2022 PANINI OPTIC BASEBALL MOST VALUABLE CARDS

The 2022 edition of Panini Optic baseball was highly anticipated by collectors. After the success of past Optic products, collectors were excited to see what prized rookie cards and parallels would emerge from the latest release. Like previous years, Panini Optic 2022 did not disappoint and produced several cards that have already gained significant value on the secondary market.

One of the biggest hits from the set is the prized Luis Robert red refractors. Luis Robert had a breakout rookie season in 2020 that established him as one of the brightest young stars in baseball. His rare refractors from past sets command huge premiums, so collectors were eager to try and pull his red parallel from Optic 2022. The red refractors have serial numbers of /10 or lower, making them extremely scarce pulls. Early on, PSA 10 gem mint Luis Robert red refractors from Optic 2022 were being listed by sellers for over $2,000 ungraded or $3,000+ already encapsulated by PSA or BGS. As Robert continues his success at the major league level, these ultra-rare refractors of his coveted rookie season are expected to steadily gain value for years to come.

Another huge card finding traction is the Prizm green parallel of Julio Rodriguez. Julio Rodriguez had a breakout rookie campaign with the Seattle Mariners in 2022 that saw him win AL Rookie of the Year honors. Any premium parallels showing his rookie season are in high demand. The Optic Prizm greens are serial numbered to /25, making them quite scarce pulls. Early PSA 10 examples were changing hands for well over $1,000 within the first month of the product releasing. With Rodriguez poised for stardom, collectors jumped at the chance to acquire one of his rarest 2022 rookie cards while still affordable. As his career progresses, the Prizm greens from Optic are likely to become even more valuable long term rookie cards for such an exciting young talent.

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In addition to star rookies, collectors also targeted exciting prospects that had breakout seasons in 2022. Bobby Witt Jr. saw his stock skyrocket with a terrific debut for the Kansas City Royals that established him as a future cornerstone player. His Optic yellow diamond refractors, serial numbered to /10, started at over $800 ungraded but have since climbed north of $1,200 for PSA 10 grades. Gaspar Flores exploded onto the scene in the second half for the Pittsburgh Pirates and became one of baseball’s breakout prospects of 2022. His Optic yellow diamond refractors have also gained traction, recently selling in the $600-700 range for a PSA 10 copy. With these players’ potential still largely untapped, their exceedingly rare 2022 rookies from Optic have stayed highly sought after.

Among vintage players, collectors focused on acquiring prized rookie seasons from iconic legends of the game. A PSA 10 Mickey Mantle from Optic’s 1952 design parallel sold for over $4,000 early in the product cycle. Given Mantle’s status as one of the most coveted names in the sport, any ultra-high end vintage cards depicting his famed rookie season break the bank. A PSA 10 Willie Mays from the 1955 Optic design parallel also traded hands for north of $3,500. Vintage collectors pounced at the opportunity to obtain virtually flawless examples of these immortal players’ earliest representations in the hobby. As condition sensitivity increases in the marketplace, such pristine vintage rookies will likely see strong appreciation over the long haul.

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On the parallel front, some of the most difficult pulls and therefore valuable cards emerged. Prizm black parallels of top rookies like Rodriguez, Witt Jr., Adley Rutschman and Oneil Cruz have all landed in the $500-1,000 range for PSA 10 grades due to their rarity levels of /10. Equally scarce, orange parallels numbered to /5 of the same stars have exceeded $800. The rare white whale grey refractors limited to a single copy also drew intense bidding wars. Examples featuring top stars like Rodriguez, Rutschman or Witt Jr. reached the $2,000-3,000 price point immediately upon release. With serial numbers of 1/1, these pinnacle parallels satisfy the rarest of collector demands.

In the auto and memorabilia card realm, Optic also impressed. An on-card auto of prospect Oneil Cruz fetched nearly $750 in a PSA 10, while his memorabilia bat card with a serial number around /25 brought over $350. Rookie phenom Rutschman’s on-card auto changed hands for $650 graded mint by PSA. And game-used memorabilia cards and autos of rising stars like Rodriguez, Witt Jr. and Cavalli found smooth $250-400 sales. Collectors pay top dollar for serial numbered hit cards of today’s budding superstars before they achieve household name status. Optic consistently delivers some of the rarest auditions for such future talents each year.

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The 2022 Panini Optic baseball release generated a new wave of highly valuable rookie cards, parallels and vintage representations that collectors eagerly snapped up. Between exceedingly rare serial numbered refractors, prizm parallels, white whale grey parallels, and on-card autographs of rising stars, Optic assembled another checklist full of coveted pieces. As the careers of players like Robert, Rodriguez, Witt Jr. and others blossom further in the coming years, their prized early hobby representations from 2022 Optic stand to gain further appreciation. The release established itself as essential hunting grounds for today’s key rookies as well as truly one-of-a-kind vintage opportunities. With its proven track record of producing valuable cards year over year, Optic 2023 is already a highly anticipated product on the collector calendar.

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