Posted by: portersprospectreport | June 30, 2008

Fav-5 Blossoming Major League Stars

I got to thinking today about players that have graduated from being prospects into bonafide major league players.  Some prospects vault directly into superstardom without many growing pains at the major league level.  Others shine brightly for a brief period before fizzling out into baseball card anonymity.  I have compiled a list of 5 players that I believe are just beginning to turn the corner as they vault their way into baseball stardom. I focused my efforts on players that have had at least 500 AB’s at the major league level or 150 IP.  They are presented in no particular order.

1.) ZACK GREINKE

  • Greinke made a nice comeback last season as a starter and reliever after missing virtually all of 2006 with personal issues.  This season, Grienke has been solid as the stopper for a young Royals team that is still learning how to win.  Grienke has a 92-95 MPH heater with good action and a sharp slider and changeup.  Grienke doesn’t turn 25 until after this season and with Daniel Cortes and Luke Hochevar set to join the rotation alongside Gil Meche and Brian Bannister, it is reasonable to think that the Royals will be a team to watch within the next season or two.  This bode’s well for Greinke’s RC’s which can be found in the 2002 Bowman Chrome and Draft Picks set that are currently selling on Ebay for $2-2.50 each.  He also has an XRC Auto in the underrated UD Prospect Premieres set that sells for $15-20.  Although he is a pitcher and is subject to unpredictible progress, I would not be surprised to see Greinke become a 18-20 game winner soon.

 

RICKIE WEEKS

  • Weeks has not turned into the superstar that the Brewers and everyone else thought he would when he was the 2nd pick of the 2003 MLB Draft.  Weeks has battled strikeouts and inconsistencies over his 3 year career.  This season, Weeks is hitting an abysmal .213 with 7 HR 22 RBI and 11 SB.  Rickie will turn 26 at the end of this season and will be entering the prime years of his career.  It remains to be seen as to whether or not Weeks will take that monumental step into superstardom that he once seemed to be destined to take.  Weeks’ best RC’s are autographed versions in the 2003 Bowman Chrome Draft and SPX sets.  The chromes sell for $20-22.50 and the SPX cards go for double that.  I am encouraged by Weeks’ cutdown in strikeouts this year, he is on pace to score 100 runs for the second consecutive year while walking a career high 65 times.  The 2003 Bowman Chrome Draft set has seen some serious market love over the years like Delmon Young, Nick Markakis, Brandon Wood, Ryan Howard, and Jon Papelbon.  Why can’t a post-hype prospect like Rickie Weeks be the next big offering from that set?

 

JEREMY HERMIDA

  • Hermida enjoyed a successful first full season in 2007 hitting .296 with 18 HR and 63 RBI.  Hermida has had injury bugaboos over the last couple of season which has hampered his power production and market exposure.  This season Jeremy is hitting .271 with 8 HR and 38 RBI, but his strikeout rate is a bit of a concern to me (69 K’s in 71 games).  Hermida plays in a weak collector’s market and is not eligible to be a free agent until 2012.  However, I think that the Marlins will be in the playoff hunt all season and Hermida is going to be a key cog in that offense.  Jeremy’s best cards, like Zack Greinke, can be found in the 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft and he also has and autographed XRC in the UD Prospect Premeires set.  The chromes sell for $3-4 each and the Prospect Premeires auto sells for $22-25.  At age 24, Hermida has several years to develop into the hitting savant that he profiled to be as a teen.

 

4.) COREY HART

  • Hart broke out in his first full season with the Brew Crew hitting .295 with 24 HR 81 RBI and 23 SB.  Hart is 6-6 and 220 lbs, plays all 3 outfield positions and, at 25 years old is ready to enter the prime of his career.  Even more intriguing is the fact that Hart will be a free agent at the end of this season.  Will the Brewers resign him?  My gut tells me no, as they will sew more money into long term deals for Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and J.J. Hardy while finding room for the bevy of prospects at AA like Matt LaPorta, Mat Gamel, Michael Brantley and Cole Gillespie.  If Hart signs a free agent deal with another team, it would seem likely that it will be in a more media-friendly market than Milwaukee.  This bodes well for his value on the open market.  Currently, Hart has his only first year cards in the 2002 Bowman and Chrome DP sets.  His regular chromes sell for between $2-3 each online with refractors selling at $12-15 each.  I think Hart will be wearing a different uniform by next season and he is on the cusp of having a 30/30 season.

 

5.) CARLOS QUENTIN

  • Ok, so Quentin has found his way onto the radar with a major power surge on the south side of Chicago.  However, collectors haven’t warmed to his cards as much as I think they will.  Quentin just hit his 19th HR last night and 40 dingers is not out of the question for this former 1st rounder.  Additionally, he has cut down his strikeouts and increased his walk numbers (41BB/44 K).  Injuries are always a concern with Quentin as his first few seasons in the major leagues have been filled with them.  He is healthy now and in the American League where he can DH if he is a little dinged up.  Quentin has several 2004 RC’s with autographs in Bowman Sterling and Topps Chrome.  Each of these autos sell in the $20-22.50 range, which, to me, seems low for someone who could potentially be the AL homerun leader as soon as this season!  His Bowman Chrome cards sell for $3-4 each.  Quentin, like many of these other fine players, turns 26 near the end of this season and is primed to put up big numbers for the next 7-10 years.

 

Here are my 5.  Which 5 do you think will be superstars within the next season?  Try to use my afore mentioned specifications of 500 AB or 150 IP at the big league level.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. What’s amazing is every one of those cards could have been bought at the beginning of the season for 3 bucks or less. I was buying Grienke autographs for a buck each at a card show in March. Great site by the way!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: