With what has been another amazing year for rookies, lets take a look at what’s been some of the top rookie cards to this point (Bowman Draft and Topps Update could add to this list).
Before we do this however, lets clarify that there are cards out in certain products such as Bowman that aren’t rookie cards, but first time player cards or prospect cards. A rookie card will have the logo (to the right) on it and only given to a player card once that player has debuted in the Majors.
There are also brands out there that are not licensed by Major League Baseball like Donruss that will have the players image but not team name on the jersey or card. We’re going to stay away from those here as well.
Now that we got the boring stuff out of the way, lets start with the flagship of baseball cards, Topps. Topps gets issued in three series. The First was February 1st, the second in mid-June, and the Update Sereis in mid-October. These cards have the highest production and are the easiest to find, so value remains low.
Topps Series 1
A solid rookies checklist came together in the first series, which included Josh Bell, Alex Reyes, Luke Weaver, JaCoby Jones, Orlando Arcia, Yulieski Gurriel, and Tyler Glasgow but also included key cards for:
Dansby Swanson/#84/Beckett Value: $1.50
The former #1 draft pick had a rough 2017 after a hot start to his career in 2016
Yoan Moncada/#210/Value: $2
The 22-year old top prospect struggled with consistent hitting, but showed good patience and extra base pop, which help lead to a .750 OPS
Andrew Benintendi/#283/Value: $3
A lot of the media’s choice to win AL ROY, Benintendi had a very solid year, hitting .271 with 20 homers and 90 RBI
The AL Leader in runs, homers (52 a new rookied record), walks and K’s, has everyone’s attention and you can tell by the value of his card
Like Benintendi, Bregman was the other notable AL rookie who would challenge for ROY. Bregman had a very respectable first full season, hitting .284 with 19 homers (39 doubles) and collecting 71 RBI
Topps Series 2
From here, we get in to series 2 and a pretty disappointing release with few notable rookies. Some of the key rookie cards include Hunter Renfroe, Mitch Haniger, Jose Martinez, and standout cards for the following…
Olson only played 59 games for the A’s this season, but he smashed 24 home runs and had 45 RBI in that time frame. What’s crazy to me, he had just 2 doubles.
Mancini struggled a bit in the second half of the season, but still ended up hitting 24 homers and hitting .293
With a rookie class miss, we can at least expect the Update series to make up for that miss. That said, Update gets released Wednesday, so there is no pricing, but here are some cards to look out for when ripping packs.
Key Rookies: Matt Chapman, Kyle Freeland, Anthony Alford, Antonio Senzatela, Sean Newcomb, Joe Jimenez, Reynaldo Lopez, Francis Martes, Jesse Winker, Lewis Brinson, and Franklin Barreto
Happ made his debut May 17th and although he hit just .253, was a key piece of the Cubs second half rebound with 24 homers, 17 doubles, and 68 RBI
Bellinger will be the NL ROY after his 39 homer 25 double, 97 RBI debut starting April 25th
In case you were wondering if a player can have two rookie cards…
Hader, a top prospect for the Brewers, came up and threw 35 games of relief, with a 2.08 ERA amd 0.986 WHIP, to go with 68K’s
Zimmer was having a solid rookie season before breking his hand trying to make a catch against Detroit. Before the injury, Zimmer was hitting .241 with 8 homers and 15 doubles