The 2022 MLB rookie class had several highly touted prospects make their debuts and immediately make an impact on their teams. While it’s still early, some rookies like Julio Rodriguez, Bobby Witt Jr., and Adley Rutschman have shown huge upside in their first seasons. Their rookie cards are already gaining value as collectors speculate on their future stardom. Let’s take a look at some of the top rookie cards from the 2022 MLB season that collectors should be watching.
Julio Rodriguez, OF, Seattle Mariners (2021 Topps Chrome Refractor Auto RC PSA 10) – Rodriguez had one of the best rookie seasons in recent memory, slashing .284/.345/.509 with 28 home runs and 25 stolen bases. He immediately became a fan favorite in Seattle while helping lead the Mariners back to the playoffs. His rookie cards have skyrocketed in value, with the prized Topps Chrome Refractor Auto RC in a PSA 10 gem mint grade recently selling for over $10,000, a massive increase from its original retail price. Rodriguez has superstar potential and his cards could end up being the most valuable from this rookie class long term.
Bobby Witt Jr., SS/3B, Kansas City Royals (2021 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Auto RC PSA 10) – The number two overall pick in the 2019 draft, Witt lived up to the hype by making his MLB debut in April 2022. He hit .256 with 20 home runs and stole 30 bases while playing stellar defense up the middle. Witt’s cards have also gained value quickly thanks to his early success. The Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Auto RC holds appeal due to its low print run and eye-popping color. Graded examples have sold for $5,000-$7,000, showing Witt has staying power as one of the premier young talents in baseball.
Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore Orioles (2021 Bowman Chrome Auto RC PSA 10) – As the number one overall pick in 2019, Rutschman was arguably the top prospect in all of baseball heading into 2022. He showed why with an impressive debut, slashing .254/.362/.430 with 5 home runs in 50 games while displaying advanced plate discipline. His defense behind the plate drew rave reviews as well. The prized Bowman Chrome Auto RC has held steady value around $3,000-$4,000 for PSA 10 examples, and that figure could rise significantly if Rutschman continues developing into an all-star caliber catcher.
Spencer Strider, SP, Atlanta Braves (2022 Topps Chrome Rainbow Foil Refractor Auto RC PSA 10) – Taken in the fourth round of the 2020 draft, Strider exploded onto the scene in 2022 by posting a 2.67 ERA with 202 strikeouts in 131.2 innings as a rookie. The electric stuff and breakout season have made Strider one of the most intriguing young pitchers in baseball. His flagship Topps Chrome rookie refractor auto holds appeal due to the rainbow foil parallel and sharp centering. Graded gems have sold for $2,000+, showing his cards have found a strong initial foothold.
Oneil Cruz, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates (2021 Topps Chrome Auto RC PSA 10) – At 6-foot-7, Cruz is a towering presence with tantalizing raw power potential. He showed flashes in his 2022 debut, slugging 4 home runs in 57 games. His unique physical profile and tools have always drawn attention from collectors. The coveted Topps Chrome Auto RC in a PSA 10 gem has hovered around $1,500, and Cruz’s development will be closely watched going forward as he could develop into a true five-tool star if everything clicks.
Brennan Davis, OF, Chicago Cubs (2021 Bowman Chrome Auto RC PSA 10) – A second round pick in 2018, Davis made his MLB debut in 2022 and flashed some of his tools by hitting .263 with 3 home runs in 30 games. He has a well-rounded skillset and remains one of the Cubs’ top prospects. His prized Bowman Chrome Auto RC has found a steady market around $1,000-$1,200 in a PSA 10 case, showing faith in his long term upside on a rebuilding Cubs team.
Jack Leiter, SP, Texas Rangers (2021 Bowman Chrome Auto RC PSA 10) – The number two overall pick in 2021, Leiter made a quick ascent to Arlington in 2022 but struggled with injuries and command issues, posting a 6.90 ERA in 11 games. His stuff and pedigree remain highly intriguing. His flagship Bowman Chrome auto holds steady around $800-$1,000 in gem mint condition, and Leiter will be given every chance to develop into the frontline starter his talent and draft status project.
Hunter Greene, SP, Cincinnati Reds (2022 Topps Chrome Rainbow Foil Refractor Auto RC PSA 10) – After battling injuries for several years, Greene broke out with a 3.30 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 89 innings as a rookie in 2022 while routinely hitting triple digits on the radar gun. The electric stuff has always been the draw with Greene, and his flagship Topps Chrome rookie refractor auto in a PSA 10 gem has found a solid $700-$800 market. He has ace upside if he can stay healthy.
Seiya Suzuki, OF, Chicago Cubs (2022 Topps Chrome Rainbow Foil Refractor Auto RC PSA 10) – The Cubs’ big international signing from Japan, Suzuki had a solid first MLB season, slashing .262/.344/.436 with 14 home runs in 112 games. His on-field performance and cultural significance as one of the few Japanese stars in MLB have made his rookie cards popular. The Topps Chrome refractor auto has sold for $600-700 in PSA 10 condition, and Suzuki could develop into a consistent all-star calibre player.
While it’s still early in their careers, the 2022 rookie class features several players like Julio Rodriguez, Bobby Witt Jr., Adley Rutschman, and Spencer Strider who have already shown all-star caliber upside in their debut seasons. Their flagship rookie cards have understandably gained significant value but still hold long term potential if they continue developing into perennial all-stars. Meanwhile, prospects like Jack Leiter and Hunter Greene will be closely watched to see if they can reach their lofty potentials. This rookie class offers collectors several compelling young talents to follow for years to come.