Sunday, May 5, 2013

Why I Don't Focus on Red Sox Prospects

I am a team collector, as if you could not figure that out.  I like to get as many Red Sox cards as I can.  I like cards of just about anyone as long as there is a Red Sox logo.  However, these days I do not focus as much on prospect cards as I used to.  In the early 2000's this was a major part of my collecting.  I would get as many cards of the big Red Sox prospects as I could.  Not to turn around and sell, I was never a prospector. No, just to have in my collection.

This stopped though after awhile.  Boston had the habit of trading their prospects before they even really played for Boston.  I would be left with a bunch of cards of players who hardly played for the Red Sox and it was frustrating.

These are three of those players, in order of least to most frustrating.
Yes, David Eckstein was once in the Red Sox system.  He never played a game for Boston but he was very successful as a minor leaguer.  Eckstein was originally drafted by Boston.  He was supposed to be the second baseman of the future and showed promise with his contact-hitting ability and stealing 30+ bases.  So what happened?  Boston's third base problems in 2000 happened.  Eckstein was on the 40 man roster and Boston had to keep adding third basemen to have someone to play that position in the Majors.  Eventually they had to put Eckstein on waivers to get him off the 40 man roster to make room for new players.  Well he did not last long on waivers getting claimed by the Angels.

I have four Eckstein cards including that autograph card.

I was excited about Shoppach from the time he was drafted.  I saw him quite a bit as a catcher for Baylor because they were in the same conference as the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  Shoppach was an impressive collegiate catcher and looked like he had the same skill set as Jason Varitek.  So when he started getting cards in 2003 I picked up quite a few.  Shoppach played well in the minor leagues for the Red Sox.  Then in 2005 the trade rumors started.  Varitek had just been signed to a four year deal so if Shoppach was going to be a starter it would have to be with another team.  He was almost traded to the Rockies.  He made it to the Majors in 2005 and played just nine games.  He had 15 at-bats but no hits.  Then he was traded to the Indians in the Coco Crisp trade.  This one is alleviated somewhat by the fact that Shoppach played a half season with Boston in 2012.

I have 15 cards of Shoppach including the above autograph and a few more autos.

This one hurt bad.  Ramirez was the Red Sox top prospect early on.  His cards were big in 2003 and I got a lot of them.  He looked like the real deal, a shortstop with power and speed.  He looked like a star.  He was going to finally take over as the best Red Sox shortstop since Nomar Garciaparra.  He made it into two games at the end of the 2005 season and struck out in his only two at-bats.  Then he was traded to the Marlins.  The Red Sox got Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell so it was certainly a worthwhile trade as those players played big roles in getting the 2007 World Championship but Ramirez turned into a star right away.  He has slipped in recent years but is still a good player.

I have 30 cards of Hanley Ramirez including the above autograph, almost every mini version from Topps 205, a printing plate, a bat card, and multiple autographs.  I spent a lot on Hanley Ramirez expecting him to be a big Red Sox star.  This is the number one reason I do not spend a lot on prospects anymore and why I do not have many cards of Xander Bogaerts yet.  

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