This year's breakout spring star appears to Jeimer (pronounced Jay-mer, according to him) Candelario, a third baseman out who was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011. In 26 spring plate appearances, "Candy" is batting .333 with 2 homers and 2 walks - not too shabby for a 22 year old.
Likely ticketed for AAA, despite his March prowess, Candelario has nevertheless put his name on the crowded Chicago prospect map. Perhaps after another year of seasoning in the upper minors, he'll be ticketed for a call-up in 2017 - maybe he can even sneak in a September cuppacoffee this year.
Seeing that a Big League appearance could be imminent, I decided to go ahead and grab a card of "Candy" to keep on retainer, should his addition to my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection become necessary. I mean, it was free anyway.
This 2012 Bowman single was found on Listia, which if you aren't familiar is a "free" auction site that trades credits rather than dollars. This guy ran me 999 credits - but, it cost me exactly nothing in real money, so that's a win.
After all, if I waited until Jeimer made his MLB debut to search out this card, prices would inevitably jump. My nearest LCS would probably want at least five bucks for this pre-rookie "premium." After all, they're still wanting a paper Lincoln for a regular, base Darwin Barney rookie card...
To be fair, this card didn't come alone either; I might have only wanted the Candelario, but he had a buddy along for the ride too:
Any Blue Jay collectors or Bowman set builders want to claim this? I got what I needed out of this transaction. In the meantime, Candelario will be joining my prospect que.
These guys will keep Jeimer company!
Here's hoping that "the Candyman can" make a Big League appearance in the relatively near future and validates this "super, duper expensive" purchase. He could also very easily end up as trade bait/sweetener, seeing as third base has already been claimed by a guy named Bryant and there is already a glut of highly-touted middle infielders. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out for the 2016 Spring Training superstar.
Spring Training heroes run the gamut from Kris Bryant to Joe Mather... here's hoping he errs toward the former rather than the latter.