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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cards From The Attic: Top Prospects

When I was going through that worn out shoebox, I was intending on just looking and then leaving the cards be. But then I saw this card.

It's a 1992 Topps quad prospects card, a throwback to the old multi-rookie cards from the 1970s. A few of these prospects panned out. Prospects like these four didn't.

But, when looking through the cards, it's the player on the top left that caught my eye. That's Cesar Bernhardt, whom I just covered last month.

Bernhardt's inclusion in as a "top prospect" in 1992 seems curious. While still relatively young, Bernhardt was in his seventh professional season. The previous year in 1991, he played 87 games at AAA Vancouver. He hit .260 with a single home run, not exactly top prospect material.

And Vancouver would be the highest Bernhardt would get. In 1992, when his Topps card came out, he spent the season between three systems, and no higher than AA.

Taking a closer look at this quad-prospect, it turns out three of the four players were in the CMC set. Both of the other two CMC set players, Armando Moreno and Andy Stankiewicz, were already at AAA two years before the card came out.

If Bernhardt was a curious inclusion because he had an uneventful year in 1991, at least he played in 1992. That can't be said for Moreno. He'd been in the minors for a decade. He played at AAA Buffalo in 1990 and 1991. He didn't play again.

Stankiewicz had by far the best career of the four on the card. Not only was he the only one to make the majors, but he played in parts of seven seasons. And his best year was in 1992, the year this card came out.
The only member of the prospects card not to be in the CMC set was Bobby DeJardin and he could have made it. In 1990, DeJardin was playing AA at Albany-Colonie. There were several Albany Yankees in the CMC set, but De Jardin apparently didn't make the cut.

He also didn't make the majors. He played through 1995, playing his last four seasons largely at AAA.

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