Current Pitchers Baseball Collectors Should Pay Attention To
Baseball is a great sport for collecting for many reasons, one of which is the history and tradition surrounding it. Baseball collectibles have been around for well over a century, providing lasting memories and great amounts of money for them. However, baseball collectors should also focus on the here and now, especially those who are serious about the sport and want to get a heads up on everyone else. Here is a list of four current starting pitchers that baseball collectors should pay attention to, for the value of their collectibles should rise dramatically over the coming years.
When Randy Johnson won his 300th game, some baseball analysts have predicted that there may never be a starting pitcher who will achieve this milestone ever again. One pitcher who may prove them wrong is Justin Verlander. Verlander has been in the Major Leagues since 2005, and has continuously improved every year since. After a low point in 2008 where he won 11 games and lost 17, Justin has had three consecutive years of win totals hovering around 20, with 2011 being the year where he finally broke the mark. In fact, in 2011 Verlander won both the American League MVP and Cy Young awards, amassing a 24-5 record with a 2.40 ERA, 250 innings pitched, and 250 strikeouts to his credit. Why should you pay attention to him at this time? Verlander is a workhorse with a blazing fastball, and will certainly be around for quite a long time. He has the best chance of any starting pitcher right now of reaching the 300 win mark, and it is for this reason that baseball collectors should start picking up his memorabilia.
Clayton Kershaw is only 23 years of age but has already had four full years of Major League Baseball under his belt. Similar to Verlander, Kershaw has consistently improved over his four year career to this point, starting with a 5-5 record in 2008 and transforming it to a 21-5 record in 2011. Kershaw won the National League Cy Young Award in 2011 with a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts as well. The fact that the team he played for in 2011 was mediocre should show collectors his future potential. Not only does he have a great pitching delivery that should help him to have a long career in baseball, but he is still at a young age and could certainly be up there with Verlander in the race to 300 wins if he can maintain consistency over the next few years.
Tim Lincecum doesn’t have the gaudy win totals that a Verlander or Kershaw has, and in fact he only compiled a 13-14 record in 2011. However, when examining his other stats it becomes apparently quickly that Lincecum has a great deal of upside. Since 2008 Tim has averaged at least 220 strikeouts, 210 innings pitched, and in three out of the four years an ERA below 2.75. He has a great deal of consistency in only the handful of years he has pitched in the Major Leagues to this point, and these numbers are a good sign for baseball collectors to start paying attention to him before his prices really start to rise.
You may not have heard much of Mat Latos, and for good reason. He has not put up the numbers one would expect out of the previous two pitchers mentioned. In fact, he has only pitched three years in the Major Leagues, and for a small market team in the San Diego Padres. However, his recent trade to the Cincinnati Reds should give a good reason for baseball collectors to take an interest in him. In his three years with the Padres Latos has a 27-29 record, but also an ERA of 3.37 and 413 strikeouts. He pitched almost 200 innings in 2011, with 185 strikeouts and a 3.47 ERA alone. He has tremendous upside now that he is on a better ball club and should continue to improve at only 23 years old. Make sure to get in on his memorabilia before it is too late.