2010 Topps Debut #2

Let’s bring this set on home now. Today is mostly Vermont Lake Monsters, with one Syracuse card. I’ll get the Syracuse card first.

It seems like Jack Spradlin has been around for ages at this point. I watched him pitch at Potomac in 2007, and he still hasn’t gotten to the majors. 2005 was his year 25 season, and he ended up spending most of it in AA, as he got hammered at Syracuse much like in 2009. Both times he’s played with Syracuse, he’s ended up with a 6+ ERA, then promptly gone back down. I don’t know why they included him, but I doubt he makes the majors.

On to Vermont…

I’m supposed to have an autograph of Cole Leonida on the way from eBay, but who knows where it might be with the mail situation. Cole was a sixth-round pick this year and hit pitifully at Vermont, putting up a .426 OPS, but he’s still a 21-year-old catcher, so that’s probably to be expected. I’m not sure what to expect out of the guy, but I think he has a shot.

Destin Hood probably could have been a football star, but the Nationals were able to sway him away. In fact, Hood would have been part of a championship Alabama football team. That couldn’t have been easy for him to watch, but he insisted he always thought of himself as a baseball player first and had no regrets. He’s still 20, and he’s done fairly well for himself in the Nats minor league system. His biggest problem so far is his plate discipline and high strikeout totals, but that kind of thing can be taught, especially at his age, so we’ll see.

I wasn’t familiar with Jason, but that’s because he was a 2010 fifth rounder. Drafted out of Texas State, where he had a high OBP but was known more for his glove, he had a mediocre showing at Vermont this year. We’ll see where he goes from here.

A 2009 second-round pick, Jeff hasn’t shown much in the minors so far, but he hit .324 for his career at the University of California and was picked All-Pac-10 as a junior as well as the Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America, so he has some bonafides.

The last player, Justin Bloxom, had a great 2010. A 2009 11th rounder, he hit 309/355/476 with 11 home runs after a so-so 2009. He’s not just an outfielder, though; in fact, he spent most of the year at 1B this year, though his glove is apparently the best in right field. I suppose we’ll see where he goes from here.

The most interesting thing about this set is that not a single player is below age 20, and almost all were college picks rather than high school picks. I wonder why that is? I’m very curious about the picks here in general. Why no Strasburg? Where’s Michael Burgess? No Brad Peacock? No Bill Rhinehart (not a prospect, but neither is Spradlin)? Tyler Moore had a fantastic season at Potomac, but I don’t see him here, either.  You could argue that no Strasburg because he had a 2010 Topps card, but so did Drew Storen, and here he is. Peacock has had a Bowman card already, so maybe that’s it? If they’ve had a card from previous years? I don’t know. I’d be interested in learning why these choices were made, though.

Overall, very pleased, though. I’d love to see it expanded to cover more players, though. Maybe next year.


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