Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2001 SP Top Prospects Box Break

Ah, prospects. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Prospecting athletes and draft picks is one of the biggest guessing games in sports history. You never know if your 6th round pick is going to be your starting quarterback or if your number one draft pick will never make it out of Single-A. Teams pour countless dollars into scouting and their minor league system, and some organizations shine bright while others fail miserably. So when baseball card companies decide to make cards with prospects on them, it’s fun to keep them and see how their careers developed. And wouldn’t you know it… I have a box of 2001 SP Top Prospects waiting to be busted! Every player that found moderate success at the major league level will receive a star next to their name and base card (so don’t give me attitude when there’s no star next to an insert, alright bub?). Are we ready? Huh, are we? Okay then. Let’s break.

Pack 1:
#1: Nathan Haynes The first card in the set is also the first one pulled. Never heard of Haynes? That’s okay, neither have I. The cards have a shine to them, along with a blue tint. Interesting combination, I do say.

#45: Wilfredo Rodriguez
#19: Ryan Christianson
SP Top Prospects Big Town Dreams BD 15: Nick Johnson Surprisingly, this small set had inserts to boot, which are always a-okay in my book. Johnson, as we all know, bounced around a bit before settling back into New York. More on him later.

SP Top Prospects Chirography RS: Ramon Santiago (Auto) I’m guaranteed two autographs and a bat card per box, and the first pack introduces me to this lovely Ramon Santiago auto. The checklist stinks outside of a few names (Josh Hamilton, Adrian Gonzalez), but some of the players aren’t completely unknown. Santiago is still kicking it around with the Tigers and is most (in)famous for winning the Triple Crown loser in 2003. He has a nice signature, though.

Pack 2:
#59: Jack Cust*
#33: Jeff Austin
#7: Miguel Olivo*
SP Top Prospects Destination the Show S9: Ryan Anderson A bland insert. Boy, they sure like to keep their color scheme consistent, don’t they?

SP Top Prospects Chirography JT: Joe Torres (Auto) The second pack yields the second autograph of a no-name player. Ugh, the fun is ruined.

Pack 3:
#73: Brian Cole
#47: Pat Manning
#41: Aaron Rowand* I’ve always liked Rowand. He always gives his team 110% and has an excellent glove. And he’s James Shields’ first cousin, interestingly enough.

#15: Toby Hall*
#66: Michael Byas

Pack 4:
#30: Phillip Dumatrait
#4: Mario Encarnacion Second box in a row I’ve busted Mario. Maybe I should become his super collector. In fact, I am. Send me your Marios!

#79: Jimmy Rollins* This guy looks exactly the same.

#52: Ben Johnson
#26: Carlos Pena* Pena had the same raw power in the minors as he does now. After seeing him plenty of times as a member of the Rays, it’s hard to remember that he played for four different teams before joining Tampa Bay. He was even in the Yankees minor league system for a bit. Why they didn’t keep him, I have no clue. It was a big mistake though. (A side note: this card is a lot shinier than the other ones for some odd reason. There are no refractors in this set).

Pack 5:
#88: Corey Patterson (Checklist)
#62: Justin Wayne
#70: Adrian Gonzalez* The cover boy of 2001 SP Top Prospects. Another thing about minor league sets; it’s always interesting to see what team drafted a player that you had no idea they ever played for. Gonzalez is the perfect case. He was drafted number one overall by the Marlins in 2000. However, a wrist injury worried the Marlins and they subsequently traded him to the Rangers. I laugh at the Marlins. Ha.

#44: Aaron McNeal
#18: Ryan Anderson

Pack 6:
#83: Adam Dunn* I would like to point out that on the back of the card it says he hit only 31 homeruns in 3 years of minor league ball, a pretty low number for a raw-power guy like Dunn.

#48: George Lombard
#22: Jayson Werth* Yeah, I didn’t know he was a catcher either. Seeing what position players used to player is just one more reason to bust minor league boxes. Also, see the line running down the card? See how it's considerably shinier on one side of it? It has the same shine as the Carlos Pena card. What's the deal? What kind of crap is this? This pisses me off Upper Deck. No wonder you're out of business. What, too soon?

#76: Vince Faison
SP Top Prospects Game Used Bat Piece BAES: Alex EscobarOh, yay. Seriously, I’m not sure what to say to this. I guess the bat piece is nice, but it’s f*cking Alex Escobar.

Pack 7:
#57: Ben Christensen
#31: Chris George
#5: Justin Miller*
#50: Nick Neugebauer
#24: Jason Grabowski

Pack 8:
#90: Sean Burroughs (Checklist)
#64: Kurt Ainsworth
#89: Josh Hamilton Just the checklist, folks, just the checklist.

#63: Brad Wilkerson*
#37: Michael Cuddyer* Cuddyer is a solid player. He has pop, gets on base, and a cannon of an arm. He always seems to kill the Yanks, too (like every other major league player nowadays).

Pack 9:
#2: Francisco Rodriguez* This guy’s a douche. Just saying.

#75: Wascar Serrano
#49: Marcus Giles*
#3: Joe Torres
#65: Tony Torcato

Pack 10*:
#36: Brandon Inge
#10: Cesar Izturis
#87: Jason Jennings
#69: Abraham Nunez
#43: Nick Johnson I had hopes for this guy to do good things in the Yankees lineup this year. But in true Nick Johnson fashion, he lands on the DL and is now rotting on the bench for 5.5 million dollars.

Pack 11:
#61: Chin-Feng Chen
#35: Chris Wakeland
#17: C.C. Sabathia* Cripes, C.C. was skinny at one time?

#86: Choo Freeman
#60: Hong-Chih Kuo* He’s still kicking it with the Dodgers.

Pack 12 (Doubles Pack):
#30: Phillip Dumatrait
#4: Mario Encarnacion
#79: Jimmy Rollins
#25: Jason Romano
#78: Brad Baisley

Pack 13:
#53: Chad Hutchinson
#27: Rick Asadoorian
#52: Ben Johnson
#26: Carlos Pena
#71: Alex Escobar

Pack 14:
#38: Michael Restovich
#12: Josh Hamilton* Ah, here it is! It’s not a “true” rookie card though. Curses!

#11: Kenny Kelly
#77: Dennis Tankersley
SP Top Prospects Great Futures GF1: Josh Beckett Does SP know they changed their background? Josh Beckett makes my eyes cringe and its hard to appreciate this insert. However, I got a Ben Sheets GF insert so it’s okay.

Pack 15:
#23: Tripper Johnson
#85: Jackson Melian
#39: Ruben Salazar First card in the set to show any sort of originality.

#13: Jesus Colome*
#74: Sean Burroughs*

Pack 16:
#58: John Patterson*
#32: Dee Brown*
#6: Jason Hart
#16: Danys Baez*
#67: Julio Ramirez

Pack 17:
#20: Richard Stahl
#84: Drew Henson Uh. No comment. Besides, I think I already bitched about Drew Henson.

#8: Felipe Lopez*
#68: Josh Beckett*
#42: Wily Mo Pena*

Pack 18:
#36: Brandon Inge
#10: Cesar Izturis
#44: Aaron McNeal
#18: Ryan Anderson
#69: Abraham Nunez

Pack 19:
#21: Matt Riley
#80: Eric Valent
#40: Joe Crede*
#14: Aubrey Huff* Aubrey brought his swing over to the NL this year for the Giants. He’s currently hitting .307 with 12 homers.

SP Top Prospects Big Town Dreams BD12: Aaron Rowand

Pack 20:
#54: Luis Saturria
#28: Steve Lomasney
#81: J.J. Davis
#55: Corey Patterson*
#29: Sun-Woo Kim

Pack 21:
#9: Vernon Wells* Apparently Vernon Wells read what I wrote about him in my 2007 Topps Chrome box break and was deeply offended. He worked himself harder than ever this off-season and has revived his career. Kudos, Vern.

#72: Pat Strange
#46: Keith Ginter*
#34: Ramon Santiago*
SP Top Prospects Great Futures GF4: Ben Sheets

Pack 22:
#53: Chad Hutchinson
#27: Rick Asadoorian
#71: Alex Escobar
#45: Wilfredo Rodriguez
#19: Ryan Christianson

Pack 23:
#1: Nathan Haynes
#88: Corey Patterson
#62: Justin Wayne
#70: Adrian Gonzalez
SP Top Prospects Big Town Dreams BD6: Drew Henson

Pack 24:
#82: Bobby Bradley
#56: Hee Seop Choi*
#51: Ben Sheets* Ben’s not having a good year for the Oakland Athletics. He has a 2-7 record with an ERA just under 5. Yikes.

#25: Jason Romano
#78: Brad Baisley

Well, there it is. The final tally for players that found moderate success in the majors compared to the total number of players in the checklist (excluding checklist cards) is 38 out of 87, or a final rate of 43%. Not too shabby, even for Upper Deck’s standards. That was the box break of 2001 SP Top Prospects and I hope you liked it, and if you didn’t, screw ya!

1 comment:

  1. Not a bad break at all. It's fun to bust the old prospect sets since you dont have to wait to see which players make it to go on and have a career in the bigs. Are you interested in trading the Escobar bat card? If so shoot me an e-mail.