Sports Cards: The 10 Most Desirable MLB Players in Today's Baseball Card Market
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What are the 10 most desirable players in today's baseball card market?
It's a simple question that we set out to answer by combing through recent eBay sales and bidding history, the Beckett database, and simple Twitter buzz.
Unsurprisingly, the market is dominated by the game's young superstars who are already playing at the elite level and have a chance to do so for the next decade and beyond. However, there is also at least one veteran and one retired player in our list.
When it comes to card collecting as a hobby, everyone should collect what they love, but in terms of value, these are the 10 types that are currently at the top of the market.
Ronald Acuna jr.
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Although I don't play in oneMLBSince suffering a cruciate ligament rupture on July 10, 2021, Ronald Acuna Jr. remains one of the biggest names in the world of card collecting.
Will we see a slight uptick in his market after he's activated from the injured list?
Still only 24 years old and with a rare 40/40 potential, it's not hard to see why fans care about the Atlanta Braves outfielder, and he was a legitimate NL MVP contender last season, before going down on a 0.283/0.394/. .596 line, 24 homers, 17 steals and3.6 KRIEGin 82 games.
The super-short printed "Bat Down" variant of his 2018 Topps Rookie has become one of this generation's iconic rookie cards, while his 2017 Bowman Chrome Prospects and 2018 Topps Chrome Autographs are the best early auto options in his database.
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Miguel Cabrera is undoubtedly a future Hall of Famer, and his recent 3,000-hit streak has given his card market a boost, particularly his early cards from his days with the Florida Marlins.
The 39-year-old scored the 3,000 against Colorado Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela on April 23. hit, becoming just the seventh member of the 3,000 hits 500 HR club alongside Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro. Albert Pujols andAlex Rodriguez.
He debuted early enough that he doesn't have hundreds of rookie card options like today's players do, and his 2000 Topps Traded and 2000 Topps Chrome Traded cards are the only true rookie cards in his database.
Raw copies of the non-Chrome card have been selling for $150+ in recent days, while his second Topps card in the 2003 Topps Traded set has also seen an uptick. This might be a temporary surge, but looking at the market now, it belongs on this list.
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ThatView #1In baseball, prior to his MLB debut, Wander Franco was a key player in the baseball card market before even playing his first big league game.
He hit .288/.347/.463 with 30 extra base hits and3.5 KRIEGin 70 games as a rookie last season, and the Tampa Bay Rays rewarded him with an 11-year, $182 million offseason extension to lock him in as a centerpiece of the future.
The 21-year-old hit .319/.333/.611 in his first 17 games this year with 12 extra base hits in his first 75 plate appearances, and all signs point to him becoming a perennial MVP contender years come.
His 2019 Bowman Chrome Prospects car and its many variations will always be his earliest card and most recognizable, while his true rookies are the chases in early 2022 products, including Series 1 of the Topps flagship 2022 release.
Ken Griffey jr.
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Ken Griffey Jr. will always have a prominent place in the baseball card universe.
For newer collectors just getting into the hobby, his six different 1989 Rookie cards are a great way to delve into the Junk Wax era. He's an obvious top target for nostalgic collectors, and his wide selection of 1990's inserts still fetches a premium on the secondary market.
With the cutest swing in baseball history and a swagger that helped make him the face of the sport during its prime, Griffey's enduring popularity should come as no surprise.
His 1989 upper deck rookie card has strong arguments for being the most famous baseball card of all time.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
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A tip for those who bought Vladimir Guerrero Jr. cheap after his "disappointing" first two years at the majors. The Toronto Blue Jays' young superstar made his debut just after his 20th birthday with expectations sky-high, but it wasn't until last season that he realized his enormous potential.
Definitely be109 OPS+In 757 plate appearances during his season at ages 20 and 21, it was a stellar accomplishment for one of baseball's youngest players, but the hobby market isn't a patient place. After seeing Ronald Acuna Jr. and Juan Soto achieve instant stardom, some quickly wrote Guerrero off as someone who couldn't live up to the hype.
Then everything clicked in 2021, and he hit .311/.401/.601 with 48 homers and 111 RBI to finish second to Shohei Ohtani in AL MVP voting.
His first Bowman Chrome car is part of the 2016 Bowman Chrome Prospects set.
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Shohei Ohtani took the league by storm as a rookie in 2018, scoring one151 OPS+with 22 home runs on the plate while running a 3.31 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 51.2 innings on the mound to win AL Rookie of the Year honors.
However, the next two years were largely one of disappointment and injury, and his stock dropped significantly as the 2021 season began.
With a clean bill of health on the mound, 2021 all came together with a season to last as he hit 46 home runs, stole 26 bases and went 9-2 in 130.1 innings with a 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts Lead majors with 9.0 WAR and take home the AL MVP award.
His card values soared throughout the 2021 season and he's earned his place as a hobbyist juggernaut with skills the sport has never seen before.
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With his Rookies in 2020 products, Luis Robert was the chaser at a time when the hobby was booming and many people were either diving back into collecting or taking up collecting for the first time.
He fell off in the second half of his rookie season but still showed enough five-tool potential to maintain his reputation as one of the biggest names in the hobby, and he teased collectors again last year with a truncated 68-game streak Season of the MVP- Caliber Production.
The 24-year-old will soon need to get everything together over an entire season or risk a drop in his Hobby stocks. For now, his alluring potential and peak production when he was healthy last year remains enough to shore up his reputation among collectors.
His 2018 Bowman Chrome Prospects card is his 1st Bowman and is considered his most coveted early card, with a photo from his induction press conference after earning a $26 million signing bonus with the Chicago White Sox.
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Juan Soto started the 2018 season at Single-A, but just 39 games and two minor league promotions later he was in the big leagues at the age of 19.
He hit .292/.406/.517 with 22 homers and 70 RBI in 116 games as a rookie, and he didn't turn 20 until after the regular season ended. His upward trend has continued in the years since, as he helped the Washington Nationals win a World Series in 2019, win a batting title in 2020, and finished runner-up in NL MVP voting last season.
At an age when most players are just making their way into the big leagues, he's already an established superstar and arguably baseball's most versatile offensive player of touch skills, strength and elite plate discipline.
His 2018 Topps Update and 2018 Topps Chrome Update are by far his most valuable rookie non-autos, while his 1st Bowman is part of the 2016 Bowman Chrome Prospects set.
Fernando Tatis Jr.
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Fernando Tatis Jr. has more than enough hobby popularity to endure an extended stint on the injured list to start the 2022 season.
The 23-year-old had a 42-homer, 25-steal,6.6-KRIEGseason last year while struggling with a nagging shoulder injury on the track and he suffered a broken wrist in the offseason that has kept him on the sidelines so far this year, but he's a real MVP contender when he's healthy is.
At this early stage in his career, he is a .292/.369/.596 hitter with 162 game averages of 33 doubles, 48 homers, 116 RBI, 125 runs scored and 8.1 WAR.
It was a staggering 16,260 of his 2019 Topps Chrome base rookie cardsPPE submittedfor grading, with 11,497 returning from those with a PSA 10 grade. Despite the abundance of maps available, PSA 10 copies of the map still regularly sell for over $100.
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The players on this list have been arranged alphabetically, but it's fitting that we end thereMike Forelle.
His 2011 Topps Update Rookie card is likely to be the defining card of this generation, and it stands as proof that a card doesn't need dozens of parallels or a certified autograph to be valuable.
A PSA 10 version of the map sold for $3,100 on eBay just days ago, while a raw version fetched $785 a day later. It's a bucket list card for any power collector, but anything and everything that appeals to Trout.
Now that he's back to health, he looks like a total great again, which has helped him climb to the top of the current baseball card market.
All stats courtesy ofbaseball reference.