Mail Day Catch-up: 4/22/13

Posted: April 22, 2013 by Crackin' Wax in Mail Day, Minnesota Twins
Tags: , , , , , ,

My ebaying spree continues on with even more goodies to strike off of my Want List. Now we’re getting into the harder-to-get Twins rookie/first card autos. There are always going to be the Bowman Chrome types who will never make it to the Majors which, in turn, makes gobbling up their RC and FC AU cards cheap and easy. There are also always going to be the kinds of players that even fans of other markets who don’t even pay attention to their own Minor League affiliates have heard of (Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper come to mind). The following cards come closer to the latter category than the former. With that in mind, they also took longer and cost more to acquire. I’m fairly certain that I overpaid quite a bit for one of them. That’s okay, though. I got a hell of a steal on a card late last night that I’ll post about once it arrives.

Once again, this post and my Twins RC/FC AU Personal Collection is brought to you by my super cool new transparent case binder.

click to view larger version

The Bowman design has gotten cleaner over the years. To me, this 2012 design, while very simplistic and uncomplicated, looks far better than the design from just a year prior. While, as usual, the Chrome technology is difficult to scan, the autograph picks up very well and the player is the obvious focal point. I might have nudged him over to the right a few pixels to even out the dead space, but that’s just me.

Eddie Rosario is a roving outfielder for the Twins’ Class A Advanced Minor League Affliate, the Fort Myers Miracle–managed by former Twins First Baseman Doug Mientkiewicz. He was part of Team Puerto Rico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic and is currently sitting at #8 among the Twins top prospects. Thus far, he’s proven to have a very dependable bat. He’s currently batting a very respectable .352 while boasting a career .313 average. He also possesses solid defensive skills and touts a .970 fielding percentage in 725 chances. He does, however, need to learn patience at the plate. In 4 seasons, he’s racked up 296 hits but has only walked 79 times and has struck out in 172 at-bats.

PRICE: $12.62
FINAL COST: $14.62

click to view larger version

At one point, this was the must-have card that I was chasing. Prices on this card once soared to ridiculous levels–for a Twins prospect, anyway. These days, Hicks’ card is a little easier to find and snatch up for a decent price. Of course, a lot of that may have to do with his current Major League batting average.

In 2010, Aaron Hicks was rated the #19 prospect in the Minors by Baseball America. In 2008, he was considered the Twins’ top prospect. After Minnesota unloaded their best outfielders in the offseason (Denard Span and Ben Revere), the Twins found themselves with the starting Centerfield position wide open. Hicks easily won the spot out of training camp with impressive play and sound hitting. Those skills seemed to have all but vanished since his MLB debut on Opening Day when he struck out three times. With 14 Major League games under his belt, he’s posted an embarrassing .059 batting average with an OBP of just .200 and has struck out 21 times (Houston’s Chris Carter currently leads the league with 28). The switch-hitting outfielder has never been the best hitter, but his numbers have never been terrible, either. While he’s never step foot in AAA, his 5-year Minor League career produced a .271 batting average with 478 base knocks. The worrisome statistic in those 5 years? His 425 strikeouts. Yes, he’ll eventually start slapping the ball around, but I fear that he’ll always be prone to the K. Perhaps skipping him from AA ball to the Majors wasn’t such a great idea?

PRICE: $13.50
FINAL COST: $16.49

click to view larger version

Aside from the silly looking Bowman Platinum logo, this is such a cool looking card. Arcia looks like he’s about to chop down a flag pole with that bat and there’s TONS of refractor-y room for his autograph. Speaking of which, I’m not entirely convinced Arcia was the person that actually signed that card. I mean… that might be an “O” to start out the signature. Honestly, that “O” looks more like a “J.” The rest of it damn sure doesn’t look like “swaldo Arcia.” Well, at least I can see some form of a letter, I suppose. It’s not entirely loops and scribbles.

Oswaldo made his Major League debut this year on April 15 at Target Field against the Angels–the same night I bought this card (which could partially explain why I paid the amount I did). Arcia got a hit during his very first at-bat and, after a total of three games with the Twins, it remains his only big league hit. Before Opening Day, he was slotted at #5 on the Twins list of top prospects. The outfielder, with a Minor League career .979 fielding percentage in 6 seasons, racked up a career BA of .316 before heading up to the Bigs. He’s also collected 458 hits and 123 walks on the farm while getting K’d 298 times–about 50 times per season. In contrast, Joe Mauer struck out 107 in four full seasons in the Minors–just over 25 times per season. If that comparison is any sort of indication, Arcia will end up being a serviceable Big Leaguer for any team but likely won’t make any huge splashes any time soon. That makes the timing of my purchase of his card a bit unfortunate for me and very fortunate for the seller. It’s obvious that I overpaid for this card, especially considering that a couple of years ago I picked up a 2002 Bowman Chrome Joe Mauer RC AU for around $50.

PRICE: $23.50
FINAL COST: $23.50

I probably paid a bit too much on all three of these cards. Of course, I expect to pay more for rookies making their debuts and for cards of any player who has made it to and has been able to stay in the Majors. However, while I might have given up a bit too much for these particular pieces of my Personal Collection puzzle, I’ve definitely underpaid on quite a few cards in the past as well.

I still have more cards on the way and I’m still diligently seeking out a 2010 Bowman Chrome Miguel Sano autograph. After spending nearly $55 on just these three cards and more cash on the cards that have yet to arrive, let’s hope I can snag one of those Sanos in a trade!

I am always looking for just about any Twins FC/RC AUs. If you have any that you’re willing to give up, PLEASE let me know! Thanks!

A clue! A clue!

  1. Jacob Clark says:

    Arcia doesn’t seem to have a consistant auto. A quick search for his auto on eBay shows about a dozen various signing styles just on the first page alone. Most of his O’s do look like they could be J’s though.

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