I have a feeling that upcoming custom card posts will focus on players moving around before the July 31st trade deadline, but I thought that now that we’ve hit the halfway mark in the season it might be interesting to see which players more-or-less qualify for statistical ranking (3.1 AB’s / game or 1 IP / game) and see which of those players are still lacking a mainstream 2018 baseball card.
Recently on Twitter, the esteemed Night Owl (blog, twitter) has been voicing concern that Max Muncy, who’s breaking out this year with the Dodgers, will get the same neglect from Topps which Chris Taylor received last year. I can’t control Muncy getting any physical cards, but I can make a custom for Mr. Muncy.
Max Muncy doesn’t qualify for a batting title just yet, but it’s hard to argue with 20 homers, 38 runs and 39 RBI.
Muncy had been cut loose by the A’s at the end of 2017 Spring Training and gave thought to walking away from the game. He signed with the Dodgers, played 2017 with AAA Oklahoma City and didn’t make his L.A. debut until April 17th this year, but since then he’s been making Dodger fans happy that he isn’t at home finishing off his degree from Baylor U.
According to tradingcarddb.com, Muncy’s 2018 cardboard consists of two Topps Now cards he shared with Joc Pederson: #376 “First time two players hit 10+ homers in a month in franchise history” and #409 “9 XBH in back-to-back games for first time since 1929”. Muncy’s only prior MLB cardboard was a 2015 Topps Update rookie card he shared with Tyler Ladendorft.
Max Muncy isn’t the only player getting short shrift from Topps, however…
Teoscar Hernandez is playing regularly for the first time. Like Muncy, he’s a bit short of qualifying for a batting title (not that he’s a challenger with that .260 anyway), but he brings 39 runs and 35 RBI to the table.
2018 Cards: the Topps Toronto Blue Jays team set and Donruss Diamond Collection (relic inserts)
The Brewer’s Brent Suter has started 16 games, has a 8-5 record, a 1.189 WHIP, 7.5 K’s per 9 innings.
2018 cards: None. Nada. Zilch. Bupkis. Bugger all.
Similarly, the Giants’ Chris Stratton has an 8-6 record and is averaging 6.8 K’s per 9 innings.
2018 cards: Topps San Francisco Giants team set.
Jurickson Profar is primarily a shortstop, but has also played at 1st, 2nd, 3rd and in left field one game. He’s scored 48 runs and has 45 RBI.
2018 cards: Topps Now Road To Opening Day
Leonys Martin has appeared in center field in 67 games, has 44 runs and 29 RBI.
2018 cards: Topps Now Road To Opening Day
Marco Gonzales has started 18 games, has a 9-5 record, a 3.64 ERA, a 1.223 WHIP and 8K’s per 9 IP’s.
2018 cards: Topps Now #386 “First career complete game leads Seattle to fifth straight win”
In 72 games, Matt Duffy is batting .309 with 27 runs and 25 RBI.
2018 cards: Topps Now Road To Opening Day, Topps Tampa Bay Rays Team Set and Topps Now #320 “1-0 walk-off win on two-out RBI single”.
Quick aside: Looking at the 2018 Topps Rays team set made me realize that 4 of the 17 cards are for players who aren’t in Topps Series 1 or 2: Duffy, Jesus Sucre, Chih-Wei Hu and Dan Jennings. Sucre has been in the Majors on and off since 2015, and this is his first MLB card. It appears that this isn’t unusual for the lesser-represented teams; the Tigers also have four players who don’t show up elsewhere. I haven’t checked any other teams as of yet.
Finally, there’s Tyler Skaggs, who has 16 starts, a 6-5 record, a 2.64 ERA, a 1.217 WHIP and 9.8 K’s per 9 innings.
2018 cards: None, and this is for a guy who was in Stadium Club last year (although that may have been as much about the photo as anything else).
My research was not exhaustive, and clearly took more time than I really shold have spent… but I may have missed players along the way.
Are there any players you follow who should have 2018 cards and don’t yet?
Update: I realized after I finished the post that I’d forgotten one player whose custom I’d created back at the beginning of the season: Miles Mikolas (9-3, 2.63 ERA, 1.034 WHIP and who hurled a 4-hit, 9 K shutout on May 21st – granted it was the Royals, but still)
2018 cards: Topps Now #239 “First career shutout in a 6-0 complete game win”
Moving on to the “every week” customs…
The 1988 Topps tribute of the week goes to Francisco Lindor. During the past week, he had 2 doubles, 3 triples, 2 stolen bases, 13 runs, 10 RBI and batted .458
For the Manager card each week I like to feature someone who has gone 8-2 or better over the past 10 games, and who (of course) hasn’t already been featured. This week the honor goes to the Red Sox’ Alex Cora, who currently has the team in first, 2 games ahead of the Yankees.
Wrapping up with the Mets and Orioles customs for the week… Honestly, neither team was tremendously inspiring this past week, so I just grabbed a couple out of the already-made customs I had.