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Prospecting’s foggy crystal ball

Bryce Harper's 2011 South Atlantic League's Top Prospects baseball card
Bryce Harper’s 2011 South Atlantic League Top Prospects baseball card

When I went to the Lakewood BlueClaws game on Monday night, I stopped in the team store and picked up some baseball cards. I’ll get back to the 2014 South Atlantic League Top Prospects set at some point, but I’m not enough of a “prospects guy” to recognize any of the names other than the players from the Mets & Yankees’ farm systems.

But they also had a few sets left from 2011 that were on clearance for $3, and three years later some of those guys are household names (as long as your household includes baseball fans.)

Bryce Harper. Manny Machado. Jurickson Profar. Marcell Ozuna. Christian Yelich.

These are guys I know.

(There’s also Tanner Bushue, Jiovanni Mier, Peter Tago and the like… maybe one day I’ll know who they are, but that day is not today.)

That’s part of what makes Minor League Baseball fun… on any given night, you may be getting an early look at one of baseball’s superstars. And while some players (like Harper) are anointed before they sign their first pro contract, other guys are surprises. Jose Bautista was selected in the Rule 5 draft, waived, and traded three times before he finally became a star in Toronto at age 29.

Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich's baseball cards from the 2011 South Atlantic League Top Prospects set
Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich’s baseball cards from the 2011 South Atlantic League Top Prospects set
Manny Machado's 2011 South Atlantic League's Top Prospects set baseball card
Manny Machado’s 2011 South Atlantic League Top Prospects baseball card

Here’s the full checklist for the 2011 SAL Top Prospects set:

  1. Checklist
  2. Jesse Biddle – Lakewood (Phillies)
  3. Bryce Brentz – Greenville (Red Sox)
  4. Caleb Brewer – Rome (Braves)
  5. Tanner Bushue – Lexington (Astros)
  6. Matt Curry- West Virginia (Pirates)
  7. Kellin Deglan – Hickory (Rangers)
  8. Mychal Givens – Delmarva (Orioles)
  9. Erik Goeddel – Savannah (Mets)
  10. Bryce Harper – Hagerstown (Nationals)
  11. Slade Heathcott – Charleston (Yankees)
  12. Taylor Jordan – Hagerstown (Nationals)
  13. Matt Lipka – Rome (Braves)
  14. Jurickson Profar's 2011 South Atlantic League Top Prospects baseball card
    Jurickson Profar’s 2011 South Atlantic League Top Prospects baseball card

    Manny Machado – Delmarva (Orioles)

  15. Jiovanni Mier – Lexington (Astros)
  16. Marcell Ozuna – Greensboro (Marlins)
  17. Kyle Parker – Asheville (Rockies)
  18. Jake Petricka – Kannapolis (White Sox)
  19. Jurickson Profar – Hickory (Rangers)
  20. Anthony Ranaudo – Greenville (Red Sox)
  21. Rafael Rodriguez – Augusta (Giants)
  22. Seth Rosin – Augusta (Giants)
  23. Gary Sanchez – Charleston (Yankees)
  24. Domingo Santana – Lakewood (Phillies)
  25. Peter Togo – Asheville (Rockies)
  26. Jameson Taillon – West Virginia (Pirates)
  27. Trayce Thompson – Kannapolis (White Sox)
  28. Cory Vaughn – Savannah (Mets)
  29. Christian Yelich – Greensboro (Marlins)


Hufflepuff. Level 42 entertainment junkie and Mets fan. Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind.

5 thoughts on “Prospecting’s foggy crystal ball

  1. I was looking at that set the other day and said to myself, “Wow, this set is loaded!”.

    You also have some potential big-league stars in
    Anthony Ranaudo – Greenville (Red Sox)
    Domingo Santana – Lakewood (Phillies).


    1. I’m rooting for Ranaudo – I always like to see Jersey guys do well. I’m not familiar with Santana. I was very surprised at how much talent was in a clearance set.


  2. Nice set. I remember Parker from his days as Clemson’s quarterback (and from the College World Series).

    I’m going to an A game this weekend for the first time since 2010. We are going to hit up a Clinton Lumberkings game for a Kyle Seager bobblehead on the way back from Wrigley.


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