#Cardstock Volume 10 – Onward and Upward

#CardSTOCK is an ongoing series created by Baseball Cards Daily’s Chris Steuber that details the hobby value of baseball players based on their popularity and performance . You can check out all past editions of #CardSTOCK here. You can catch Chris’s podcast ‘Baseball Cards Daily’ for free on itunes and Google Play.

This time around we’re highlighting six players who have stepped their game up in a huge way in 2018. Whether it be an immediate impact upon their big league debut, posting career highs at the plate, or helping carry their team to the postseason, these players have turned on the jets this season. As a result, their most coveted prospect and rookie cards have seen substantial growth. Who should you invest in? Check out their cardstock and decide which of these players has room for the most growth both professionally and in the world of cardboard!

 

 

Standout Sophomores – Our Second-Year Players to Watch

Week one of the 2018 NFL Season gets underway this week and we’re so very excited that gridiron action is back! It has been an extremely eventful off-season, with major free agent signings and trade deals going down even through last week. Could anyone possibly have guessed that Khalil Mack would start the season in a Chicago Bears Uniform?!!

Before the 2018 NFL season unfolds, we wanted to offer our take on six second-year players who all had great rookie seasons and appear poised to be standouts entering their second season in the league. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll focus on offensive skill position players in fantasy sports style format, featuring one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers and a tight end.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans

This kid was absolutely electric in the first half of the 2017 season, garnering early consideration for the league’s MVP award. Unfortunately for Houston Texans fans, a torn ACL sidelined Watson for the second half of the season, wiping out what could have potentially been a rookie season like none we had eer seen before.

Through seven games (6 starts), Watson threw for 1699 yards and 19 touchdowns, while throwing eight picks. His versatility also left defenses scrambling to catch up, as he added 269 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.  A healthy Watson and a strong defense should position the Texans to be a playoff contender in 2018, elevating Watson’s stock among the game’s best quarterbacks and reaffirming that the magic we saw in early in the 2017 season was just a small taste of what is to come for many years.

ConsiderationsPatrick Mahomes, Mitchell Trubisky

 

Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

Kareem Hunt’s put up big numbers in 2017 – leading the league in rushing and earning a Pro Bowl as a result. Hunt lit the NFL on fire through the first five weeks in 2017 before returning to earth and posting several ho-hum performances. A strong push at the end of the season led him to finish the season with 1327 yards and eight touchdowns. Even though he hauled in 53 receptions as well, he spent this off season working with quarterbacks on route running and catching. If those efforts pay off, we could see a huge season from the second year back.

Alvin Kamara and the New Orleans Saints offense were a match made in heaven in 2017, leading Kamara to be named the 2017 AP offensive rookie of the year. Saints QB Drew Brees airs it out often, and the versatile Kamara was yet another weapon in Bree’s arsenal, hauling down 81 catches for 826 yards and five touchdowns. When they did run the ball, Kamara was effective, averaging 6.1 yards per rush, finishing the season with 728 yards and 8 TD’s. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and we expect to see a lot more of the same in 2018.

ConsiderationsLeonard Fournette

 

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Of the 2017 class, no rookie was more personable than JuJu Smith-Schuster. Starting the season as the Steelers 6th receiver, his explosive on field talent quickly moved him up the depth chart as he finished the season with 58 catches for 917 yards and seven touchdowns. Schuster will line up opposite of arguably the best receiver in the game Antonio Brown in 2018, which should provide him plenty of open looks. As long as he stays focused and keep his Fortnite addiction in check, Juju has all the talent to be a top-20 receiver in 2018.

One of the biggest surprises of the 2017 rookie class was Cooper Kupp, a third round pick out of Eastern Washington University.  Kupp emerged as a serious target for Jared Goff, hauling in 62 balls for 869 yards. With the Rams on the rise, Kupp will continue to shine as the team’s juggernaut offense will simply run over defenses in 2018. Expect to see the first of what could be many 1,000 yard seasons for him, which should make at least one fellow Eastern Washington University alumni and COMC employee very happy.

 

Evan Engram, New York Giants

By all accounts, Evan Engram probably should have had the standout rookie season that he had in 2017. The New York Giants were ravaged by injuries, with Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall missing much of the season. This paved the way for a 64 reception, 722-yard, six touchdown performance from the Giant’s 23rd overall pick in 2017. A healthy team, coupled with rookie running back Saquon Barkley should allow Engram to slide into the offense as an outlet for Eli Manning. Engram showed us in 2017 that he has all the tools to succeed, but the question remains if he’ll get his share of looks in 2018.

Considerations: O.J. Howard

What do you think? Did we get it right? Did we sleep on your favorite under-the-radar rookie? Let us know in the comments below which second-year player you think is poised for a big 2018!

#Cardstock Volume 9 – All Stars and Almosts

#CardSTOCK is an ongoing series created by Baseball Cards Daily’s Chris Steuber that details the hobby value of baseball players based on their popularity and performance . You can check out all past editions of #CardSTOCK here. You can catch Chris’s podcast ‘Baseball Cards Daily’ for free on itunes and Google Play.

We’re just a couple weeks removed from the 2018 MLB All Star Game. As you may or may not know, the All Star Game’s participants are decided by fan vote for position players and player vote for pitchers. This means that many deserving candidates can be overlooked in favor of more popular players (as if Bryce Harper wasn’t going to be a starter in an All-Star Game held in Washington D.C.).  This time around we’re looking at four All-Stars that fans chose to be a part of this year’s festivities, and one player who came up a little bit short to the Mariners’s Shortstop Jean Segura’s #SendSegura campaign in the fan vote for the final spot.

#Cardstock Volume 8 – Young Guns

#CardSTOCK is an ongoing series created by Baseball Cards Daily’s Chris Steuber that details the hobby value of baseball players based on their popularity and performance . You can check out all past editions of #CardSTOCK here. You can catch Chris’s podcast ‘Baseball Cards Daily’ for free on itunes and Google Play.

In this edition of #CardSTOCK , we’ve got five of the game’s youngest and most flat out fun players to watch play the game. All of these players are under the age of 22 (and only 19(!!!) in the case of Juan Soto), and are already contributing to their respective organizations in a big way. Let’s take a look at what each of these five have done through the first three months of the season:

Ronald Acuna: Sidelined by injury, but provided a major spark to the Brave’s early season including 5 home runs in 117 at bats before being sidelined to injury. Will be a catalyst in helping push the Braves towards the postseason down the stretch.

Rafael Devers: Holding his own in an absolutely stacked Red Sox lineup. His infectious smile is making him a fan favorite among the Boston faithful.

Gleyber Torres: Doing it all under the bright lights of Yankees Stadium. Launching bombs and hitting for average as a welcome addition to the Baby Bombers. Earned his first All-Star nod in 2018, but missed the game due to injury.

Eloy Jimenez: The #4 overall prospect in baseball (rated by Baseball America) is making waves in Triple A. His impending arrival to the White Sox will be another weapon for a young team on the rise.

Juan Soto: When you’re breaking records set by Bryce Harper for the Nationals, you’re doing something right. Hitting for average and power while maintaining a close to 1:1 ratio in walks to strikeouts. All under the age of 20. Whew.

#Cardstock Volume 7 – Unsung Heroes

#CardSTOCK is an ongoing series created by Baseball Cards Daily’s Chris Steuber that details the hobby value of baseball players based on their popularity and performance . You can check out all past editions of #CardSTOCK here. You can catch Chris’s podcast ‘Baseball Cards Daily’ for free on itunes and Google Play.

This time around, we’re taking a look at the players that appear on the line up card daily, but their popularity is often overshadowed by bigger name stars on their respective teams. These are the players who’s consistent and above average play on the field often does not translate to the same amount of love in the hobby that their more popular counterparts receive. Or perhaps they play in a smaller market, where they are beloved locally, but fail to register in the national spotlight until they’re helping their team defeat your favorite team.

We’re showing plenty of love for these six unsung heroes, and we think that you should too!

#Cardstock Volume 6 – Legends of the Game

#CardSTOCK is an ongoing series created by Baseball Cards Daily’s Chris Steuber that details the hobby value of baseball players based on their popularity and performance . You can check out all past editions of #CardSTOCK here. You can catch Chris’s podcast ‘Baseball Cards Daily’ for free on itunes and Google Play.

In this edition of #CardSTOCK , we’re looking at six players who’s names are universally recognized. Of these six players, four were pillars of sports card collecting in the 90’s and into the 00’s, while two of these players carried that torch forward after their debut in 2001. Love them or hate them, this group of Hall of Fame talent have earned their respective statuses in the hobby.

#Cardstock Volume 5 – The Hobby Darlings

#CardSTOCK is an ongoing series created by Baseball Cards Daily’s Chris Steuber that details the hobby value of baseball players based on their popularity and performance . You can check out all past editions of #CardSTOCK here.

This time around, we’re highlighting six of the games younger players who we’ve aptly referred to as ‘The Hobby Darlings’. These players are favorites among collectors and already command top dollar in the market. Whether it be through stellar play to start their 2018 campaign or they’re simply a big name bat in a big town, you can’t deny these players potential both on the field and in the hobby. The sky truly is the limit.