Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bonus Cubs from the 2004 Factory Set

For several years Topps has been issuing team specific complete factory sets. Usually the teams are those that are both big market teams and winning. By virtue of their 2003 playoff run, the Cubs got the factory sets starting in 2004. The run lasted until this year.

In addition to the standard 660 cards, the team specific sets also included 5 bonus cards. Some years the cards featured prospects, some years it was players not included in the regular set, and another option was extra cards of star players.

The 2004 set featured prospects. Let's take a look at the players Topps featured and how their careers have gone since 2004

#1 of 5 Bobby Brownlie...a 5-4 record in 2003 at Class A Daytona led Topps to believe that Brownlie was a top prospect. I'm thinking Topps was a little premature. Brownlie never made it to the majors. In fact, he only pitched a handful of games at the AAA level. In 2006 he was 3-14 and after that he spent the next three seasons in three different organizations. His last season was 2009 in the independent Atlantic League.

#2 of 5 Felix Pie...In 2004 he was considered one of the Cubs top prospects. He made it to the Cubs in 2007 but after two years, he fizzled out and was traded to the Orioles. With both teams he has never really lived up to all the hype.

#3 of 5 Jon Connolly....In 2003 he was a spectacular 16-3 with a 1.41 ERA for the Tigers class A West Michigan Whitecaps. The Cubs picked him up in a late April 2004 trade. After two seasons in class A for the Cubs, he was sent back to the Tigers, but never rose above AAA. His final pro season was 2008 with two teams in the independent Atlantic League.

#4 of 5 David Kelton...Drafted by the Cubs in 1998, Kelton worked his way up the Cubs chain and had a cup of coffee with the Cubs in 2003. In AAA in 2004 he put up solid but nothing special numbers and again had a short stint with the Cubs. But by that time the organization figured he wasn't going to make it and Kelton spent all of 2005 in AAA. His final pro season was spent in the Braves organization at AAA Richmond.

#5 of 5 Ricky Nolasco....In 2003 he was 11-5 in class A. He continued climbing up the chain the next two seasons and was 14-3 in 2005 in AA. The Cubs were looking for a lead-off hitter, and before the 2006 season Nolasco was part of a package of prospects the Cubs sent to the Marlins in exchange for Juan Pierre. He has put together a 54-39 record for the Marlins over the past five seasons.

1 comment:

  1. To me, in that picture, Brownlie looks a little like Rich Harden