Former Greenbrier High School standout James Shanks had a phenomenal minor league baseball season for the Single A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals in Burlington.
Shanks led the team with a .297 batting average, 148 hits and 25 stolen bases. He was second with 122 games played, 79 runs scored and a .363 on-base percentage. He also managed 26 doubles, six home runs and 53 RBI.
Thanks to that showing, Shanks has turned heads throughout baseball, and that includes the baseball card companies. He is included in the 2002 Bowman Set, as well as the high-end Bowman Chrome Set.
And, in baseball card parlance, he is not exactly considered a "common."
Shanks' Bowman Chrome card has a book value of $5, according to the October edition of the Beckett price guide.
Other Columbia County players have been included in card sets (for example, Evans High product Todd Greene), but for a Single A player to make the Chrome set means he is considered a top prospect.
Shanks wasn't the only county player represented in the minor leagues, so here's a 2002 wrapup of the local talent:
Tydus Meadows (Evans), outfield - Meadows is also in the Kansas City farm system. He was promoted to AA late in the season, and made the most of his opportunity.
In 33 games, Meadows hit .345 with four homers and 20 RBI in just 119 at-bats. He also had a whopping 12 doubles in that short span.
J.J. Johnson (Greenbrier), outfield - Johnson is considered one of the top prospects for the Chicago Cubs, mainly because of his size and strength. He had a bit of a down season offensively, hitting .240 with two home runs and 56 RBI in 112 games with the Lansing Lugnuts.
Johnson did help lead Lansing to the Midwest League playoffs, and hit third, fourth or fifth in the batting order most of the year.
BJ Hawes (Augusta Christian), outfield - Hawes finished an injury-riddled 2002 with the Dayton Dragons, the Single A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. He hit .257 with no homers, 27 RBI and 10 stolen bases. Hawes has a shoulder injury which may require surgery in the future.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.