Grand Cards: Wilkin

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Reader, fellow collector and Tigers fan sewingmachineguy said something the other day that many Tigers fans have been thinking ever since the, um, rumors started circulating. In response to me shredding some prospective roster tomfoolery he asks simply, "What about Wilkin Ramirez? He looks like a player."

Ah, so he does.

Seems as though the card companies are throwing their weight behind Wilkin as well. He made his major league debut last season, filling in for the bereaved Magglio Ordonez. At the time, I was firmly in his corner.
I, for one, would like to begin the call now for a Wilkin Ramirez rookie card in Updates and Highlights.

And so it shall be.
2009 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH70 Wilkin Ramirez RC

Topps obliged, either because they are avid readers of the blog, or because they too saw something that they just couldn't resist. It is hard to resist anyone whose first major league hit is a Home Run, after all. Upper Deck saw that and was on the bandwagon too:

2009 Upper Deck Update #U4 Wilkin Ramirez

I wouldn't be surprised if that is actually a shot of him hitting his home run. He only had at bats in four games for the rest of the season, and none until August, and by then, the luster may have worn off. Fortunately, Upper Deck captured the key moment for posterity.

For a guy who has been a prospect in the Tigers system since he was 17, it seems like he may now get his time to shine.
2009 Topps Updates & Highlights #CHR17 Wilkin Ramirez

He's a five tool player, with speed and power and an arm, he is silky-smooth all around.
2009 Topps Updates & Highlights Wilkin Ramirez Silk Collection (#41/50)

But will that be enough? He has holes in his swing, strikes out too often and hasn't shown that he is quite ready to make the jump yet. Not even Lynn Henning, the eternal prospect optimist projects him on the Tigers roster in a couple of years. He has languished among the Top-10 Tigers prospects for years, at least as much as one can languish on a "top 10 list." At least one more keeps him there for another year:
8. Wilkin Ramirez: The tools are still there, but time is beginning to run out. Ramirez has the potential for plus power, and he has some deceptive, workable speed, but he has gaping holes in his swing. And his overly aggressive plate approach isn't doing him any favors. His defense is a liability as well. The odds are stacked against him at this point, but I'm not giving up yet.

None of us are...yet.

But I wonder whether Wilkin can really be the Tigers' Golden Goose
2009 Topps U&H#UH70 Wilkin Ramirez RC Gold (#/2009)

Or if the future of the system lies in a the bat of another.

That remains to be seen. I know for one thing, that I wouldn't put all of my eggs in the Wilkin basket quite yet, but I'll happily pre-order my seat on his bandwagon, just in case.

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