Saturday, June 15, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2003 Topps Traded and Rookies #T130 Jeff Mathis

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, June 15, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2003 Topps Traded and Rookies #T130.
  • Player Name, position, team: Jeff Mathis, catcher, Anaheim Angels.
  • Major League Debut: August 12, 2005.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2002 stats (Cedar Rapids, A-Midwest League): 128 G, 491 AB, 75 R, 141 H, 41 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 73 RBI, 7 SB, .444 SLG, 40 BB, 75 SO, .287 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Angels #1st, June 2001. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 7. This is his second Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Jeff possesses all the skills big-league managers look for in a catcher. Fundamentally sound behind the plate, he releases the ball quickly and fires hard strikes to second base. He's also a natural-born leader. At the dish, Mathis powers the ball with quick, strong wrists. For Cedar Rapids (A) in 2002, he slugged 10 homers while ranking second in the Midwest League with 41 two-bases hits."
  • Commentary: Before the Rookie Card Rules mandated by MLB properties (which indicated that no player could get a Rookie card until they make their debut in the major leagues), card companies went all out to try and get every top prospect in the minors they could and include them in their products. In the case of Jeff Mathis, his first Topps rookie card apeared in the 2001 Topps Traded and Rookies set because he was one of the first ten players selected in the 2001 MLB draft to sign with their club. For the record, Mathis was the 33rd player selected in the first round of the 2001 draft, third pick in the supplemental round. Through his development in the minors, he appeared in the 2003 Traded set as a top prospect, based on his banner year with the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Midwest League. But what did he do in 2003? Playing for both the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (97 games) of the A-California League and the AA-Southern League Arkansas Travelers (24 games), Mathis hit a combined .315 with 13 home runs, 68 rbi's, and an OPS of .872. Behind the plate, he was successful in catching 30 of 119 runners who made an attempt to steal a base off him and his pitchers (25% success rate). Since making his MLB debut in 2005, the Angels utilized Mathis in a platoon role, first with Jose Molina, and then Mike Napoli. In his five plus seasons with the Angels, Mathis hit for a low .195 average with 26 homers and 139 rbi's in 476 games. He served as the backup catcher for the Blue Jays in 2012, and in 2013, signed a contract with the Miami Marlins. After spending the first month and a half warming up in the Marlins' AAA affiliate in Salt Lake, he is now in Miami, filling in as the team's regular catcher.
  • Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 13 cards.
Tomorrow is Retro Sunday, the one day of the week that we feature a card from 1951-1975. The card we will feature tomorrow is: 1953 Topps #147. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.


JayBee Anama

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