I was looking to find a guy in baseball that I could write about making the leap to the next level. My target today was Alex Avila of the Tigers. Not only is he a good hitter, he’s going to get some nice fat pitches to hit this year with Detroit’s revamped lineup. Catcher is one of those positions where it is very rare to find a very good hitter, but the Tigers found their guy in Avila, who at just 25 years old is hitting his prime. With only two minor league seasons under his belt he had been the backup catcher for a year and a half before permanently taking over duties in 2010. Since then all he has done is impress.
Seems like a great time to pick up some of his autographs. There is just one small problem . . . there aren’t any. In fact the only jersey or autographed card I could find was this one:
One measly relic card from the 2012 Topps set. That’s it. He was a fifth round draft pick from Alabama and rocketed though the Tigers farm system (like most of their prospects) in two full seasons. He can hit for average, power, drove in 82 runs last year and even scored over 60 himself. I fully expect to see him go up in every category, especially with Cabrera and Fielder in that lineup. I can see him hit 0.300/28/95 this season easily.
Looking at his month to month stats, he basically flirted with 0.300 all season long and never really had a bad month of hitting. Mr. Consistent for a team that needed consistency. This season he enters with the catchers job his to lose and I just don’t see that happening. At some point this season Topps has to get some autographs of his out there right? I mean I thought every major league player had an autograph card. Guess I was wrong.
I expect his autographed cards to start out mid level ($10) but if he starts tearing it up, I could easily see it going up to $20-$30 (assuming he gets an autographed card that is). Be on the lookout and take a flyer on this one. I think we have this year’s player ready to make that big leap.
What do you think of Avila?