2016 TSR: An Interesting First Week Of The Season

I don’t get what the big deal is with “Topps Now”… I’ve been making cards of recent highlights and notable players since 2012. Sure, I don’t do it every day or print it on thick card stock, but I’m a lot cheaper.

This week’s pack features a number of players who had notable achievements recently… Well, notable in the Shlabotnik household, anyway.
2016 TSR wrapper series one

I’m going to start off by apologizing to Diamondback fans…
2016 TSR #42 - AJ Pollock
My fantasy baseball auto-draft took place the Friday morning before opening day. Last year’s fantasy team was plagued by injuries and plagued by Yasiel Puig (who was on the “can’t cut” list for much of the season), so I was looking forward to a fresh start this year. Among the players I drafted that morning was outfielder A.J. Pollock, and before the sun set Pollock had fractured his elbow and is out for much, if not all, of the 2016 season. The Shlabotnik Curse lives on…

What’s the story, Jerry? The story is that Trevor Story did not hit a home run last night… He had 6 homers in his first 4 Major League games, setting all kinds of records, but as it turns out he was not on a pace to hit 243 homers this season after all.
2016 TSR #1 - Trevor Story
If you don’t get the “What’s the story, Jerry?” reference, that means you didn’t see any commercials on New York TV stations in the 1970’s… So, in other words, there’s no excuse for not knowing that.

As long as I’m featuring Trevor Story, I’ll re-post the 2015 Eastern League Top Prospects card from sometime last year.
2015 Grandstand EL Top Prospects Trevor Story
Story played half of last season with the New Britain Rock Cats, who are now the Hartford Yard Goats (having moved up the road 12 miles). Rockies fans are probably still not used to having Albuquerque as their AAA team, now they have to adjust to Hartford in AA.

On Thursday night, Ross Stripling made his major league debut for the Dodgers. How did he do? Not bad… Just no-hit the Giants for 7.1 innings.
2016 TSR #2 - Ross Stripling
Unfortunately for Stripling, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, he was on a strict pitch count, so Dodger manager Dave Roberts gave him the hook despite the ongoing no-no.  The next Giants batter tied the game, and San Francisco won the game in extra-innings.

On an Orioles team dominated by Manny Machado, Adam Jones and a half-dozen homer/strikeout guys, I feel like Jonathan Schoop often gets overlooked.
2016 TSR #41 - Jonathan Schoop
Schoop missed half of last year with torn knee ligaments, but during his 84 games he batted .279 with 15 homers and 39 RBI… and he’s just 24 years old. Will 2016 be his breakout season? We’ll see…

Last week I caught a little bit of grief for not having a Met in my pack, and as customer service is my #1 priority, here’s new Mets second baseman Neil Walker.
2016 TSR #43 - Neil Walker
Walker only has 1 homer in 4 games, so he’s clearly an abject failure as a middle infielder.

Tony Barnette has an interesting history. He was drafted by the Diamondbacks, but only made it as high as AAA before going to pitch in Japan. He spent 6 years with the Yakult Swallows and became a star closer over there; in 2015 he had 41 saves and a 0.89 WHIP. This winter he signed a 2-year contract with the Rangers.
2016 TSR #46 - Tony Barnette
I pondered making him a “Notable Newbie”, but even though he’s technically a rookie, he’s 32 years old so I decided not to.

And that concludes our pack for this week.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I just discovered Indian Premier League Cricket on ESPN2, and I’m going to go see if I can figure out what the heck is going on.

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4 thoughts on “2016 TSR: An Interesting First Week Of The Season

      • He’s a good player. I saw him as a member of the Springfield (MO) Cardinals, and he’s a real gamer, and his game was major league caliber two seasons ago, he just wasn’t mature enough yet. I see him as the Cards’ shortstop of the future. Appreciate you granting my wish.

  1. Pingback: Random Awesomeness (part 209) | The Writer's Journey

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