently it's all the rage across the US and Japan as stores are having a tough time keeping the stuff in stock.

Since I'm the resident prospect dude (sort of) on here I got myself some Bowman right?

Wrong. I actually stopped by my LCS on release day but the prices were insane. Not just for the boxes but for individual packs. Packs!

I love my prospects but there's no way I'm dishing out $5+ for a pack of what will probably amount to garbage. Especially when I can spend that same amount of money on getting more Luis Torrens BoChro autographs.

And based on results left by my friends overseas who have busted multiple cases of the stuff it looks like the odds of pulling a Shohei Ohtani auto or any sort of refractor autograph are pretty steep. Likely a result of Topps producing immense loads of the stuff (and yet it amazingly still keeps flying off shelves).

Anyway it looks like a few of you on here have managed to luck into some Bowman. Congrats to those of you who did. I hope you all had great pulls.

Now we all know that Ohtani is the name to chase here. But for the rest of this post let me just go into my favorites and let you all know who else I would want to pull in this year's Bowman offering.

Zippy's Picks Part 1: The Dodgers

I have to be really careful here because there are a few Dodgers prospects I like that I hope will be in future installments of my "Ode To A Dodgers Prospect" series, but it would be a crime for me to not mention that the Dodgers are LOADED. The Dodgers checklist is so good that if Bowman was halfway affordable this blog would've turned into a Dodgers prospect blog in an instant.

The two token Dodgers rookies are Walker Buehler and Alex Verdugo. Two prospects/rookies that I absolutely love and adore. Seriously, they're right at the top of my favorite non-Yankees prospect rankings, right behind Luis Torrens. Those two command some serious coin on the open market right now because the Dodgers have clear needs in both the starting rotation and in the outfield. Also because they're both really fucking good.

On the prospects side we have Keibert Ruiz, Jered Kendall, DJ Peters (autograph) and Dennis Santana. All of whom are considered to be in the top 10 on most/if not all Dodgers prospect rankings. These are all great players to get.

Keibert Ruiz is an elite catching prospect who, depending on who you ask, may be the second best prospect in the system behind Walker Buehler (and ahead of Verdugo!). He's a catcher who can hit. That says it all.

Jeren Kendall was the Dodgers' first round pick last year and he has the tools and potential to be a really really good centerfielder. Although gives him the really unfortunate comparison of Jacoby Ellsbury ("vintage Jacoby").

DJ Peters has his first Bowman Chrome autograph in this product (he previously made his Bowman debut in 2016 Bowman Draft). Peters draws comparisons to Aaron Judge because he's a huge man who hits right handed and has power for days.

Dennis Santana is a shortstop-turned-pitcher who is armed with mid-to-high 90's heat, a slider and a changeup. He may end being the next position player-turned reliever for the Dodgers.

Also a quick shoutout to Matt Beaty who has a retail autograph. Dude's a top 30 prospect in the Dodgers system. If you pull his autograph congrats, please send it to me for free.

Notable non-autographed Dodgers include Mitchell White and Yadier Alvarez (big Yadi Alv guy too for the record).

Zippy's Picks Part 2: The Yankees

In spite of me almost turning into an LAD blogger there, I'm drawn back into the fold with a few of the cool Yankees to chase.

Thairo Estrada, my second biggest PC guy behind Luis Torrens, finally got an autograph. Albeit in retail form.

Matt Sauer was the Yankees' second round pick last year and by far the most talented player they added in the draft. Sauer is the lone Bowman Chrome autograph subject for the Yankees. He's struggled a bit since turning pro but expectations are high for him.

Estevan Florial only has an insert in the product but he's worth mentioning because right now his cards will go for a premium due to him having so little out there at the moment.

Notable non-autographed Yankees include Gleyber Torres, Domingo Acevedo and Justus Sheffield.

Zippy's Picks Part 3: The Cubs

You know me, it's all about the big markets because they're the only ones that matter.

Adbert Alzolay is the Cubs' number one prospect. And for good reason as he's got a reasonable ceiling as a middle of the rotation starter with a good fastball, good curveball and good-ish changeup.

Notable non-autographed Cubs: none.

Zippy's Picks Part 4: The Rest

Alright, these players aren't Dodgers or Yankees or Cubs so they're not worth getting that much into (at least not for me) so I'll just list names and a quick sentence on why they're worth mentioning.

*Rhys Hoskins (RC)
-This is his first official Bowman Chrome brand autograph. $$$!

*Luis Robert
-An elite (Moncada levels of elite) prospect for the Chicago White Sox

*Ronald Acuna
-You all should know how good this guy is by now

*Christian Pache
-A top 10 prospect in a loaded Braves farmsystem

*Keibert Ruiz
-I know I mentioned him already but damn it, he's so fucking good!

*Hunter Greene
-An elite. ELITE prospect in the Reds farmsystem.

*Colton Welker
-A rising star prospect in a so-so Rockies farmsystem

*Jose Siri
-A top 10 prospect in a pretty deep Reds farmsystem

*MacKenzie Gore
-A top 3 prospect in an absolutely loaded Padres farmsystem

*Brendan McKay
-Top Rays prospect who is also hitting and pitching at the same time (ala Ohtani)

*J.B. Bukauskas
-A top 5 prospect in a so-so Astros farmsystem

*Royce Lewis
-Last year's first overall pick

*Andres Gimenez
-Top Mets prospect who the Mets will screw up developing

*Daniel Johnson
-Top 10 Nationals prospect who might end up being Harper's successor

*Victor Robles
-Top Nationals prospect who might realistically end up being Harper's successor

*Jo Adell
-Elite Angels prospect who's given the system a much needed boost

*Fernando Tatis Jr.
-An absolute beast in the Padres farmsystem

*Shed Long
-Dude's name is Shed. Long.

Alright that's enough. There's a few other notable names but they're mostly repeaters (Michael Kopech/AJ Puk/Mitch Keller etc...) and a lot of you might already know them.

Anyway that was my premier on Bowman.

Obviously I am after Thairo, the Dodgers quartet and Alzolay (in that order). I am this close to dangling my Reggie Jackson autograph as trade bait for something that really wows me (if you're a trustworthy enough trading partner).

Real close.

As always thanks for stopping by and Go Dodgers! take care.

Friday, April 27, 2018









では次は別のサイトから注文したカードを紹介します。Check Out My Cards (通称 COMC)というシングル買いをするのにはどこよりも便利はサイトです。




サハレットは良かったのですけど19世紀のカードだという保証がないためこれも買っておきました。こちらは 1890年代にSweet Caporalというタバコ会社が発行したN245シリーズのカードです。舞台女優(おそらく)のキャリー・ウィルソンが写っています。



次には1902年当たりに発行された、またもやOgdenブランドのタバコカードです。こちらはS.S. Lucaniaという古いイギリスのオーシャン・ライナーです。









Thanks To Miggy

A while back I blogged about how I sold off my Miggy Andujar autograph. It got me a nice chunk of change and naturally I spent it on baseball cards on two certain websites.


I got this money thanks to eBay, so it's only natural that I buy stuff there too.

I've also gotta go with something Yu-Gi-Oh! related.
But I won't dwell on that too much so this is the only YGO card I'll show.

This is the only card intended for someone else that I'll show this time. Reason being that it's one of those 1/1 Blank Backs straight from the Topps Vault on eBay. You see, one of my contacts in Japan is a Shelby Miller super collector and I figure I'd send them this as part of a trade we're working on.

I'm still on the fence about these blank backs because they're really gimmicky and kind of dumb, but there's still something inherently cool about them too (because they're still 1/1's straight from the company). I guess it also helps that I'm paid for this with found money, not my hard earned money. That helps.

It's Ronny Rojas again. This card was something I wanted for a while but never pulled the trigger for because the shipping fee's were always higher than the card itself. But when you have found money to play with, you just buy that shit (it also helps that the seller accepted my offer and took a dollar off). I know I said I was going to do a scouting report on him but that would make this post way too long, so that's another topic for another day.

Anyway that concludes the eBay portion. Now let's look at a service that I really only use when necessary (ie when a Torrens 1/1 pops up) or when I have some money to play with.


I love Check Out My Cards because their catalogue is so detailed and the whole site is easy to navigate through, but their cards have started to get pricier. That said, they are a significant influence on me as a collector and as a consumer in general. Because whenever I buy something, I tend to think in terms of what the money could've gotten me if I'd spent it on cards. Like say I'm at somewhere that happens to sell packs and I'm tempted to pick something up, I naturally look at the price and see that it's like $3 a pack or something with like 10 cards inside. That's nice but in my mind I go "$3 for 10 cards that will likely be ass, or $3 for 9 cards I could use on COMC that are priced at $30-ish cents?" Yeah, my own personal definition of opportunity cost is how many base cards I could've gotten on COMC for most financial transactions lol.

So from COMC I picked up a bunch of retail parallels for my friends overseas but I picked up some stuff for me too.

Like this 2017 Topps mini base card of Luis Torrens. FINALLY, after all of these months I have the base card. I still need two more parallels though (I think).

No COMC order is ever complete without me getting at least one Torrens BoChro autograph. At the time this one was the only one that was priced appropriately (less than $3). It's BoChro base autograph number 16 for me.

Hell yeah, going back to the ancient vintage folks.
This here is a 1898-1902 Ogden's tobacco card of a lovely lady only referred to as "Saharet".
The back is blank and offers no real information. Google doesn't bring up much either. But what I do know is that this card is trimmed. Because usually Ogden cards are supposed to have a "Ogden's Cigarettes" logo/banner type of thing next to the picture. I'm guessing that that part was cut off and became lost to the sands of time. I still wanted this though as I'm a sucker for a cute face and a cuter perm.

The Saharet was nice but with no real assurance that it was from the 1890's I really wanted to get something that would bring my collection in the 19th century. So enter this 1890's Sweet Caporal N245 tobacco card of Carrie Wilson.

The back has substantial paper loss, but it's from the 1800's so who cares. I tried looking up who Carrie Wilson was but came up empty.
Still, this is super dope and I'm glad that I've finally been able to bring the 19th century into my collection.

One interesting thing with the Caporal N245 is that it's a bit warped/curved. I asked Andy Broome (the senior vintage trading card grader over at Beckett) if that's normal and he assured me that it is. In fact in a conversation with Nick he confirmed that it's due to some sort of coating put on the photographs/cards. Interesting stuff.

Ever since I first saw Billy Kingsley blog about the boats on Ogden's Cigarettes cards he got, I've wanted a copy for myself. Well okay I got two women first, but third time's the charm.

Here is the SS Lucania. A Cunard Line vessel that made several voyages from Liverpool to New York in the late 1890's and early 1900's. There's even a log of all of the trips it made here.

Okay fourth time's the charm, I got another boat to really nail down the "people who like old cards depicting boats" demographic I'm after (a total of 0 people).
This here is a Russian cruiser called "The Variag". A ship so important that it has its own Wikipedia article. One thing I learned on that page is that the Varyag (it can be spelled with both a y and i) was once part of the Imperial Japanese navy, cool!

So yeah, a ship that came to New York and another ship that was part of the Japanese navy. I picked wisely if I do say so myself as a Japanese New Yorker.

Alright, now let's get back to the 21st century with a minor league issued card of Bryce Harper.

Despite what you might think, these 2011 Hagerstown Suns cards are pretty common and affordable. Multi-Ad (and the Suns) tried to capitalize on Harper mania so they printed a lot of these cards out. There are several different types too. But in the end I'm always happy to get my hands on early pre-MLB Bryce Harper.

Hark a hockey card! Autographed at that! Of Rangers winger Jesper Fast. Near the end of the season when the Rangers just tried experimenting with putting players at various positions (or at least I think that's what they did since I'm still unsure of what Alain Vigneault was trying to accomplish), Fast started making some noise as an all around solid player. Also as a versatile player who'd be a great asset on any contending team. I assume that one of the questions surrounding the Rangers this offseason will be if they choose to hold on to or trade Jesper there. You could go either way with him.

Here's a guy who will be a part of the Rangers future going forward though. Pavel Buchnevich was pretty fun to watch whenever he actually got some playing time this past season. He'll be one of the many reasons why the Rangers rebuild won't take as long as it would for other teams. The guy makes shit happen.

And those were my pickups from the Andujar sale.

You know, I think this post might actually be the ultimate representation of what I really collect. This haul had Torrenses, other Yankees prospects (well okay only one here), Yu-Gi-Oh!, minor league cards, New York Rangers cards, weird gimmicky stuff, and ancient vintage that precedes the Titanic. Yeah that all sounds about right.

As of this post I still have some money left over because I'm waiting to see if something pops up, or if I'll finally pull the trigger on some miscellaneous stuff I'm after.
The only thing I really had on my radar that I didn't get to acquire is a Mats Zuccarello autograph but the ones I saw on eBay and COMC were very overpriced. Plus if he gets traded on/before the draft I know that his prices will crater so I can just wait for that.

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

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Ode To A Dodgers Prospect (2018 Ed.)

It is time once again to come out of the shadows and reveal myself as a closet Dodgers fan with my yearly post about a Dodgers prospect I like.

Today's post will be about their top outfield prospect (that's not named Alex Verdugo), Yusniel Diaz.

Yusniel Diaz hails from Cuba and was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an international free agent back in 2015. Depending on who you ask he'll currently fall within the 5-10 range on most of the Dodgers' top prospect rankings.

For good reason too because the guy can flat out hit. He's not going to contend for a home run title anytime soon but he has the ability to make contact and put the ball in play. His contact ability is what most consider to be his strongest attribute (at least offensively). If he pans out, expect him to be the guy who has insane BABIP luck and manages to reach the bases when things are going his way. It also helps that scouts consider his approach to be very patient. He'll take a walk if the pitcher's just throwing garbage his way.

Diaz the baserunner is where scouts start to question his usefulness. Diaz is no slouch but he's not exactly Billy Hamilton. In fact he had a -2.7 wSB (per Fangraphs) last year in 82 high-A games last year. Which basically translates to, he's been caught stealing more often than the number of times he's been able to steal. Which is kind of unfortunate given how he has the potential to be a guy who can get on base a lot. Although who knows, maybe he learns to be a better runner as time goes on with the speed he does have.

Defensively Diaz projects to be a right fielder. Diaz's aforementioned lack of speed seems to be one reason why his range is better suited for right field as opposed to centerfield. Luckily Diaz has the arm strength to play in both right and centerfield.

Overall Diaz's ceiling appears to be that of a fourth outfielder type who can make some plays happen and provide adequate defense. Which would be fantastic for the Dodgers. You might think that LAD would want more for the $15.5 million they paid for him (in addition to the $15.5 million in penalty fees on top of that), but getting a serviceable fourth outfielder out of the crapshoot that is the international amateur market for that is a move any GM would make.

Hopefully he forces the issue by being a consistent hitter who can manage to make his way on base and provide really good defense in right field.

All in all, Diaz will be an interesting guy to watch as he gets closer to the big leagues. At least for me. He'll really have to make up for his lack of power with his on-base and defensive skills, but I think he's got what it takes to be a really really solid outfielder for years to come.

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


Monday, April 23, 2018

Chronic 2001

After I sold my Miguel Andujar autograph, I promptly spent a lot of that money on baseball cards. Now I'm planning one big wrap-up post for all of my cards but one of the cards that I absolutely had to blog about on its own was this.

It's a 2017 Panini Contenders autograph of Yankees prospect Ronny Rojas. On the surface it doesn't seem too special or notable does it? It looks like any old unlicensed (well okay Panini does have the DPL license which is nice) card. Complete with Panini brand sticker. So what makes this so special?

The answer is on the back

Hmm, no serial number so it's not like a rare 1/1 or anything. What could it be?

Well, look at the first four lines in that box of text.

"On Aug. 23, 2001 an otherwise normal Thursday in the Dominican Republic, a shortstop was born."

Yes, this is special because the card specifically tells us what day a shortstop (Ronny Rojas there) was born, Thursday!

Also Ronny Rojas was born in 2001. Yes. The year of our lord, TWO THOUSAND AND ONE.

I'll get into my usual scouting report schtick with Rojas in the wrap-up post. Because this post is all about making people feel old.

Brewers prospect Larry Ernesto, Born in 2000
Scan courtesy of COMC

As shocking as the revelation may be that we're getting cards of players born in 2000 to some, it doesn't surprise me one bit. Reason being that we've already had 2000's babies in pro ball since a lot of the international amateurs became professionals in 2016 (2016-16=2000).

I'm sure that Panini or Topps or whoever the fuck have released other cards of players born in the 2000s, but this is the first one to enter my collection. It will not be the last.

Mets Prospect Adrian Hernandez, Born in 2001
Scan courtesy of COMC

Keep in mind that we are now in 2018. What that effectively means is that your favorite team will very likely draft somebody who was born in 2000 this year. That high-upside kid out of high school your team drafted? Yeah, by the time he was born SpongeBob Squarepants had already aired.

Which of course means there are going to be more of these 2000's (and beyond) babies to come in our upcoming prospect-themed products. Then eventually the major league products.

You have all been warned.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Bat Blog Around: My All Autograph Team

It took a while but I think I finally came up with an idea for a bat blog around.

About two years ago my collector friends in Japan did a fun little challenge where they constructed a starting nine/10 lineup with their best MLB/MiLB autographs at each position. Now "best" is subjective. Some people went with best in terms of the best on their favorite team at the moment, or possibly the best at the position in franchise history, or just go with the best in general regardless of team. In my case I went with players who were my favorites in general (so Luis Torrens was at every position).
This variety is what made the challenge so fun and gave people a chance to flex and show off some of their autographs.

I know that not everyone on our corner of the blogosphere is an autograph nut, but if you're in this hobby long enough you'll accumulate a decent number of them for one reason or another (usually because of the kindness of strangers). Anyway I wanted to revive this fun little challenge for my friends here on the blogosphere as my first Bat Blog Around.

So my version is going to basically be the same. EXCEPT that instead of just the starting eight position players and the starting pitcher, I'm going to add two relievers, a DH/PH and a closer (Card Gen style baby!). So 13 names in total. Sidenote, feel free to have platoons if you so choose ;).

Obviously you can use any of the players you want as long as you have an autograph of theirs. Their autograph can be on things that aren't cards if you want (balls, 8x10 pictures, a lamp, etc...).

Also if you really don't have an autograph at a certain position, feel free to use an autograph of a player at another position you do have to fill that slot if necessary.

Without further ado, here's mine to kick things off.


Honorable Mentions: Francisco Cervelli, Jorge Posada, Gary Sanchez, Pedro Severino, Chance Sisco, Carson Kelly, Austin Hedges, Lucas Hebert, Dioner Navarro, Jesus Montero, John Ryan Murphy, Austin Romine

1B - Daniel Vogelbach

Honorable Mentions: Greg Bird, Brendan McKay, Mike Napoli, Rhys Hoskins, Tyler Austin, Casey Kotchman, John Olerud, Chris Chambliss

2B - Oswaldo Cabrera

Honorable Mentions: Bobby Richardson, Ben Zobrist, Joe Panik, Neil Walker, Jedd Gyorko

SS - Thairo Estrada

Honorable Mentions: A-Rod, Derek Jeter, Didi Gregorius, Royce Lewis, Willy Adames, Amed Rosario, Trevor Story, Troy Tulowitzki, Orlando Arcia, Jorge Mateo, Trea Turner

3B - Joey Gallo

Honorable Mentions: Adrian Beltre, Wade Boggs, Miguel Andujar, Rafael Devers, Ron Cey, Trey Mancini, Michael Franco, Chase Headley, Todd Frazier, Jake Lamb, Brandon Drury

OF - Victor Robles
OF - Jose Bautista
OF - Aaron Judge

Honorable Mentions: Brett Gardner, Michael Conforto, Bucky Dent, Kevin Kiermaier, Clint Frazier, Austin Meadows, Lou Piniella, Harrison Bader, Ian Happ, Alex Verdugo, Lewis Brinson, Nick Castellanos, Max Kepler, Joc Pederson, Kevin Pillar

DH/PH - Alex Rodriguez

Honorable Mentions: Hideki Matsui, Adam Dunn, Josh Hamilton, Dave Kingman, ROCK SHOULDERS

SP - Clayton Kershaw

Honorable Mentions: Hiroki Kuroda, Shigeru Sugishita, Don Larsen, Noah Syndergaard, Jose Berrios, Julio Urias, Walker Buehler, David Price, Michael Fulmer, Corey Kluber, Luis Castillo, Doug Fister, Nick Tropeano, Josh Hader, Anibal Sanchez, Aaron Nola, Jordan Zimmermann, Alex Reyes, A.J. Burnett, Jose De Leon, Kyle Freeland, Chien-Ming Wang, Brent Honeywell, Danny Salazar, Gaylord Perry, Dave Righetti, Ron Guidry

RP - Dellin Betances
RP - David Robertson

Honorable Mentions: Masanori Murakami, Junichi Tazawa, Chris Sale, Tyler Clippard, Luke Gregerson, Domingo German, Sean Doolittle, C.J. Edwards, Andrew Miller, David Phelps, Adam Warren, Zach McAllister, Mark Melancon, Pat Venditte, Seth Lugo

CL - Mariano Rivera

Honorable Mentions: Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller, Ken Giles, Addison Reed, Greg Holland, Raisel Iglesias, Brandon League

So there's my starting lineup. I know that some of my picks were questionable (especially over a lot of the honorable mentions), but this is what makes this fun.

I can't wait to see the kind of autograph teams the rest of you all come up with :).

As always thanks for stopping by and take care.