The hobby of collecting baseball cards is ever-evolving, with new stars emerging each season and card companies releasing innovative new products. Determining the best baseball cards to collect in any given year requires weighing several factors, including the players and rookies featured, the scarcity and design of the cards, and the potential for future value appreciation.
For collectors looking to get a jumpstart on 2023, several rookie cards and star players stand out as prime targets. Two of the most hyped rookie classes in recent memory will be entering their first full MLB seasons, headlined by 2021 first overall pick Spencer Torkelson and 2022 first overall pick Druw Jones. Cards from their respective debut seasons in 2021 and 2022 will be hot commodities, but their true rookie cards from 2023 releases have the highest longterm upside.
Topps Chrome and Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects are usually the first to showcase true rookie cards for the year’s draft class. For 2023, keep an eye out for the prized autograph and memorabilia rookie cards of Torkelson, Jones, Jackson Holliday, and other top picks. These limited parallels could appreciate significantly in value if any of the rookies emerge as the next big star. Base rookie cards will also be worth grabbing for most of the top prospects to round out complete longterm sets.
Veteran star cards remain a steady investment area. Topps Chrome Blue Refractors and Topps Finest Refractors of superstars like Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are always in high demand. The 2023 updates of flagship Topps and Bowman will have the first cards showing these players in their new uniforms if any change teams over the offseason. Parallel and autograph rookies of established veterans can also hold value when they switch teams.
Panini Prizm has become the most coveted modern brand, and its 2023 release will feature more NBA-style acetate cards. Look for short printed parallels and the ever-elusive 1-of-1 Prizm patches of top players. The brand also debuts true rookie cards for draft picks outside of the Topps and Bowman families. Topps Allen & Ginter is a fan favorite for its unique design themes – keep an eye out for any rare autographs or one-of-ones featuring rising stars.
Upper Deck is making a comeback with its 2023 release, bringing back the classic SP Authentic brand that was last seen over a decade ago. Its rookie cards and autographed parallels of top prospects will be a hot new commodity. SP Authentic parallels like the SPx Green Refractor are already gaining cache among collectors. Topps Archives and Bowman Heritage pay homage to vintage designs while still featuring current players – short prints from these sets can appreciate well.
Beyond individual cards, complete team sets also hold value longterm. The flagship Topps and Bowman sets are the most widely collected. For investment potential, focus on teams with strong farm systems like the Rays or Dodgers that are churning out stars. Complete sets of prospects-heavy brands like Bowman Draft and International are also excellent longterm holds. Autograph and memorabilia sets like Topps Triple Threads and Topps Tier One provide a premium product at higher initial cost but with blue-chip rookies can become valuable complete investments.
When considering what cards to target, it’s important to do research on players’ talents and team situations heading into 2023. Injuries, trades or breakouts can significantly impact values. Diversifying across several top rookies and stars helps mitigate risk. Always buy grading-worthy copies in top condition to maximize appreciation. By focusing on the brands, parallels and players poised to make an impact next season, collectors can get a head start on acquiring the best baseball cards to hold longterm that have the highest chances of increased value in 2023 and beyond. With patience and due diligence, the top cards from this year’s crop have strong odds of becoming highly valuable in the future.