TOP ROOKIE CARDS BASEBALL 2023

The 2023 MLB season will see a new crop of talented rookies make their debuts and look to make an immediate impact at the major league level. While performance on the field ultimately determines the long term value of players, some rookie cards each year stand out as wise short and long term investments for collectors. Let’s take a look at several top baseball prospects who could have hugely popular and desirable rookie cards to chase next season.

George Kirby, RHP, Seattle Mariners: Kirby has ace-level stuff and was one of the keys to Seattle’s trade of Mitch Haniger to the San Francisco Giants. After rising quickly through the minors, Kirby made his MLB debut in 2022 and showed why he has one of the highest ceilings of any pitching prospect. If he solidifies himself as the Mariners’ staff ace next year, his rookie cards like Topps Chrome and Bowman Draft could be among the most coveted.

Brady House, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers: As the compensation pick for Corey Seager signing with Texas, House was one of the prized prospects from the 2020 draft. He hit .317 with 13 homers between High-A and Double-A in 2022 in his first full pro season. With core pieces like Trea Turner and Justin Turner getting up there in age, House could push for the starting shortstop job in LA by mid 2023. His prospect cards would take off if he does.

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Oneil Cruz, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates: Cruz made a splash when he debuted in 2022 with some of the hardest hit balls ever recorded, but he still has a lot left to prove. If he can pair elite raw power with improved plate discipline and defense in his first full MLB season, Cruz has the ability to be a true franchise cornerstone. Investors would be wise to stock up on flagship rookie cards like Topps Chrome autos and refractors of the 6’7” shortstop now.

Bobby Witt Jr., SS/3B, Kansas City Royals: The #2 overall pick from 2019 had a solid if unspectacular rookie year and may shift to third base long term. However, Witt showed plenty of promise by hitting 20 home runs and stealing 15 bases as one of the youngest players in the league. With experience should come refinement, and if he takes a step forward production-wise in 2023, his rookie cards could explode in value as a new Royals cornerstone.

Gunnar Henderson, 3B, Baltimore Orioles: The 21-year-old was batting .312 in Triple-A when he got the call to the majors in late August as one of baseball’s top prospects. Henderson then proceeded to slash .259/.366/.503 with 5 HR in 105 MLB at-bats, showing why Baltimore is so high on him. He will be given every opportunity to break camp as the Orioles’ starting third baseman and could be a future star if he performs up to expectations right away in 2023.

Michael Massey, 2B/SS, Chicago White Sox: A 2021 4th rounder, Massey has blown through three levels of the minors in just over a year due to his all-fields hitting ability and stellar plate discipline. Once a fringe prospect, Massey’s cards skyrocketed after he hit .311 across two levels last season. With no clear long term answer at second base or shortstop for Chicago yet, Massey will be given a serious look in spring training and his cards could really take off should he force his way into an everyday role.

Max Meyer, RHP, Miami Marlins: After Miami acquired him in the deal that sent Trevor Rogers to Tampa Bay, Meyer immediately becomes one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball. His fastball-slider combo produced tantalizing results in pro ball before a 2021 elbow injury set him back. If Meyer shows that injury is behind him and lives up to his future ace billing next year, collectors will swoop in on flagship rookie cards like Topps Chrome.

Jordan Walker, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals wasted no time in adding the 6’6” slugger to their big league roster late in 2022 after he dominated High-A and Double-A. Walker’s massive raw power was on full display in limited action and will be fun to watch against MLB pitching over a full season. If he settles in quickly, cards like Topps Chrome autographs could be a bargain now but moonshots in value as Walker develops.

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Hunter Brown, RHP, Houston Astros: Taken in the 3rd round of the 2019 draft, Brown has had a meteoric rise thanks to an overwhelming four-pitch mix highlighted by a triple-digit fastball. After striking out 168 batters over just 114.2 minor league innings split between Double and Triple-A in 2022, Brown looks MLB ready and could slide right into Houston’s rotation. Becoming the next great Astros homegrown arm would rocket the value of his flagship rookie cards.

Eury Perez, SS, San Diego Padres: Signed for $1.5 million in the 2019 J2 class, Perez has five-tool upside and hit .302 in his stateside pro debut across Low-A and High-A in 2022 at just 19 years old. Long considered one of the top international prospects, Perez has tantalizing offensive potential if he continues making adjustments against advanced pitching. Breaking in as San Diego’s starting shortstop within the next couple years is not out of the question – so stash his prospect cards now.

While performance ultimately determines the outcome, several of these prospects have the ability to produce impact rookie seasons in 2023 that drive up the values of their flagship cards like Topps Chrome, Bowman Chrome, and Topps Finest. Investing in some of these names as prospects is likely a prudent move for long term collectors looking to get cards cheaply that could appreciate exponentially over time as the next generation of MLB stars emerge.

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