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Old 12-28-2012, 01:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The art of collecting prospects

I have always loved baseball cards but only recently got into collecting the prospects. I kind of figured out a system that has been working for me but I'm curious what everyone else is thinking when they drop a few hundred bucks on a auto refractor of a A or AA player since so many do well at that level but never pan out.

Take a guy like Javier Baez, who I too have put money into. Who's to say he just can't hit or move on the basepaths at AAA. We have seen guys like Matt LaPorta who just never worked out. Anyway, very curious about what you look for in prospects, how early in their minor league career you buy, and how you justify a big purchase of an unproven guy. Thanks.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Prospecting is just about luck and patience, all the people who colllect all the prospects will obviously bank when a few do good, but they will also lose on others. Very rarely does a guy Just collect that one guy that ESPN ends up hyping up causing his cards to skyrocket out of control
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I dabble in prospects, and I'm not nearly as successful as most of the people on here, but a lot of it is a gut feeling for me. I knew Mike Trout was something special since the draft. That said, I also had a really good feeling about Stetson Allie. I say look at the numbers, look at the projections and go with your gut. Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You know you look on milb.com, check stats and you find some Darin Rufs and Jose Fernandez or Tony Cingrani's... but sometimes it seems the value peeks in Triple A if they just become "solid" and not "star" major leaguers. I find buying at Single A and selling at the AA or AAA level works and is safer and if you have a feeling at that level hold onto a few and hope for the best.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I judge them 100% based upon their haircut, I must get an idea of what they look like without their hat and then I will make my assessment. Using this strategy 99.9% of the time my predictions work out and I make thousands of dollars
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I judge them 100% based upon their haircut, I must get an idea of what they look like without their hat and then I will make my assessment. Using this strategy 99.9% of the time my predictions work out and I make thousands of dollars
i gotta try it
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i gotta try it
For a fee of $25,000 I will give you my top predictions, it may sound steep but believe me in the long run it can be a huge investment! I will tell you all the superfractors you should and shouldn't buy...and I have a 99.9% success rate. If for some reason I happen to be wrong (which there is only a 00.1% chance) I will refund you $2,500 "or" send you a "mystery lot" of baseball cards which could contain anywhere from $1-$1,000,000 of value
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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"or" send you a "mystery lot" of baseball cards which could contain anywhere from $1-$1,000,000 of value
We gotta take the box, it could be anything, it could even be a boat!

I love family guy.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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We gotta take the box, it could be anything, it could even be a boat!

I love family guy.
We picked the mystery box, hop in!


NO but can we bring this back to serious. I'm not looking for who to pick, I'm looking for how you narrow down the talent generally and how or why you would think its smart to say pay 65 bucks for a Tyler Austin or Jorge Soler (or anyone) who looks like a nice batting prospect when if you pay that much for them now, they'd have to excel at the MLB level for their value to go up. Example Machado's value def went up a bit but was still extremely high before he got called up, was it worth it to spend so much on a gold ref auto /50 while he was in the minors?

Another example, I bought a Zack Wheeler Auto Ref RC last season, graded it came back 9.5, fine. He looks solid, but if he tanks next year as a starter or if the Mets stink again an have no hype, where was the value? Or Billy Hamilton, he broke the pro baseball steals record, unless he kills it in the majors, is his stuff really gonna go up?

Anyway, please don't give a "well duh its a gamble with these prospects" response. I know there is no magic system, just looking for what you guys as buyers or collectors or flippers look at when buying minor leaguers, and what makes it worth it for you, thanks.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think one can do best by eliminating prospects instead of picking prospects. It is hard to pick a winner, but fairly easy to pick losers. Go through a set, say 2012 Bowman Draft, and eliminate anyone you feel has not shot at doing anything ever. Take out the old guys, the position players with no power, the already overpriced players, etc. You can end up with a really nice group of players and the chances of cashing in on multiple prospects is pretty high. Most people do the opposite, but if you try this, you may be very surprised to see how good you do.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hey guys when you are done telling your secrets can you lend me your crystal ball? I don't want to know who you collect but how you decide who so I can copy it along with everyone else here.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I briefly dabbled in prospecting and here's what I learned:

1. No pitchers. Ever.
2. If the guy strikes out a lot in the lower levels, stay away
3. Buy on whispers, sell on hype. If you hold until MLB debut, you're going to lose money. Sell on hype. Sell on hype.
4. If the guy has a low BA but good power numbers, he's okay.
5. The organization matters when it comes to hype. Don't ignore that.

Not sure if any of these are helpful, but I have no skin in the game anymore so those are my secrets
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tonedef2oo8 View Post
Hey guys when you are done telling your secrets can you lend me your crystal ball? I don't want to know who you collect but how you decide who so I can copy it along with everyone else here.
If someone is willing to give help to others then why does it matter if people copy? I love this hobby and do very well making some side money. I may be in the minority here, but I actually want to see others succeed as well.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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If someone is willing to give help to others then why does it matter if people copy? I love this hobby and do very well making some side money. I may be in the minority here, but I actually want to see others succeed as well.
exactly! thanks for adding nothing tonedef. i don't care if the next guy makes 100,000 as long as i can learn from them and get better and smarter. i didn't ask who to buy, i ask what do you look for after explaining im new to collecting prospects.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I briefly dabbled in prospecting and here's what I learned:

1. No pitchers. Ever.
2. If the guy strikes out a lot in the lower levels, stay away
3. Buy on whispers, sell on hype. If you hold until MLB debut, you're going to lose money. Sell on hype. Sell on hype.
4. If the guy has a low BA but good power numbers, he's okay.
5. The organization matters when it comes to hype. Don't ignore that.

Not sure if any of these are helpful, but I have no skin in the game anymore so those are my secrets
Ok thanx, so I'm not crazy! I think besides Trout and Harper, I didn't see one player go up anything that would've prevented me from selling at AAA or AA before a big jump had I been collecting prospects earlier. I never looked as much at strikeouts so i'll add that to the memory bank, makes sense if a guy can't hit A ball pitching he ain't gonna hit major leaguers. But I think we agree on one thing, sell on hype! Gonna try that this year, lol. I invested in literally about 100 players who were doing well at the A A+ levels last year and this year I'll have to see if i was dumb or smart, lol.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:27 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Another question to the forum. What do you think about investing in guys who are not Top 10 team prospects. For example, Nate Freiman killed it at AA Texas last year. Top 5 in RBIs, 20+ HRs, batting .290ish. But he has zero hype, he's a little older and he isn't considered a top prospect somehow. Don't the numbers mean anything, how do you guys factor that in? Thanks.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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First of all, I've learned never to collect pitchers. They are so unpredictable. I usually collect proven hitters that have a lot of power (Joey Gallo) or an unbelievable tool (Billy Hamilton's speed). I use Baseball America frequetly.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeymcgee View Post
I briefly dabbled in prospecting and here's what I learned:

1. No pitchers. Ever.
2. If the guy strikes out a lot in the lower levels, stay away
3. Buy on whispers, sell on hype. If you hold until MLB debut, you're going to lose money. Sell on hype. Sell on hype.
4. If the guy has a low BA but good power numbers, he's okay.
5. The organization matters when it comes to hype. Don't ignore that.

Not sure if any of these are helpful, but I have no skin in the game anymore so those are my secrets
I am going to have to disagree with your #1. For prospecting reasons, pitching is the way to go. I have banked big time off of pitchers. All the pitcher needs to do is string together a few successful starts before he starts to get noticed. In fact, if he throws a no hitter, people take notice real fast. I have always sold before they (if) they reach the majors.

A position player needs to have a really good week to get any notice, unless of course he was "hyped" from the get go.

Another thing I have learned throughout the years is don't listen to anyone's hype on the forums. Do your own research and determine if you think you have a winner.

Last edited by prospectorgems; 12-28-2012 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:59 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Start with your hometown team. You can pick up autographs for $3-$5 of A and AA players who are under 21. Some of these guys have not hit the national hype scene but you can get more info on them since you live there.

Another way is to hit some single A games and watch for yourself. Talk to the scouts or other fans at the game to see who you might want to keep an eye on.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:04 PM   #20 (permalink)
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yea i mean like a jose fernandez, i can see the hype growing and growing and selling right before the majors or even when he's brought up to triple A the value seems pretty similar and you save time and get paid faster which is money right there. i like flipping and i don't mind sitting on a prospect for a year to see if it works out, thats part of the baseball hobby i like which is different from basketball rookies which i do the most collecting of.

i agree with the tool thing said above, i don't see billy hamilton goign down and i see him goin up at the beginning of his mlb career but id say sell early after his callup.

im really a big fan of this part of the hobby but when i see people taking the top draft picks right now im like wow, i can't believe it, they are priced so high now, where is the upside? it'll take 2-3 yrs to get up to AAA or a callup and at that point IF they continue to live up to the hype, where is the return after you already bought it so high.

Since everyone is giving their tips, I'll mention I tend to use milb and sort all the stats that i find relevant, steals, BA, HRS, RBI. I watch the Rizzos and Wil Myers of the world early and sometimes find a guy nobody was thinking about ( I have a boatload of Billy Hamilton I got early).
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:09 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I am going to have to disagree with your #1. For prospecting reasons, pitching is the way to go. I have banked big time off of pitchers. All the pitcher needs to do is string together a few successful starts before he starts to get noticed. In fact, if he throws a no hitter, people take notice real fast. I have always sold before they (if) they reach the majors.
Yeah, you can make money with them. I did okay with Bauer and Bundy early last season. But the injuries really scared me away from picking up many. The pitchers I did get were for a very short-term flips.

It really comes down to your risk tolerance. Obviously all prospecting is risky, but I just couldn't hang with pitchers
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:12 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Bundy remains to be seen for me, but I'm gonna break even or lose on Bauer if he doesn't pan out, similarly I put some money into Teheran and it was a bust... although his stuff was pretty low when I bought it for w/e reason.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:35 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeymcgee View Post
I briefly dabbled in prospecting and here's what I learned:

1. No pitchers. Ever.
2. If the guy strikes out a lot in the lower levels, stay away
3. Buy on whispers, sell on hype. If you hold until MLB debut, you're going to lose money. Sell on hype. Sell on hype.
4. If the guy has a low BA but good power numbers, he's okay.
5. The organization matters when it comes to hype. Don't ignore that.

Not sure if any of these are helpful, but I have no skin in the game anymore so those are my secrets
Many people will say this but it is 100% wrong, you can make just as much money on pitchers as you do hitters.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:38 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Take a guy like Jorge Soler... people are spending baotloads on this guy! He hasn't done anything yet, how can you eventually make money off him? Even if he does well his stuff is alread insanely high.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:40 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Take a guy like Jorge Soler... people are spending baotloads on this guy! He hasn't done anything yet, how can you eventually make money off him? Even if he does well his stuff is alread insanely high.
He has done something. He's arguably the Cubs #1 hitting prospect (him or Baez). That's good enough to have his prices at a high level. Big market team and big talent = top dollar.
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