Matt Strahm challenges Phillies top prospect to hilarious high-stakes showdown

There could be a high-stakes at-bat for a hilarious prize at spring training next year.
Philadelphia Phillies reliever Matt Strahm
Philadelphia Phillies reliever Matt Strahm / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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If you scroll through Philadelphia Phillies reliever Matt Strahm's X account, you see two things: Strahm and his teammates being great at baseball and a whole lot of baseball cards.

Topps recently released one of their annual baseball card sets, the 2024 Bowman Chrome, on May 8 and the left-hander took very little time in deciding which one of the cards he would be chasing out of packs.

In the newest rendition of the Bowman line, Topps announced that every card No. 1 out of a specific amount will have an added description from the player with their autograph saying, "My 1st Bowman Auto." Being the avid card collector that he is, Strahm came across a photo of the Phillies' No. 3 prospect Aidan Miller and quickly decided that was the card that he wanted the most.

Bowman Chrome 1st cards are among the most valuable rookie cards, as they are the first professional trading cards that young athletes receive. For comparison, a Bryson Stott Bowman Chrome 1st graded as a BGS 9.5 (just under perfect condition) numbered to 150, just like the Aidan Miller's, recently sold for over $200.

With Aidan Miller ranking as MLB Pipeline's No. 54 prospect entering the 2024 season, it's likely that his card will be significantly more valuable than Stott's. The 19-year-old's non-numbered Bowman Chrome 1st autographs have already seen to be selling anywhere from $150 and $200.

The specific card that Strahm pointed out also has additional features such as the unique inscription as well as the "001" number, which increases the demand and overall value of the card. There are sure to be many collectors looking for this card.

Maybe even the player on the front.

Matt Strahm challenges Phillies top prospect to live at-bat for hilarious prize

After the Topps X account enlightened Strahm that Miller might also want a special card like that, the relief pitcher quickly turned it into a competition with the Phillies prospect, hoping he could win his way into owning the card next spring. He challenged Miller to a live at-bat in Clearwater, with the winner presumably taking home the prized card.

Miller didn't back down. The Clearwater Thresher replied with a set of eye emojis, reaffirming the fact that he's up for the challenge.

While it's a long shot that the battle goes down for the card, it shows that the Phillies organization from top to bottom is connected and relationships built between coaches, players and staff stick between levels.

Who would come out on top in the battle for the autograph?

While it seems like a no-brainer who would succeed in a live at-bat between a nine-year MLB veteran and a 19-year-old who was just drafted last year, it might be closer than you would think.

Miller has found quick success in the minor leagues in the minors, facing pitchers of both sides. While he has hit better against right-handed pitching, the Florida native has increased his batting average against left-handers, hitting .318 in 2024 with an OPS of .787.

Miller has shown the ability to turn around high velocity even at his young age, so the thought of Strahm overpowering or blowing fastballs by him is not in question. Strahm also boasts an incredible walk rate of less than two percent which means that Miller will see ample pitches within the zone to attack.

That said, the second-year Phillie has been one of the best relievers in baseball this season. Pitching to a 1.26 ERA, Strahm has an opponent batting average of .212 against right-handed hitters, even better than his numbers against lefties.

Miller's ability cannot be overlooked. Being a top-100 prospect means that some very important people think that he'll be great someday. The problem for Miller is simple: Strahm is that great right now.

If someone within the Phillies organization can get their hands on Aidan Miller's 1st Bowman Chrome, we could see a high-stakes battle next spring.

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