A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Colorado Rockies in 2014 Topps Series 2 + Checking My Predictions

At the beginning of this card collecting year, I wrote a post about the Rockies that appeared in 2014 Topps Series 1.  Since Series 2 has just come out, I figured now would be a good time to continue the look through the 2014 Topps Rockies.  I should note that when I am referring to Topps rookie cards and total cards I am only talking about cards as a Rockies player.  If you are still curious about how many Twins cards Michael Cuddyer or Justin Morneau have, then may I suggest you start a blog about the cards of the Minnesota Twins.  Today, like most days here at the Quarry, we are all about the Rockies.  Let's take a look at the remaining 11 cards of the Colorado portion of the 2014 Topps flagship set. 


  Michael Cuddyer
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 6
Topps rookie card - 2012 Topps #454

Carlos Gonzalez
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 11
Topps rookie card - 2009 Topps #503

Wilin Rosario
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 3
Topps rookie card - 2012 Topps #184


Jorge de la Rosa
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 8
Topps rookie card - 2008 Topps/Update #132

Tyler Chatwood
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 3
Topps rookie card - 2012 Topps/Update #210


Justin Morneau
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 1
Topps rookie card - 2014 Topps #465

Brett Anderson
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 1
Topps rookie card - 2014 Topps #431


D.J. LeMahieu
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 2
Topps rookie card - 2013 Topps/Update #15

Josh Rutledge
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 2
Topps rookie card - 2013 Topps #553


Jordan Pacheco
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 3
Topps rookie card - 2012 Topps #219

Ryan Wheeler
Total number of Topps flagship cards - 2
Topps rookie card - 2013 Topps #488

In general, the photography for the Rockies is slightly better in Series 2 than in Series 1.  There are a couple of interesting photos, but nothing really great.  I still like the 2014 Topps design, although the more I see it the more it looks way too much like 2013 Topps. 

My biggest problem is that there are way too many cards that look similar.  The Rosario and the Cuddyer are both wearing the alternate purple jersey and are cropped similarly.  The de la Rosa and the Chatwood look like exact mirror images of each other.  The LeMahieu and the Rutledge are both similar double play shots, but at least they are wearing different colored jerseys.  The Morneau and the Anderson are both obvious Photoshop jobs but at least they got their uniform numbers correct.  

Next let's look at the way Topps has used the future stars designation in this entire set.  The Future Stars label was always applied to a September call up not a player with almost 3 full years of big league experience.  Wilin Rosario was a Future Star in the 2012 Topps set, not this one.  If you wanted a Rockie to put that label on, perhaps Corey Dickerson would have been a better choice.

Finally, let's look at my "Questionable Inclusions."  Ryan Wheeler should NOT be in this set.  How he could have been included, while Corey Dickerson was left out is mind-boggling.  Dickerson had 213 plate appearances in 2013 and 148 so far in 2014, made the 2014 Opening Day roster, and has never appeared on a Topps flagship or Update card.  Wheeler had 42 plate appearances in 2013 and 25 so far in 2014, did not make the 2014 Opening Day roster, and had his Topps rookie card in 2013 Topps Series 2.  He is not even a rookie this year!  I'll continue this diatribe once I review the Gypsy Queen Rockies. 

I have less of a problem with the inclusion of Jordan Pacheco in this set because he was on the Opening Day roster.  My problem is he is listed as a third baseman in this set despite the photo clearly showing him as a first baseman.  Pacheco was the regular third baseman in 2012.  In 2013, he was the backup first baseman to Todd Helton.  However, in 2014 he was the backup catcher.  I think this should have been labeled 1B although I wouldn't have had a huge problem with C, but 3B is just plain laziness on Topps' part.


 I didn't include inserts in my Series 1 coverage, but I figured I would put these in just because I feel strongly about them.  Let's start with the new to Series 2 insert set, Saber Stars.  I don't like it, but I also don't really have a problem with sabermetrics being the focus of an insert set.  This one is just odd and quite ugly in my opinion.  What makes it odd is that my rudimentary knowledge of sabermetrics says that a high BABIP usually means a player is lucky.  So is it good to be the leader of that category?  Hopefully Topps can improve on their quality and understanding of this concept because it doesn't seem as if sabermetrics is going away anytime soon.

The Rockies were also included in the holdover 1989 Topps Die Cut minis.  I have made known my opinion about this insert set before, but I think it deserves another tirade.  The borders are still too fat and the little zit on the bottom of the card is just idiotic.  The 1989 Topps design also is experiencing a bit of overkill due to its inclusion in Topps Archives as well.  The worst part, however, has to be the colors for the Rockies.  The Rockies were not around for the original set, but the teams that were around pretty much received their team color scheme unlike some other Topps sets of the era.  Why then were the Rockies given a red, blue, and silver color scheme that looks like it would better fit the Nationals?  And why are the player names in red?  That is UGLY!!!!!!!!!   WORST.  INSERT SET.  EVER.  Sorry for the overused Comic Book Guy phrase, but it really does fit this time.


Okay now that I got that out of my system, let's take a look at my prediction for how the Rockies would appear in Series 2 and Update.

1. Carlos Gonzalez
2. Michael Cuddyer
3. Jorge de la Rosa
4. Tyler Chatwood
5. Wilin Rosario
6. either DJ LeMahieu or Josh Rutledge
7. Brett Anderson
8. LaTroy Hawkins
9. Justin Morneau
10. Jordan Lyles
11. Corey Dickerson

Update Possibilities

1. Drew Stubbs
2. Brandon Barnes
3. Boone Logan

4. Franklin Morales
5. Adam Ottavino
6. either DJ LeMahieu or Josh Rutledge
7. Jordan Pacheco

8. Charlie Culberson
9. Tyler Matzek or Kent Matthes

Well the first thing worth noticing is that I correctly guessed that the Rockies would get 11 cards in Series 2.  Of those 11, I got 8 right.  I hedged a bit with LeMahieu and Rutledge, but both were included.  Pacheco and Wheeler were the other two I did not expect to be in Series 2.  I went off earlier about Dickerson, so I will just skip him.  The other two left off were off season additions LaTroy Hawkins and Jordan Lyles.  Neither of those omissions is THAT bad, although Hawkins probably should have made it instead of Pacheco.  But I'm okay with that especially since Pacheco is no longer with the Rockies and would not have been in Update.

Despite all of the complaints, believe it or not I still like the 2014 Topps set.  I'd probably put it somewhere around mid-pack compared to all other Topps sets, maybe comparable to 1967 or 1974 in terms of quality.


There are a lot of possibilities for the Rockies in Update and I do think they will have possibly 12-15 cards in that Series.  Just in the past two weeks, 4 Rockies have made their big league debuts.  Here is what I think will be Colorado's oversized portion of Update.

1. Troy Tulowitzki
2. Charlie Blackmon
3. Nolan Arenado (?)

4. Drew Stubbs
5. Brandon Barnes
6. LaTroy Hawkins
7. Franklin Morales
8. Jordan Lyles

9. Corey Dickerson
10. Charlie Culberson
11. Eddie Butler
12. Tyler Matzek
13. Christian Bergman
14. Kyle Parker

I am guessing that the Rockies will get three All Stars, although it could be as many as 4 and as few as 1.  I am also assuming that no Rockies player will participate in the Home Run Derby.  From my original guess, I left off Adam Ottavino, Boone Logan, and Kent Matthes.  Matthes is a guarantee not to appear with the Rockies because he was waived at the end of Spring Training.  Ottavino and Logan are victims of the numbers game that usually doesn't work out well for middle relievers.  The rookies are listed in the level of certainty I have for their inclusion.  Bergman and Parker might have to wait for 2015 Topps Series 1 for their debut cards.

Thanx for reading.


Rosenort said...

I really don't get the amount of cards that Ryan Wheeler has got over the last two years. I am pretty excited at the amount of rookies we should have in Update though.

RAZ said...

I owe you some Archives cards, but I don't have your address and I don't have your e-mail address. My e-mail is chonk344 at gmail dot com.

Marcus said...

I actually kinda like the Saberstars inserts. They kind of remind me of inserts from the 90's, for whatever reason. The back of the cards is lacking, though. If you're going to go with saber metrics, I'd like at least a rudimentary look at the formula that goes into determining the stat.

Reminds me of the time I looked up how to calculate Slugging Percentage so I could teach some of my 5th graders.

But you're right, the color choice is weak in the die cut minis, and some of the cards look too "samey". The Padres cards suffered the same fate, though there weren't as many in Series 2.