Thursday, March 13, 2014

Who to collect in the 2014 MLB season Part 2 - National League

We featured Part 1 with the American League on Tuesday. Today we dive into the Senior Circuit. 2014 should be a good one for those in the NL. Collectors also should have a have time stocking up on youth and superstar talent.

Finishing this 2 Part series is the National League;

Atlanta Braves:
Don't hesitate: Chipper Jones
- Yes he's retired and yes he'll be in the HOF someday soon. So why not pick up some nice graded RC's before they jump in price. Chipper's Autographs aren't cheap but you can grab a couple decent relic cards for your collection while hunting down his RC's.
Watch for the breakout: Andrelton Simmons
- I know there is a theme with Shortstops in our reviews but this is yet another one to grab and hold. He had a really good season last year and will continue to build on this in 2014. With already one Gold Glove on his resume, look for bigger things in the field and at the plate.
Be Cautious: Evan Gattis
- If he had a fixed home on the field he would be one to collect. The Braves don't seem to have a plan for him currently which will be the reason his values won't be higher right now. Best thing for Gattis would be a trade. If that happens buy, buy, buy.

Miami Marlins
Don't hesitate: Jose Fernandez
- Love the way he plays the game. As a pitcher being cocky is a good thing. Gets you in trouble sometimes but more so his pitching will backup his words. He'll be good for years to come. When and where he is traded to will only increase his value.
Watch for the breakout: Adeiny Hechavarria
- Who you might say. He very well could be the modern day Omar Vizquel.  He is great in the field and has been building up his hitting the last year. One of my own PC players even after being traded from Toronto in the Jose Reyes deal. Has a lot of potential, if his bat picks up he'll be a good one for years. Just leave some cards for me ok.
Be Cautious:  Garrett Jones
- Not a well known collected guy unless you lived in Pittsburgh the last few years. Recently signed a two year contract to play for the worst team in the Majors. The park is too big and won't work for Jones throughout the two years. He might have a good month or two but don't jump on his cards anytime soon.

New York Mets
Don't hesitate: Noah Syndergaard
- There are about 3 other players that could be here but Syndergaard might be the best under rated player in the system. This kid has lightening stuff as a pitcher and will be apart of an amazing pitching staff in the near future. They might not be able to hold him back too long and bring him up this year. Watch out once he's on the 40-man roster, he'll be sticking around for a while.
Watch for the breakout: Travis D'Arnaud
- I don't get too excited about catchers but D'Arnaud might just be the one of the best of his era. Another Toronto prospect that came over in a deal, this guy is going to be a solid player and should see some good pitches to hit in the Mets decent lineup.
Be Cautious:  Matt Harvey
- This was a tough one. Harvey is one of the best young arms in the league but when he needed to have surgery this year he made everyone question if this would be a trend. I personally hope not as he can win multiple Cy Young awards if healthy on this team. Lets see after the surgery how he does.

Philadelphia Phillies
Don't hesitate: Cole Hamels
- The best player on this team is one that will be traded at some point to a contender. Once he leaves Philly his value will increase. Currently you can grab some decent cards of Hamels on the cheap.
Watch for the breakout: Domonic Brown
- Too much pressure on Brown when he first came up and his value dropped. He might just be in line to have a really good season and rise his value. He cards are at a lower price now but could start creeping up as he does better. Be on the watch.
Be Cautious:  Rollins, Utley, Howard
- At one time these were the three top players in the league. Now they are on a do not buy list. There older now and should have been traded away a couple of years ago. They aren't going to help the Phillies back to any playoff caliber team and they aren't looking at HOF careers anymore. Even if they have a good season they won't bring the value back afterwards.

Washington Nationals
Don't hesitate: Bryce Harper 
- Just like Trout, you can't avoid this superstar. He's he real deal and continue to get better each year. If he stays off the injury path he'll be around for a long time. If you find an RC, autograph or relic at a decent price buy it and ask if they have anymore.
Watch for the breakout: Tyler Moore
- Not too well known but will be soon. This guy is just waiting his time until he becomes a starter on this team. He can flat out hit and will be a force with Harper for years to come. Might see a struggle once up full time but just watch for him to come alive.
Be Cautious: Anthony Rendon
- With one surgery under his belt he'll try to make a come back this year. Rendon has a lot of potential but again with the injury last year this could set him back for a while. Hopefully he'll still produce as his projections but time will tell.

Chicago Cubs
Don't hesitate: Kris Bryant / Javier Baez 
- The best farm system currently and will be a force once they are up in the majors. They are both two years out from making the club but are already a big presence in the hobby. Both of these guys will be future all-stars and might help the Cubs reach the World Series in about five-seven years. Big things for both of these players.
Watch for the breakout: Mike Olt
- Changing from the Rangers over to the Cubs was a good thing for Olt. He now just needs to become comfortable. If he plays the full season he will be putting balls over that short porch in Wrigley for years to come. Another one of the young guys that will help the Cubs go far.
Be Cautious: Anthony Rizzo
- His cards are so temping to buy with the cheap prices for this talented player. However the amount of pressure he has on him is not going to help him. Don't think he will just turn things around and expect what he's been putting out. If collectors keep expectations low you'll be happier and save some money for other players worth their value.

Cincinnati Reds
Don't hesitate: Joey Votto 
- The best Canadian baseball player since Larry Walker will continue to put up MVP numbers each year. His cards aren't too expensive and can only increase as he'll be reaching some history marks in his career.
Watch for the breakout: Jay Bruce 
- Can he get any better? He sure can, Bruce is raking up some big numbers each year and this might be his best year yet. His values are very affordable and you should buy now before his values increase to superstar highs.
Be Cautious: Billy Hamilton
- The fastest man on the field just might only have that tool to use. He will be exciting to watch and should have a good season playing in front of Votto, Phillips and Bruce but if he can't hit he won't be a factor. His cards are pretty high right now and could see a drop if his average is around the low 200's so be careful.

Milwaukee Brewers
Don't hesitate: Jean Segura 
- Proved last year what a good player he was, this will continue. Segura is a good find and keeper for the Brewers. His prices are really good value currently and might not see much movement but well worth the investment.
Watch for the breakout: Ryan Braun
- PED's or not Braun will come out this year to prove he can be the same if not better than what he was when using them. If he does watch out National League, maybe even win his first fair NL MVP award.
Be Cautious: Prospects
- There isn't anyone in their system currently worth talking about. That's not to say someone comes up this year and makes a splash but it's unlikely. Hold off buying any of their prospects until they are proven, remember it is Milwaukee.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Don't hesitate: Andrew McCutchen 
- With his first MVP award last year watch for more from McCutchen. He will have a few new players coming up in the next coupe of years that will improve the club and continue the winning. If he continues what he did last year he'll be headed to super stardom until he hits the Hall.
Watch for the breakout: Gregory Polanco
- Just one of the best prospects coming up. He'll be in the outfield before the end of the year hopefully. If he does watch for him to help this team make the playoffs again and bring the future to Pittsburgh a little sooner that thought.
Be Cautious:  Jose Tabata
- When Polanco comes up Tabata will be the one to leave. High hopes for him as a rookie and even the turn around last year but he won't last long. His cards are cheap and collectors have just been waiting for him to do something like Rizzo in Chicago. Stay away from him and invest in Polanco instead.

St. Louis Cardinals
Don't hesitate: Oscar Taveras
- He is that good, buy while you can. Taveras will be one of the best players in the game in the not too distant future. He has all the skills and just needs to join the MLB club to show it off. When that happens is maybe the middle or end of this year, but when it happens watch out.
Watch for the breakout: Shelby Miller
- This kid will be the next Carpenter for the Cards. It's only a matter of time until he wins the Cy Young and is a dominant pitcher in the league. His cards are at decent prices for autographs so buy now and watch your values increase.
Be Cautious:  Jon Jay
- He might be the odd man out when Taveras joins the club so don't invest too much into him. His cards are cheap as well which is temping but try and hold out and put into Taveras.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Don't hesitate: Paul Goldschmidt 
- You thought he was good last year? Watch what happens with Trumbo in the lineup with him this year. The sky's the limit for him and he's a young player that will be around for a while. His prices are cheap compared to his peers on bigger market teams so buy now, if he ever is traded or becomes a FA his value will rise.
Watch for the breakout: Didi Gregorious
- Gregorious came p a little sooner than thought in Arizona last year. He's a really good fielder and could be a good average guy down the road. Talks of him being trade bait could increase his value if he goes to the Yankees to replace Jeter in 2015. His cards are really cheap now and you should stock up while you can.
Be Cautious: Gerardo Parra
- Had a really good season last year if your in a fantasy league, but this is collecting. His cards are really cheap and the reason is he's a base card player at best. Don't invest in something that won't increase your future value. If traded to a contender or big market team lets have a different discussion then.

Colorado Rockies
Don't hesitate: Carlos Gonzalez
- The most under-rated player in the game. His cards are very affordable and you should be stocking up sooner than later. He'll be increasing his value over time and if he is ever traded out of Colorado the values will sky-rocket.
Watch for the breakout: Troy Tulowitzki
- With injuries hopefully behind him watch for Tulo to have an MVP season. The best Shortstop in the game, has very reasonable prices like Cargo since playing in Colorado. Continuing to put up the numbers he does and staying off the IR will only bring good value to your collection.
Be Cautious: All Pitchers
- Coors Field is the worst park for pitchers. No matter how good they are don't buy into them. Colorado hitters are where your money should be going. With Tulo and Cargo at under valued prices invest in them.

Los Angeles  Dodgers
Don't hesitate: Yasiel Puig 
- Even if you don't like him, buy him up. He will be with the likes of Harper and Trout for years to come. He's on the right team and will only continue to get better as he learns more about the game. Remember he is young and has not even hit his prime yet, that's scary.
Watch for the breakout: Matt Kemp
- We haven't seen him play in a long time and this will be his time. He might not play at the start of the season but he's got to have that MVP season in him somewhere. Values for his cards are really low with the injuries so buy now instead of after the season with a possible MVP Award.
Be Cautious: Dee Gordon
- He could make the team and impress enough people to stay at Second Base, but with Guerrero in this could be it for Gordon. That's not to say he could end up on another team and become the player he should be. Be careful if he makes the team and does well. Don't buy high on him if he has a good season just yet.

San Diego Padres
Don't hesitate: Rymer Liriano 
- The best prospect in the Padres system is a couple of years away. He could have really good potential on cardboard if not with the Padres. Watch and see if he is traded down the road and ensure you don't miss the boat.
Watch for the breakout: Josh Johnson
- Going to the very pitcher friendly ballpark, Johnson should have an amazing year. He didn't live up to his potential with the Jays last year and this could be his redemption year. He's been a fan favorite among collectors and could see some increase in value when he does well this year. Being 30 he has a few years left that could help his value stay consistent, if he stays with the Padres it would be the best for him as a player and those collecting his cards..
Be Cautious: Chase Headley
- Ever since that amazing year, Headley has had injuries and more injuries. His value won't increase even if traded like he's been rumored for the last two years. Stay far away from buying on him.

San Francisco Giants
Don't hesitate: Buster Posey
- One of the best in the game. Pick up anything you can of him and hold on. After his injury everyone thought he was done, but he has come back and been an amazing player to watch and collect. Playing some First Base will only help his career last longer. You can find some of his cards in decent price ranges being that he's on the west coast playing for the Giants.
Watch for the breakout: Tim Lincecum 
- He won't hit his high values when he won his CY Young awards but watch for this season to become one to bounce back with. Being the fourth Starter will only help him pitch better. He could be the biggest breakout in the majors this year and if o his values will start to rise so buy now and watch.
Be Cautious: Michael Morse
- His cards are not expensive but I find him to be an over-rated player with collectors. Being on a one year deal could give him more reason to have a great season but don't buy in as he'll be on yet another team in 2015.

Thanks for reading our 2 Part Series on Who to collect in the 2014 MLB season. Enjoy watching your favorite teams and players this year. Hopefully you can score some good investments this year in cardboard.

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