The Pirates broke the old compensation system in the 2011 draft when they picked Gerrit Cole in the first round and Josh Bell in the second. Altogether they spent 17 million in bonuses which destroyed the previous record set by the Nationals the year before. The system would change to the slot system shortly after.
Josh Bell was considered a top ten talent, but had a strong commitment to the University of Texas. He even went as far to instruct all teams not to waste a pick on him. The Pirates disregarded Bell's request and offered him a 5 million dollar signing bonus which was astronomically high for a 2nd round pick. Obviously it was an offer he couldn't refuse.
With that kind of background story you will have considerable hype in terms of cardboard. Early on his cards were on fire and selling for big $ amounts. While I love collecting prospect cards, you can easily go broke if you don't set some ground rules. I've often discussed that I assume every player will have some kind of lull in their minor league development that makes for a good time to go back and stock up. You could have bought Aaron Judge cards for a couple of bucks two years back. Sure the Harper's and Trout's exist but they are definitely the minority.
Bell would go on and have several injury plagued minor league seasons that allowed me to go and find some nice cards.
2017 Immaculate Collection Josh Bell Multi Jersey /25
As usual the non licensed stuff tends to stay in a price range I'm comfortable with. I picked this card up not long after Immaculate's release. Normally this is not a good idea, but Bell started to really gain some secondary market steam soon after so it was good timing.
2017 Diamond Kings Josh Bell Auto/Jersey /299
Brian pulled this DK auto for me in one of our box breaks earlier this year. I was very thankful for that.
In some ways I'm happy when a certain player becomes too expensive because that means he has had a successful transition to MLB. Hopefully Bell continues his success and becomes a true cardboard superstar like Cutch turned into.
Thanks for reading!