BEST 2022 BASEBALL CARDS

The 2022 baseball season saw the release of many exciting new baseball card products from the major card companies like Topps, Panini, Leaf, and more. With so many new sets hitting the market, it can be tough to determine which 2022 baseball cards are the best investments and most coveted by collectors. Here’s a breakdown of some of the top 2022 baseball cards that stood out and are likely to retain strong long-term value.

Topps Update Series – As one of the flagship baseball card releases each year, Topps Update Series is always a must-have for collectors. The 2022 Update Series saw the debut rookie cards of stars like Bobby Witt Jr., Spencer Torkelson, and Julio Rodriguez. The Witt Jr. and Rodriguez rookies in particular have exploded in popularity due to their early MLB success. PSA 10 copies of the Witt Jr. and Rodriguez rookies have already cracked the $1000 price point. Other top rookies like Torkelson, Adley Rutschman, and CJ Abrams also debuted in Update and will be core long term holds.

Topps Chrome – As the premier “refractor” product, Topps Chrome is known for its photo variations and parallels that add to the chase. The 2022 Chrome set debuted rookie refractors and parallels for the same top rookie class as Update. However, Chrome takes it up a notch with its array of color refractors, negative refractors, and numbered parallels that supercharge the hunt. Top rookie Chrome cards like a Bobby Witt Jr. Orange Refractor /50 or Julio Rodriguez Negative Refractor are already commanding big premiums over their standard base counterparts.

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Topps Finest – For sheer on-card autographs, Topps Finest is tough to beat each year. The 2022 release included autographs from the top rookies as well as veterans. Some early standouts include a Bobby Witt Jr. On-Card Auto Purple Refractor /99 and a Julio Rodriguez On-Card Auto Green Refractor /150. Both are sure to be long term centerpieces. Finest also introduced “Finest Factors” short print variations that added another layer to the chase.

Panini Prizm – As the main competitor to Topps flagship products, Panini Prizm does it best with its flashy refractors and parallels. The 2022 Prizm release debuted the same top rookie class but with “Prism” refractors in an array of colors. Early key cards include a Bobby Witt Jr. Green Prism /99 and Julio Rodriguez Pink Prism /49. Prizm also has parallel tracks like “Mosaic” and “Optic” that each offer their own twists on the core rookie class.

Topps Archives – For retro style cards of today’s stars, Topps Archives can’t be beat. The 2022 release paid tribute to classic designs from the ’80s and ’90s. Standouts include a Bobby Witt Jr. card made to look like an old 1987 Topps Traded design and a Julio Rodriguez card styled after 1990 Topps. These types of unique retro treatments are catnip for collectors and command premiums far above the players’ standard rookie issues.

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Bowman Draft – As the first card released for many top prospects, Bowman Draft holds a special place. The 2022 Draft class was led by shortstop Jackson Holliday, the #1 overall pick. His Topps Autograph Green Refractor /99 and Bowman Chrome Auto Refractor Parallel /50 are already big ticket items. Other 2022 Draft standouts like Druw Jones and Elijah Green also debuted in this set with parallels that are gaining steam.

Panini Contenders – For on-card autographs of stars, Contenders is a premiere option. The 2022 release featured autographs of Bobby Witt Jr., Julio Rodriguez and more embedded within the base card design. Early hits like a Witt Jr. On-Card Auto Blue Prizm /99 and Julio Rodriguez On-Card Auto Green Prizm /99 really pop for collectors. Contenders also introduced innovative “Neon” parallels and 1/1 autograph patches.

Topps Heritage – As a nostalgia-themed release, Topps Heritage pays tribute to classic card designs with a modern twist. The 2022 Heritage set featured today’s stars on retro-styled cardboard harkening back to the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Key cards include a Bobby Witt Jr. on a 1957-style design and a Julio Rodriguez rendered on a 1970 design. These unique treatments coupled with the players’ emerging star power make for strong long term holds.

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Topps Sapphire – For high-end parallels and patches, Topps Sapphire delivers some of the rarest cards around. The 2022 release included ultra-short printed parallels like a Bobby Witt Jr. Gold Sapphire /10 and Julio Rodriguez Red Sapphire /5. Even rarer were 1/1 Sapphire card patches featuring swatches of the players’ game-worn uniforms. These types of ultra-premium parallels command maximum collector demand.

Panini Immaculate – At the absolute high-end, Panini Immaculate takes card collecting to a new level. The 2022 release featured on-card autographs, patches, and memorabilia cards of the top rookies. Early standouts include a Bobby Witt Jr. Dual On-Card Auto Patch /5 and Julio Rodriguez Triple On-Card Auto Patch /1. These types of impossibly rare 1/1 cards shatter records at auction and cement themselves as true modern baseball card icons.

While there were many great 2022 baseball card releases beyond what’s covered here, the products and key rookie cards highlighted should provide a solid foundation for any collector looking to build core holdings from this exciting season. With their early MLB success, stars like Bobby Witt Jr. and Julio Rodriguez are sure to retain immense value for years to come in all their flagship rookie issues. Pairing those with some of the ultra-premium parallels and memorabilia cards from sets like Sapphire, Finest, and Immaculate establishes a true power portfolio primed for long term appreciation.

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