OK, that’s the opening line to TGIF theme song from back in the day, but it certainly applies. After a long winter of snow, ice, slush, gripping winds and more snow, baseball is back.
A few players stood during this season’s spring training, making some guys well known to more than just prospectors and die-hards.
Here’s a look at five players from spring training to keep an eye on this season whose cards you may want to grab – although they are getting pricier by the minute.
Walker’s cards have a lot to gain. Throughout the spring, his cards have steadily risen in price, in large part to his spectacular numbers. He threw 25.1 innings and gave up one earned run. That equates to an ERA of 0.36. He also walked just four guys. Walker is 22 years old and gets to learn from one of the best pitchers in the game, Felix Hernandez.
With the Mariners poised to make a run for the AL West title this season, Walker’s cards are warm right now and could get hot.
Gray is another pitcher who got attention this spring. He was reassigned to triple-A before the end of the practice session, but still many are awaiting his MLB debut. Gray’s last Spring Training outing was, but shouldn’t scare too many. The scary part is that he should end up pitching in Colorado one day -- that’s never been good for any pitcher.
The Dodgers seem to have a plethora of players so the rookies had to fight and scrap their way onto the 25-man roster. Pederson seems to have done that, and even won the starting centerfield position. He hit six home runs in 60 at-bats this spring, and hit slugged .750. He is not, however, one of the cheaper autographs to grab. But his Rookie Cards will appear in 2015 products
The Red Sox are another team that is loaded with talent – they even have Rusney Castillo starting in Triple-A. Betts is one of their young studs that could shine this year, and the Red Sox are going to give him the chance. Betts hit .451 with a 1.295 OPS this spring.
By the way, his Rookie Cards appear in 2014, but there aren’t many autos because of his late call up.
I feel like a teenage girl, ‘I can’t even’ with Bryant. Bryant was sensational, amazing, legendary this spring. He hit nine home runs in 44 plate appearances. He slugged 1.175 with an OPS of 1.652. And, he will start the season in Triple-A. However, it’s likely we see Bryant sooner rather than later with the Cubs.
But, getting an autograph card of his will set you back on the secondary market as they going for hundreds, if not thousands. Pulling one of his autographs from a pack is like finding a unicorn.