Friday, July 31, 2015

Where Can You Find Baseball Cards for the Newest Phillies/Ex-Rangers?

2014 Topps #536
2014 Topps Pro Debut #123
2014 Choice Frisco
RoughRiders #8
Cole Hamels (and Jake Diekman) are now officially members of the Texas Rangers and the Phillies have six new players in their organization that I've honestly never heard of before.  No offense meant here, but if Matt Harrison, who was an A.L. All-Star in 2012, bumped into me on the streets of Philadelphia I'd have no idea he was the newest Phillies starting pitcher.

The best way for me to get acclimated with these new guys is to summarize their baseball card careers to date.  I won't attempt to provide scouting reports on these players as I'm just purely interested in getting to know them through their baseball cards for now.  If you want something a little more in-depth, I thought this article was a good read.

New Phillies
Matt Harrison (LHP) - Harrison came up with the Rangers in 2008 and was an 18 game winner in 2012.  He's been limited to just nine starts over the past three seasons due to back injuries and the lefty underwent spinal fusion surgery in June 2014.  He's been appearing in Topps sets since 2009 and his most recent mainstream release is from Series Two of the 2014 Topps set.  He was also in the 2014 Topps Heritage set.

Alec Asher (RHP - AAA) - Asher has split this season between AA and AAA compiling a record of 4-10 with a 4.43 ERA in 20 starts.  Asher's only mainstream baseball card to date can be found in the 2014 Topps Pro Debut set.

Jerad Eickhoff (RHP - AAA) - Eickhoff has been in the Rangers organization since 2011 and he's appeared in 18 games this season (17 starts) for the AAA Round Rock Express.  It doesn't appear as if Eickhoff has any mainstream baseball cards to date, although he has appeared in a number of Rangers minor league team sets.

2015 Topps Pro Debut #172
2014 Bowman Draft
Top Prospects #TP66
2015 Topps Pro Debut #191

Based on everything I've read, it seems as if these next three prospects are the key to this deal.

Jorge Alfaro (C - AA) - Alfaro was ranked the third best prospect in the Rangers system in Baseball America's pre-season rankings.  He's going to miss the rest of the 2015 season as he's been out of action since mid-June with a left ankle injury.  It seems as if Alfaro has more baseball cards available than any other player acquired in this deal (with the exception of Harrison) and he's had cards in Topps Heritage Minors, Bowman Chrome and Topps Pro Debut sets since 2012.  Alfaro also has a card in the 2015 Topps Pro Debut set.

Jake Thompson (RHP - AA) - Thompson was ranked the second best prospect in the Rangers system in Baseball America's pre-season rankings.  In 17 starts with the Frisco RoughRiders this season, he's 6-6 with a 4.72 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 87 2/3 innings.  Thompson has been featured in multiple Topps Heritage Minors and Topps Pro Debut sets since 2010, and his most recent mainstream card was in the 2015 Bowman Inception set.

Nick Williams (OF - AA) - Williams was ranked the fifth best prospect in the Rangers system in Baseball America's pre-season rankings.  In 97 games this season with Frisco, he's hitting .299 with 13 home runs and he's split time between center and right field.  Williams started appearing in Bowman releases in 2012 and his most release mainstream baseball cards can be found in the 2015 Bowman Prospects insert set and the 2015 Topps Pro Debut set.

All images have been taken from completed or ongoing eBay auctions.

No comments: