Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Panini Collegiate Cards - Some of the Dodger Players

Panini not only makes professional sports cards, but they also make collegiate cards.  In fact, they've been doing this for quite some time.  Typically, college themed cards are found within their NFL and NBA sets - not surprising since collegiate programs play a big part in those athlete's development.  In Baseball, however, a ballplayer is far more likely to be drafted out of high school and trained in the finer art of the game under the tutelage of a Major League club.   Still, there are numerous exceptions to this rule. 

Panini's newest offering is a series of university specific complete factory sets featuring some of the top collegiate athletic programs in the country and their players.  They include school like Texas A&M, University of Michigan and USC.  Check out a complete listing here.  For the most part, football and basketball players dominate these sets, but there are a handful of notable Baseball players included. 

Unfortunately, not every college in the above listing has been released yet.  In fact, I have yet to see the USC and UCLA sets in hand.  Heck, a UCLA checklist isn't even available yet, and I've been waiting eagerly for that one since there's a chance Jackie Robinson could be included.  In the meantime, most of the other college sets are now available and several current Dodgers are ready to be added to your collections.  Check them out below.  BTW, I'll certainly share any other Dodger cards to pop up as they get released.

For now, there are three current Dodger players wearing the uniform of their alma mater with pride.  First up is Dodger catcher and former ballplayer at the University of Miami Yasmani Grandal.  Set checklist here.

University of Miami

#14 Yasmani Grandal

Blog Kiosk: 11/3/2015 - Dodger Links - Puig, Roberts and Vote for Scavuzzo

Will we be getting a new and improved Yasiel Puig next season?

It's obviously way too early to tell, but you gotta love this early indication.  The photo above, featuring Puig with slugger Miguel Cabrera, was instagramed yesterday.  In the caption Miggy says that he ran into Puig working out with weights for the first time in young career.  Hopefully, this is a sign of some good things to come.  (Hat Tip: r/ilovemesomeme)

Below are more links to check out:

The Royals haven’t just won with defense, of course. At the plate, they’ve built a lineup filled with high-contact hitters in an era when power has become pricey and highly sought after. Moreover, in a time when hurlers have dominated and strikeouts have soared, Kansas City has assembled an offense that is less susceptible to the effects of elite velocity and pitching’s widespread supremacy.

As Ben Lindbergh wrote recently at Grantland, evidence exists that high-contact hitters perform better against power pitchers, a notion that has been borne out in the playoffs for two years in a row. (The Giants, too, have succeeded with a similar offensive makeup.) Although burly sluggers often can do more damage, they’re less consistent at the plate, and they’re vulnerable when facing hurlers who excel at getting strikeouts. Watching the Mets’ power arms churn through a formidable Cubs lineup demonstrated this concept to a “T.”
Ultimately, Kansas City is still not viewed as a sabermetric team due to a dated reputation that no longer accurately reflects the organization’s capabilities. Instead, the Royals should be regarded as one of the smartest organizations in baseball — a franchise, much like the Pirates or Astros, that has developed a clear plan and carried it out to great success. No, the Royals haven’t excelled solely because they possess some hyper-advanced analytics department filled with mad scientists churning out data and formulas that are well ahead of everyone else. But what they’ve done probably would draw far more accolades from the sabermetrics crowd if a team like the Rays or Cubs had succeeded with similar strategies.
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