Thursday, September 29, 2011

Featured card: 2011 Topps Chrome Jordan Walden Orange refractor #183

I was able to pick up this Orange refractor of the Angels closer from Brian at Play at the Plate - in exchange for a Mason Tobin X-Fractor from this pack break.

Walden was thrown into the fire in 2011 and his season went from being impressive as a rookie closer making the All-Star team - to a guy who has some things to work on after two rough outings to end the year.

Unlike the last two great Angels closers [Troy Percival and Francisco Rodriguez] - I don't know if Walden has had a 'mentor' to allow him to develop, like Percival did when Lee Smith was a closer for the Angels back in 1995 and like 'K-Rod' who watched Percival close out games, before taking over closing duties for the Angels in the mid 2000s.

Walden is still a young guy and perhaps the Angels can go out and sign at end of the game reliever that sort of helps Walden out - if not really as a 'mentor' type, someone who can close out games as Walden figures things out.

As much talent as Walden has, I don't want to see the Angels burn him out because they don't have any other closing options - instead of hitting his prime in his mid 20s, you might find a guy like Walden bottoming out like the seemingly sad case of Jonathan Broxton, circa 2010-2011.

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