SERIES 2 BASEBALL CARDS 2023

The release of Series 2 baseball cards each year marks the halfway point of the baseball card season. After the huge checklist of rookie cards, prospects and veterans in Series 1, Series 2 provides another batch of opportunities for collectors to add new cards to their collections before the postseason. For the 2023 season, the highly anticipated Series 2 release is set to include more rookie sensation cards, international prospects making their card debuts and exciting veteran stars.

Some of the biggest rookie names expected to have new cards in 2023 Series 2 include catcher Adley Rutschman of the Baltimore Orioles, shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. of the Kansas City Royals and outfielder Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners. All three made splashy MLB debuts in 2022 and are viewed as future cornerstones for their rebuilding franchises. Rutschman in particular is likely to have a prized autograph or memorabilia card after a strong rookie campaign that saw him named AL Rookie of the Year.

On the pitching side, some highly touted new arms to watch for include Oakland A’s lefty Ken Waldichuk, Cincinnati Reds hurler Hunter Greene and Tampa Bay Rays starter Shane Baz. Waldichuk blazed through the minors in 2022 and could find himself as a future #2 starter. Greene overcame injury issues to show electric stuff, and Baz returned late in the year from Tommy John surgery with much promise. Parallels, refractors and autographs of any of these rookie hurlers would be a great centerpiece for a collection.

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In terms of international prospects, the cream of the crop signed in 2022 expected to get cards includes Cuban shortstop Lázaro Montes and Dominican outfielder Juan Yepez. Montes inked a $3 million deal with the Cardinals and has drawn comparisons to fellow countryman Starlin Castro for his smooth actions and offensive tools. Yepez signed for $1.5 million with the Rockies and at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds already has ideal size to be a power-hitting corner bat. Watch for special parallel color versions of these prospects as they begin their pro careers stateside in 2023.

One area Series 2 has expanded in recent years is showing veterans in new uniforms after trades and free agent signings. Expected to be among those with updated team logo cards are Aaron Judge with the Giants/Yankees, Xander Bogaerts with the Phillies and Carlos Rodon with the Giants. Christian Vázquez also deserves a Red Sox to Astros card after the midseason deal. Collectors love chasing these transition players in hopes of netting a new “first” team issue before photo variations emerge.

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The huge short print chase cards in 2023 Series 2 are also cause for excitement among the collecting community. Past years have seen coveted 1/1 autographs or rare parallels of stars like Mike Trout, Ronald Acuña Jr., Shohei Ohtani and Fernando Tatis Jr. Only available in a handful of hobby boxes, landing any of these immense short prints could provide a true crown jewel for a player collection. With so many new rookies emerging, the choice for a short printed phenom is endless and keeps the hunt highly anticipated.

Continuing storylines from 2022 that are sure to drive interest in Series 2 include Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt pursuing his first MVP Award and Marcell Ozuna working back from suspension to rejoin the Braves. On the National League Cy Young front, Miami’s Sandy Alcantara and Atlanta’s Max Fried lead the pack of young aces who could further cement their reputations with another strong season. And in the AL, Shohei Ohtani’s encore after his historic 2021 promises to be must-see as he divides time on the mound and in the box again for the Angels.

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With just half a season’s worth of stats and storylines to draw from, Series 2 each year brings an infusion of fresh cardboard to build upon the initial rookie classes, breakout players and veterans from Series 1. For modern baseball card collectors, the checklist reveals for Series 2 create new building blocks to strengthen growing collections with each player’s continuing success and evolution. Whether chasing short prints, landing rookie phenoms or adding stars in new uniforms, the midseason Series 2 release ensures the hobby steamrolls into fall and winter on a high note.

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