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Game 10: Henry Davis, Babe Ruth, Luis Matos, Jeremy Peña, James Wood
Weekly Roundup 6/19/23-6/25/23
Apologies for the delay! It’s been quite the week for MLB prospects and collectibles news! Lets dive in…
The Pittsburgh Pirates called up Henry Davis, the first overall pick in the 2021 draft, on June 18th. The catcher hit his first home run on the 22nd and is hitting .250 in his 24 at-bats so far.
Elly De La Cruz continues his tear. Hitting for the cycle earlier this week, Elly became the youngest player to accomplish that feat since César Cedeño’s cycle in 1972. Cruz’s cycle propelled the Reds to their 12th straight win. In addition to helping his team win, Cruz is having an incredible impact on attendance. On April 17th, the team attendance was a record low 7,375. On the day of his cycle, attendance was 43,086 – a sellout crowd.
If you’re feeling FOMO and want to buy an Elly 1st Bowman, you should probably hold off for now. Prices are at an all-time high and are bound to go down if (when) he hits a rough patch. If not during the season, then we can definitely expect the market to soften during the off season. A PSA 10 Gold 1st Bowman Auto is on eBay for $14,300 at time of publication with 35 bids and over four days left. Here are some prior sales of PSA 10 Gold 1st Bowman’s for De La Cruz last month:
May 28th 2023: $9,100
May 8th 2023: $7,689
In non-baseball (and non-sports) related news, Magic the Gathering released an edition of Lord of the Rings Cards on Friday. Included in that set is a 1/1 “One Ring” Card. “Why do I care,” you ask? Let’s take a look at the days that followed news of the card’s existence:
Ex-Seahawk football player, current free agent and noted Magic the Gathering fanatic, Cassius Marsh put out a $500,000 bid for the card after being slammed for what is being called a “low-ball” offer of $150,000.
Dave & Adam’s doubled that bounty putting up $1,000,000.
Then... Francisco Rubio, the owner of Germio de Dragones, a Valencia, Spain-based card shop is promising $2.2 MILLION for that card (plus a trip to Valencia)!
Your odds of opening the lucky pack? 0.00003%.
I have to say, it’s a pretty cool looking card!
Sales: PSA 2.5 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth
A PSA 2.5 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth sold for $17,000 on My Slabs this week. That’s a record at that grade – up $2,000 from its sale on November 18, 2021. The same card, graded at a PSA 9, sold in 2021 for $4.2 million.
Trivia Question of the Week
The 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth PSA 9 sold for $4.2M. What was Babe Ruth’s annual salary (either at the time or adjusted for inflation)?
Tristar is releasing its 2023 Tristar Hidden Treasures Dugout Dreams Autographed Baseball on June 30th. This is a pretty cool product (that honestly I hadn’t heard of). In a box, you’ll get 12 autographed baseballs which might contain signatures from members of the 500 Homerun Club, MLB Hall of Famers, Award Winners (MVP, etc), and Future Stars.
Trending Up, Trending Down
Another week has passed and no one has dethroned Elly De La Cruz [+56.91%] or Jarred Kelenic [-24.74%] as the top trending up / down cards in baseball. De La Cruz, as mentioned in the intro, continues to do ridiculous things. This week’s thing: being the youngest player to hit for the cycle in 50 years. Kelenic’s cards have continued to slip as he is hitting .172 in June. Once again we take a look at the 2nd most trending players for this week:
Trending Up: Luis Matos [+55.39%]
21-year-old Luis Matos is the #3 prospect for the San Francisco Giants, according to MLB.com. Matos may have had some rookie jitters as he was picked off first and overthrew a cutoff in the same game... but outside of those hiccups, Matos has impressed since he was called up on June 14th. Matos is batting a respectable .257 in his young MLB career, just hit his first major league HR, and has scored 11 runs through 10 games – matching Willie McCovey for the most in franchise history through 10 games.
Trending down: Jeremy Peña [-17.75%]
In 2022, Peña often looked like the next great player for an Astros organization that can seemingly pull from an endless supply of up-and-coming prospects. At first glance, Peña has not lost too much ground in 2023 despite a small dip in BA, SLG, and OPS.
The last couple of weeks have not been very encouraging for Peña who is slashing .226/.314/.226 with no homeruns over the past 14 days. With Peña’s cards down nearly 20% in the last 30-days, this is yet another example of just how fickle the card market can be when a player hits a slump. Maybe there’s an opportunity to pick up some Peña on the cheap.
SGC continues its $9 per card grading special for Topps Series 2 cards. Additionally, it’s grading ALL Pokemon cards for $15 per card.
Prospect of the Week: James Wood
OF, Washington Nationals
Let’s start with the fact that Wood is huge. At 6’7 and 240lbs, he is the same height as Aaron Judge with plenty of time to fill out his frame. Wood was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2021 draft and received a $2.6M signing bonus. San Diego traded him to Washington as part of the prospect haul that the National’s got in exchange for Juan Soto.
Wood impressed in spring training 2022, hitting .337/.453/.601 with 10 homers and 15 steals in 50 games with Single A Lake Elsinore. Wood has continued to play well in 2023, slashing .277/.371/.915 with 12 home runs and 18 extra base hits in AA through 65 games.
Wood is considered a true five-tool prospect. Perhaps the most surprising plus tool in his toolbox, given his 6’7’’ frame, is his speed which gives him impressive coverage range in center field. Less surprising is his power which pairs nicely with his ability to hit for average.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 60
Trivia Answer of the Week
Babe Ruth's top salary was $80,000 (1930 & 1931) which translates to approximately $1.1 million today. $1.1 million is $400,000 more than the league minimum today and less than the amount that Justin Verlander will make per game pitched in 2023.
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