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Game 16: Ohtani Injury Impact? Goldin 100 pt. 2, Jordan Game Worn, Ceddanne Rafaela, Elly De La Cruz, Walker Jenkins
Weekly Roundup 8/21/23-8/27/23
The main news this week is Shohei Ohtani’s UCL injury. The notoriously private Ohtani, who had Tommy John surgery in 2018, hasn’t revealed much about the injury. If he chooses to undergo a second Tommy John surgery, he’ll be out for the entirety of 2024. Yet even with his UCL tear, Ohtani has remained a designated hitter and continues to prove he’s superhuman. On Saturday, Ohtani went 2-3 with a double, a triple, two walks and an RBI. He ranks 1st in home runs, 3rd in RBI and 3rd in batting average. While he’s only three RBI behind Kyle Tucker for the top spot, it’ll be difficult for him to overtake Yandi Diaz’s top spot in batting average. At the time of publication, Ohtani is hitting .306 while Diaz is hitting .326. Of course, considering Ohtani is the unicorn, the triple crown is always in play.
Surprisingly, Ohtani’s injury doesn’t seem to have affected his card prices.
The Goldin 100 Part Two has begun. The Goldin 100 is an auction of some of the most valuable and rare collectibles in the world. Part One included the Superman Book #1 ($1,620,000) and the shoes worn by Michal Jordan during his “Flu Game” ($1,380,000). Part Two ends on September 13th and includes the famous 1952 Mickey Mantle (PSA 8), the 2021-22 1/1 Triple Logoman (Lebron, Curry, Doncic), and a 1931 summary of basketball rules written by James Naismith.
In other Goldin news, they finally released an App… Took ‘em long enough. I’m still waiting for a MySlabs app though!
The big news around the NFL – the 49ers announced that Sam Darnold would serve as Brock Purdy’s backup, effectively throwing in the towel on Trey Lance after trading up to take him 3rd overall in the 2021 draft. The team then made it official, sending Lance to the Cowboys for a fourth round pick. For the foreseeable future, it looks like he will be backing up Dak Prescott. Just one year ago in August 2022, Lance’s 2021 Panini Flawless Platinum Shield Patch Rookie Card sold for $132,000. Ouch.
Trivia Question of the Week
In 1920, Lefty Grove was in the minor leagues for a team in Martinsburg, West Virginia. He had 60 strikeouts through 59 innings when the Orioles took notice and traded for him. Grove ended up having a very successful 16 year career with the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia A’s, with whom he won a World Series.
What did the West Virginia minor league team get in exchange from the Orioles in the 1920 trade for Lefty Grove?
Sales: 1997 Michael Jordan Game Jersey Card #GJ13, PSA 9
A PSA 9 1997 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Game Jersey #GJ13 set an all-time high, selling for $25,200 at Heritage Auctions.
2023 Topps Cosmic Chrome is scheduled for release on August 30th. The set takes a “galactic spin” on chrome technology. Each Hobby Box includes four autographs. Boxes are on presale for $349.95.
Trending Up, Trending Down
Trending Up: Ceddanne Rafaela [+33.79%]
Ceddanne Rafaela played in the 2012 Little League World Series for the tiny Caribbean island of Curacao, whose population is just north of 150,000. He was signed by the Red Sox for $10,000 in 2017 and in the subsequent years, developed into one of the strongest defensive prospects in the Minors and won Red Sox Minor League defensive player of the year in both 2021 and 2022. In the last couple seasons, his offense has also caught up in a major way. Across AA and AAA in 2023 Rafaela has slashed .300/.347/.512 to go along with 32 extra-base hits and 36 stolen bases. At just 5’9’’ and 165 pounds, Rafaela seems to have some surprising power, hitting 19 home runs in 106 games this year. There is some buzz that Rafaela is destined for a call up in the near future, which may also contribute to the increase in his card values.
Trending down: Elly De La Cruz [-30.02%]
Wander Franco held pole position for “biggest loser” this week [-41.95%] amidst his investigation, which is looking... very bad. But we’re going to let that play out and talk about the #2 decrease in card values – a Stealing Home regular: Elly De La Cruz.
Elly De La Cruz is experiencing a much less drama-filled dip in his card values. De La Cruz was the Stealing Home prospect of the week in mid-May and saw his cards value up nearly 70% in early-June. He lit the baseball world on fire shortly thereafter when he made his debut in June and slashed .307/.358/.523 in the month with 12 RBIs and 9 stolen bases. In August, De La Cruz has slashed .212/.280/.435 with half as many steals (4) as in either July (8) or June (9). The dip in Elly’s stats have corresponded to a heavy decline in his card values.
SGC’s 2023 Topps Chrome special continues, grading each card for $9.
Prospect of the Week: Walker Jenkins
OF, Fort Myers Minnesota Twins, A, ETA 2026
At 18 years old, Jenkins is one of the most exciting prospects in baseball and checks in at the #16 overall prospect according to MLB.com. The winner of the North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year award in both 2022 and 2023, Jenkins was drafted 5th overall in 2023. With a 6’3’’ 210 pound frame and a quick bat stroke, Jenkins already shows a command of his power with major upside.
While Jenkins is athletic, there is a question about whether he will be able to maintain the plus speed necessary to be successful in center field or if he will eventually move to right as he adds weight to his frame. In his brief minor league career, Jenkins has a .328 batting average.
Prospect grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 55 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 60
Trivia Answer of the Week
In 1920, the Orioles, in exchange for Lefty Grove, paid for a fence to be built at the baseball field for the aforementioned West Virginia minor league team. Until that point, their field did not have a fence.
Notorious for his temper, Ted Williams referred to Lefty Grove as a “careful tantrum thrower” because he only ever punched lockers with his non-throwing hand. He faced Babe Ruth in 11 at-bats and sat The Great Bambino down nine times.