Baseball Playing cards: 10 Gamers Value Shopping for Forward of the 2023 MLB Season
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Alec BohmWealthy Schultz/Getty Photographs
For instance you are new to baseball card gathering and wish to take a crack at shopping for some playing cards of gamers with worth upside heading into the 2023 season.
A number of issues to contemplate about present passion tendencies:
- No pitchers: Offensive gamers dominate the passion area, particularly in relation to prospecting since there’s such a excessive failure fee for pitching prospects. Until a pitcher places collectively a profession like Clayton Kershaw or Max Scherzer, their playing cards typically have little worth, so the main target right here shall be on hitters.
- Main market bias: A good participant suiting up for the New York Yankees or Chicago Cubs will typically have extra worth than an incredible participant on a small market workforce, with the notable exception being an impactful rookie.
- 1st Bowman: A 1st Bowman card—particularly his 1st Bowman Chrome autograph—has change into essentially the most sought-after early card of most gamers. It typically represents their first card that was launched, typically coming years earlier than their rookie playing cards. As such, a lot of the pricing referenced on this article will replicate 1st Bowman Chrome autographs.
- No high-profile rookies: Now is just not the most effective time to purchase the upcoming Rookie of the Yr front-runners. The time for prospecting is over, with these guys and their markets having already exploded in anticipation of them being the following large factor. As such, you will not see the top-tier 2023 rookies talked about right here—Gunnar Henderson, Corbin Carroll, Francisco Álvarez, Miguel Vargas, Jordan Walker, Triston Casas, and many others.
Forward, we have highlighted 10 gamers with room to develop within the passion area throughout the upcoming season. This isn’t meant to be get-rich-quick investing recommendation, however every of those gamers has the potential to see an uptick of their worth in 2023.
Harrison Bader, New York Yankees
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1st Bowman: 2016 Bowman Prospects
Harrison Bader joined the New York Yankees in a deadline deal that despatched Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals, and whereas he was on the injured record on the time of the commerce, he returned for the postseason and went 10-for-30 with 5 dwelling runs in 9 video games.
The 28-year-old shall be given each alternative to be the on a regular basis heart fielder in 2023, and whereas he is coming off a down yr total in 2022, he is only a yr faraway from a 3.9-WAR season and a Gold Glove win.
If he can keep wholesome, a 20/20 season offensively and extra highlight-reel protection is inside attain, and that will give his passion inventory a pleasant bump taking part in for a high-exposure workforce just like the Yankees.
An ungraded refractor model numbered to 450 of his 1st Bowman Chrome auto lately sold on eBay for $29 to provide you an concept of his market worth.
Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays
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1st Bowman: 2016 Bowman Draft
Bo Bichette is already well-established as a younger MLB star, and he led the American League in hits (189) for the second straight yr in 2022 when he slashed .290/.333/.469, along with hitting 43 doubles, 24 dwelling runs and 93 RBI.
Nevertheless, he has at all times been within the passion shadow of teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and generally, he stands as a second-tier passion possibility relative to lots of his friends.
The latest sale of a 1st Bowman Chrome auto for Guerrero Jr. was for $1,550 last month, and that card commonly sells for 4 figures. By comparability, Bichette had a PSA 10 copy of his 1st Bowman Chrome auto promote for simply $410 on Feb. 11.
After he hit .406/.444/.662 with 11 doubles, seven dwelling runs and 27 RBI in 32 video games over the ultimate month of the 2022 season, Bichette may very well be in for a giant yr in 2023 and a much bigger slice of the passion pie.
Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies
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Sarah Stier/Getty Photographs
1st Bowman: 2018 Bowman Draft
After a disappointing 2021 season, Alec Bohm lastly established himself because the on a regular basis third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies final yr, hitting .280/.315/.398 with 24 doubles, 13 dwelling runs and 72 RBI in 152 video games.
Nevertheless, his observe file suggests there’s much more left within the tank offensively.
“With a big, 6’5″, 240-pound body, Bohm brings an enormous quantity of energy to the batter’s field, which helps present a number of the finest uncooked energy within the nation,” wrote Baseball America earlier than he was chosen No. 3 total within the 2018 draft.
Up to now, he has proven extra of a contact-over-power method, however that might change as he settles in as a giant leaguer and feels extra comfy within the batter’s field.
A 1st Bowman Chrome auto was offered for $91.77 on Jan. 29, and it isn’t onerous to see that determine doubling if he enjoys an influence surge in 2023.
Curtis Mead, Tampa Bay Rays
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Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Photographs by way of Getty Photographs
1st Bowman: 2022 Bowman Prospects
Ask for 2023 AL Rookie of the Yr predictions and Gunnar Henderson, Oswald Peraza, Triston Casas, Hunter Brown and Masataka Yoshida will possible be among the many first names talked about. Everyone seems to be sleeping on Curtis Mead.
The 22-year-old started his profession taking part in professionally in Australia on the age of 16, and he has been one of many fastest-rising prospects in baseball since becoming a member of the Tampa Bay Rays group in an under-the-radar cope with the Philadelphia Phillies.
He hit .298/.390/.532 with 27 doubles, 13 dwelling runs and 50 RBI in 76 video games within the higher ranges of the minors final season, and he may very well be the on a regular basis third baseman in Tampa Bay earlier than the All-Star break.
Ungraded variations of his 1st Bowman Chrome auto are selling for lower than $100, and he’s greater than able to overtaking throughout these greater names to assert AL Rookie of the Yr honors. Tampa Bay may be a small market, however that did not cease Randy Arozarena from breaking by way of with passion relevance when he first burst on to the scene.
Christopher Morel, Chicago Cubs
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Justin Okay. Aller/Getty Photographs
1st Bowman: 2021 Bowman Prospects
One of many few shiny spots in a largely forgettable season for the Chicago Cubs was the promising debut of Christopher Morel.
The 23-year-old posted a 107 OPS+ with 19 doubles, 16 dwelling runs, 47 RBI, 55 runs scored and 10 steals in 113 video games, and he did it whereas beginning double-digit video games at second base, shortstop, third base and in heart area.
He’s now anticipated to settle in because the on a regular basis third baseman in 2023, and he has 20/20 potential with the instruments to be a table-setter atop the lineup if he can enhance on a 31.9 % strikeout fee.
The Cubs have made some good additions this offseason that ought to assist in a push again towards relevance, and Morel has the potential to be the younger up-and-coming star on a resurgent North Siders roster.
Ungraded variations of his 1st Bowman Chrome auto have been promoting for $30-35, and even a PSA 10 copy sold for underneath $100 earlier in February.
Vinnie Pasquantino, Kansas Metropolis Royals
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Ed Zurga/Getty Photographs
1st Bowman: N/A
Vinnie Pasquantino was an Eleventh-round choose within the 2019 draft out of Previous Dominion, the place he posted a .979 OPS with 16 dwelling runs in 57 video games throughout his junior season.
He continued to rake after signing, hitting .294/.371/.592 with 14 dwelling runs and 53 RBI in 57 video games in rookie ball, and that stellar professional debut put him on the quick observe to the massive leagues.
The 25-year-old made his MLB debut on June 28 final season and he went on to submit a 135 OPS+ with 10 doubles, 10 dwelling runs and 26 RBI in 298 plate appearances whereas tallying extra walks (35) than strikeouts (34).
Taking part in alongside passion darling Bobby Witt Jr. may assist him generate some passion notoriety of his personal. Nevertheless, card choices are restricted for collectors heading into the 2023 season.
Pasquantino has not but been featured in any Bowman units, and his solely Topps card was a Topps Now launch, making his 2021 Panini Prizm Draft Picks playing cards maybe his most engaging present possibility. Base variations of his auto from that set have been selling for $20-30 this offseason.
Spencer Steer, Cincinnati Reds
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Andy Lyons/Getty Photographs
1st Bowman: 2019 Bowman Draft
On the lookout for a darkish horse choose within the NL Rookie of the Yr race?
Cincinnati Reds infielder Spencer Steer has as away from a path to taking part in time as any prospect in baseball heading into the preseason, and the beginning third base job shall be his to lose this spring.
The 25-year-old was acquired from the Minnesota Twins in alternate for Tyler Mahle on the commerce deadline final yr, and he hit .274/.364/.515 with 30 doubles, 23 dwelling runs and 75 RBI in 106 video games between Double-A and Triple-A.
He doesn’t have an elite prospect pedigree and has gone underneath the radar because of this. His 1st Bowman Chrome autos are selling within the $30-40 vary, however he has the potential to observe within the footsteps of teammate Jonathan India and convey some passion consideration to Cincinnati.
Andrew Vaughn, Chicago White Sox
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Michael Reaves/Getty Photographs
1st Bowman: 2019 Bowman Draft
After making an attempt to play outfield on the fly the previous two seasons, Andrew Vaughn is about to return to his pure place of first base following the departure of José Abreu in free company. That might imply an offensive breakout now that he can focus his full consideration on hitting.
The 24-year-old hit .271/.321/.429 for a 111 OPS+ with 28 doubles, 17 dwelling runs and 76 RBI in 134 video games final season, however he’s nonetheless simply scratching the floor of the offensive potential that made him the No. 3 total choose within the 2019 draft.
In 160 video games over three seasons at College of California, he hit .374/.495/.688 with 50 dwelling runs and 163 RBI, and with one other step ahead in his energy manufacturing he may be part of Luis Robert and Eloy Jiménez to kind among the finest younger middle-of-the-order trios in baseball.
The final sale of an ungraded model of his 1st Bowman Chrome auto was for $80 on Feb. 7, and even high-grade copies haven’t been promoting for far more than that. If he takes one other step ahead as hoped, that ought to present loads of room for worth.
Juan Yepez, St. Louis Cardinals
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Dilip Vishwanat/MLB Images by way of Getty Photographs
1st Bowman: 2016 Bowman Prospects
A lot of the passion buzz for the St. Louis Cardinals has centered round high prospect Jordan Walker, and understandably so given his enormous offensive upside. There may be additionally nonetheless a powerful marketplace for Nolan Gorman, who may make a play for the beginning second base job this spring.
Nevertheless, fellow 2022 rookie standout Juan Yepez is essentially neglected.
The 24-year-old posted a 111 OPS+ with 13 doubles, 12 dwelling runs and 30 RBI in 274 plate appearances final season, and he may see common taking part in time within the designated hitter position vacated by the retirement of Albert Pujols.
Pictured as a member of the Atlanta Braves group on his 1st Bowman playing cards, he was acquired early within the 2017 season in a deal that despatched Matt Adams to Atlanta.
The final sale for one among his 1st Bowman Chrome autographs was a refractor model numbered to 499, and it nonetheless solely sold for $42. If he performs his method into an on a regular basis position, he may very well be a 25-homer participant in 2023.
Adrián Beltré, Corridor of Fame Candidate
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1st Bowman: 1997 Bowman
The principle focus of this text has been gamers with the potential to construct worth with a powerful efficiency throughout the 2023 season, however we’ll shut issues out by pivoting to a retired participant on the cusp of Cooperstown.
Adrián Beltré shall be Corridor of Fame eligible for the primary time in 2024, and after seeing the uptick in worth that Scott Rolen’s playing cards skilled after he was introduced as a member of the 2023 Corridor of Fame class, collectors ought to be stocking up on Beltré playing cards now.
With 3,166 hits, 477 dwelling runs, 1,707 RBI and 93.5 WAR over the course of his 21-year profession, he ought to be a first-ballot choice, and he has far fewer early card choices than right now’s gamers.
His solely rookie playing cards are within the 1997 Bowman, 1997 Bowman Chrome and 1997 Bowman’s Finest units, whereas his first licensed autograph got here the next yr within the 1998 Bowman launch. Count on his first Topps flagship card within the 1998 Topps base set to additionally obtain a pleasant enhance, together with its Topps Chrome counterpart.
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference