Collectors can finally stop speculating and start evaluating now that baseball is being played at all levels. Those evaluations have led to a lot of movement in the prospect market over the past month. Listed below are some of the players that have seen the most movement, and have been designated bulls or bears.
Bulls are players that have seen increases in both total sales and value. These are the guys that have a hot market right now. If you have them in your collection, you’re doing pretty well. Bears are players that have seen a decrease in sales and values over consecutive 28 day periods. It’s not necessarily an indictment of a player’s ability, it’s simply a reflection of the market.
Because we like to remain positive here at Prospects1500 (and to keep the word count down), I’ve listed the top five bulls against only three bears. So to begin: ladies and gentlemen, your May 2021 PROSPECT BUUUUULLLLLLSSSSS!!!!!!
Jesus Sanchez 2017 Bowman Chrome-JS
During the first month of the season, there were three total sales of Sanchez’s first Bowman Chrome auto, all of which were for less than $15. Then the minor league season began and Sanchez showed the hobby why he’s worth more than $15.
Jesús Sánchez is absolutely raking!
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 20, 2021
It didn’t take long for collectors to jump on the bandwagon. Over the last 28 days there were 197 total sales of Sanchez’s first Bowman auto, an astounding 319.1% leap over the 47 total sales during the previous 28 days. His value has increased significantly as well. Collectors are now paying 368.9% more for Sanchez’s cards than they were a month ago. The average price over the last 28 days is $54.82 but more recent sales are closer to $70. Expect those prices and sales to continue to rise. It’s not often a player hitting .469/.500/.938 and leading the minors in home runs can be added to a collection for less than $100.
Vidal Brujan 2020 Bowman CPA-VB
Many people predicted an infielder in the Rays organization to be the card to have this year. Not many people predicted it would actually be Vidal Brujan with the early returns. In the 28 days leading up to the minor league season there were only 30 total sales of Brujan’s first Bowman Chrome autograph card. Since the season began there have now been 91 sales, a 203.3% increase. Additionally, the value of his card has grown 136.6% over that same period. The average value over the month of April was $58.46 versus the $138.32 average value so far over the course of the season. The closer Brujan gets to his promotion day, the higher those prices will continue to climb.
Estevan Florial 2018 Bowman Chrome CPA-EF
There was a lot of hobby buzz around Yankees farm system heading into the season but not much around the team’s number six prospect. That was before Florial hit four home runs in the first nine games of the season and was promoted to Triple-A. The center fielder is only hitting .172/.292/.777 since the promotion but his early season bombs were enough for collectors to take notice. Over the last 28 days there were 50 total sales of Florial’s 2018 Bowman Chrome auto, 72.4% more than the previous 28. The value of his first base auto has jumped as well, climbing 91.2% to the current $85.94 average. This value may decline as Florial finds his footing in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre but there will almost always be a market for a hot-hitting Yankees prospect.
Jarred Kelenic 2018 Bowman Draft CDA-JK
Jarred Robert Kelenic made his debut on May 13, 2021 but the hobby hype train left the station long before then. In the two weeks leading up to his call up the average price of his first Bowman Chrome autograph card was $507.19. It didn’t take long for him to show why.
Jarred Kelenic: 1 career MLB hit. 1 career HR. pic.twitter.com/tDToPX6TqC
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) May 15, 2021
Although Kelenic has struggled a bit since then, collectors have not let the small sample size scare them. Over the last 28 days there have been 104 total sales, 82.5% more than the previous 28. The current average value of his first Bowman Chrome auto, $485.47, is also 23% higher than it was over the previous month. As Kelenic adjusts to big league pitching that value may stagnate slightly but once he does, look out.
Alek Thomas 2018 Bowman Draft CDA-AT
Thomas has been consistently between $35-$60 for about a year so calling him a bull might seem strange. But heading into the season the Diamondbacks number three prospect was slightly overshadowed by Kristian Robinson and Corbin Carroll. Now Thomas has stepped into the light by starting the Double-A season with a .328/.429/.552 slash line. The Mount Carmel High School alum saw a 61.9% sales boost as a result, recording 34 total sales in 28 days versus 21 over the previous 28. His value increased from $31.26 to $45.24 over consecutive 28 day periods. It’s not a dramatic increase but if he continues his current pace at the plate it just might be.
Jonathan India 2018 Bowman Draft CDA-JI
India’s inclusion on this list was almost inevitable.
His hot start at the plate was unsustainable and there was no way he was going to be able to maintain 250 sales a month for a whole season. Even so, an 80.8% drop in sales is surprising to see. Collectors would have hoped he held onto a little more value as well, as he dropped 44.7% from $87.06 to $48.52. India’s value is still higher than it was before the season but it’s unlikely to get back up to those April prices any time soon.
Luis Garcia 2018 Bowman Chrome BCPA-LGA
Garcia performed well in the 40 MLB games he appeared in last season, hitting .276/.302/.366. He gave collectors a lot to look forward to as one of the youngest players in the league at the time of his call up. If you blinked you may have missed his second appearance though. Garcia was called up for six games when the Nats had several players test positive and he only recorded one hit and one walk. Sales of his first Bowman Chrome autograph card dropped 39.3% as a result, from 28 to 17 over consecutive 28 day periods. His average value also dropped 41.9% from $60.24 to $34.97. He’ll get a chance to redeem himself though, as he’s been recalled to fill in for the injured Victor Robles.
Ke’Bryan Hayes 2015 Bowman Draft BCA-KHA
Ke’Bryan Hayes has been a bull for so long it didn’t seem he would ever cool off. It’s unfortunate what a stint on the 60-day IL can do. Total sales of Hayes’ 2015 Bowman Chrome autograph dropped 81.1% after he was injured in the second game of the season. The 17 sales made over the last 28 days are the lowest monthly total since July 2020. His value has also dropped 28.6% to the current $283.39 average. That value is likely to hold over the next couple of months but sales will probably stay low. Hayes has been one of the biggest bulls for the past year but now it appears he’ll be a bear for a while.