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Game 13: Prospecting Gone Wild, Post Malone x LOTR, Arch Manning, Noelvi Marte, Triston Casas, Colton Cowser
Weekly Roundup 8/1/23-8/6/23
An interesting aspect of prospecting is the value of unknown upside. Below are two 1st bowman Superfractors: the left is Marcelo Mayer, Baseball America’s #7 prospect. To the right is Mookie Betts, who in 2018, became the first player in MLB history to win the Most Valuable Player, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, batting title, and World Series all in the same season.
The cards above are each player’s most valuable card. In 2019, a year after Betts accomplished that historic feat, his card sold for a whopping $79,200. Marcelo Mayer has yet to play in a game in the big leagues. Last year, Mayer’s Superfractor sold for $132,000. For those of you like me, holding onto valuable prospect cards waiting for the players to dominate the MLB like Mike Trout, it may be time to sit down and review our investment strategy.
A few weeks ago, we reported on the new Magic the Gathering – Lord of the Rings Cards. Specifically, the 1/1 The One Ring Card. A card shop owner in Spain offered whoever found that card $2 million. Well, someone found the card and someone else one-upped the card shop owner. The “someone else” is none other than rapper Post Malone who reportedly purchased The One Ring card for a whopping $2.6 million.
Trivia Question of the Week
Who was the first Major League player to pitch a ball over 100 mph?
Sales: The other, other, other Manning
Arch Manning hasn’t played a game of college football and is already breaking records. Last week, Panini auctioned off a 1/1 Arch Manning Throwback Prizm Black Auto card for a staggering $102,500. The money is being donated to a Texas charity.
To underscore the point made above about prospecting... a 1998 Peyton Manning Rookie 1/1 sold for just over $30,000 in May 2023. Things might be a little out of whack.
Topps is releasing its 2022 (yes, 2022 🤷🏻♂️) Topps Chrome Anniversary Baseball Cards on the 9th. The cards use the classic 1953 Topps design and showcases top players from the past, present, and future.
The set is on pre-sale for $107.95.
Trending Up, Trending Down
Trending Up: Triston Casas [+35.12%]
Sal Frelick [+37.91] held the pole position for top riser this week so we look to Triston Casas, who came in at a close second. Triston Casas, the 6’5’’ first baseman, was drafted 26th overall by the Red Sox in 2018. He was called up by Boston in 2022, had a middling 27 game debut, and continued in the same vein to start 2023, hitting .193 in March-May. However, Casas has come on in a big way the last couple months, slashing .286/.375/.476 in June and .349/.442/.758, for an insane 1.199 OPS.
Trending down: Colton Cowser [-17.10%]
Colton Cowser, the 12th ranked prospect by MLB.com, was called up by the Orioles immediately after playing in the Futures game last month. After tearing up AAA in the 1st half of 2023, slashing .330/.459/.537, Cowser has struggled in the majors. Through just 53 at-bats, Cowser is batting .113 and, as of this writing, has yet to record a hit in front of the home crowd.
Cowser was the Stealing Home prospect of the week in the May 14th Weekly Roundup.
7th Inning Stretch
A section for fun quirky things!
How many of the top 100 prospects* can you name!? I got 57...
*this quiz pretty clearly used the pre-season prospect rankings.
SGC is grading all 2023 Topps Chrome cards for $9 per card!
Prospect of the Week: Noelvi Marte
When you watch Noelvi Marte play, the word that comes to mind is SOLID. Built more like Juan Soto than a prototypical shortstop, at 6’0’’ and 216 lbs, he looks like a running back. The Mariners signed Marte for $1.55M during the international signing period in 2018 and was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in the deal for Luis Castillo in 2022. With Elly De La Cruz playing both third base and shortstop, the Reds have flexibility with Marte and are testing him out at third.
Marte has impressed at every stage of the minors. He hit .279 in High-A in 2022 and surpassed that in AA, with an average of .281 to start 2023. Through nearly 100 at bats in AAA, Marte is slashing .305/.378/.505. Marte, just 21 years old playing in AAA, is still figuring out how to tap into his power at the plate. Assuming he does, Marte looks like an exciting star for the Reds infield.
Prospect Scouting Grades:
Hit: 50 | Power: 60 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55
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Trivia Answer of the Week
On September 7, 1974, in a game against the White Sox, California Angels pitcher Nolan Ryan became the first player to break the 100 mph barrier when one of his pitches was officially clocked at 100.8 miles per hour.
Have you watched the “Facing Nolan” special on Netflix? What did you think?