Tier One Imports

Okay, that’s a super obvious title but, in my defense, I did think of it before eBay started trying to autocorrect all my “Tier One lot” searches to “Pier One lot” so it’s not like I stole it from anywhere exactly. Point is, I’m three posts into documenting my Tier One Autograph Collection and I’m already out of clever titles. Be afraid. Be very Tierfraid. One. Tier Onefraid. Ugh.

Sometimes you get a good picture on your fancy new baseball card, sometimes...

There are very few top notch rookies in the On the Rise set numbered to 999. Nunez may not be a stud like a Dustin Ackley or anything, but he’s played a bunch of games in the infield for the Yankees. And with an infield that includes 3 of the best players of our time (yes, I’m including Cano… the time has come), that’s not a statement to be taken lightly. A kinda-speedy, not-much-power type of batter. A little like Darwin Barney or The Riot when he was good, stats-wise. This is his third year in the Majors and he looks to be playing the role he’ll have for the rest of his career unless something clicks- extra infielder.

Some names are just too easy...

Dillon Gee is another borderline average player in this set. He’s in the Mets’ starting rotation, but he’s got to be on the bubble with the stats he’s putting up. He gives up a lot of hits and I haven’t heard much buzz about him. I’m guessing 4th or 5th guy in the rotation, if not eventually swingman. Any Mets fans have a more informed opinion?

I hear this guy's pretty good.

Okay, now we’re getting into the good stuff. Daniel Hudson is numbered to “only” 699 and had an excellent 2011 in the Diamondbacks’ rotation. Currently out with some shoulder injury, you can follow him on Twitter! If he can stay healthy, he looks to be a solid rotation guy for the long run.

I hope he ends up being a closer so we can listen to announcers try to combine the silly "fireman" nickname for closers with "Sale" into some weird version of Fire Sale that doesn't make any sense. Don't know why I even thought of it.

Speaking of rotation, here’s Chris Sale, numbered to “just” 599! He’s been bouncing between starter and closer for the White Sox this year and my White Sox fan friends say he doesn’t have the stamina to stick in the rotation. I normally don’t like the scribbly autographs, but I’m diggin’ on his!

In 8th grade, the first word I looked up in the Spanish dictionary ended up being "pegar." Which translated directly meant, "to whack." I think Peguero is some conjugaton of pegar which in general use really just means "to hit" or "to fight" but that's less funny than "to whack."

Carlos Peguero looks to be a AAAA power hitter. He killed A+ a few years back with 31 homers and did pretty well in the upper leagues as well (currently has an OPS of over 1.000 at AAA Tacoma) but couldn’t put it together in a brief stint in the Majors last year. If he can put it together, the Mariners might have a solid 3-4 punch in Ackley and Peguero.

Former Cub farmhand in the majors. Love/hate seeing that.

Brandon Guyer was sent to the Rays in the Matt Garza trade. Lots of Cubs fans were bummed because he was projected to be a Major League player at the time. He made his debut with the Rays last year and, like Peguero, just couldn’t continue his success at the AAA level. He’s with the AAA Durham Bulls again this year and doing well, so hopefully he can put it together too. There are so many factors in that success that I can’t even imagine (other than the obvious increase in pitching talent)- it’s a wonder anyone survives those transitions.

My Tier One Collection is coming along slowly- most of these are $2-$3 cards so I haven’t hit the major hurdles yet (I’m looking at you, Roy Halladay autograph) but I’m enjoying the hunt. Many of these cheaper On the Rise autos can be had in lots, which is where most of these came from. I’ve ended up with some doubles and some stuff I don’t need in those lots so I’m sure a trade bait post is coming!

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