Our Top 25 Prospects and Their Bowman Baseball Cards To Own

1st Bowman Chrome autographs of Michael Kopech, Marco Luciano, Cristian Pache, Victor Victor Mesa, Dean Kremer and Sam Hilliard. Photo credit Scott Greene, @Scotty_Ballgame on Twitter

With baseball shut down for the foreseeable future, filling that void has been tough. Some fans are watching past games, some are playing the latest video game release of MLB The Show, and some of us are going through our baseball cards. For prospect nerds (a term of endearment), Bowman is THE card when it comes to collecting. In the hobby community, a player’s 1st Bowman card is an important one to have. Some would say it’s even better than their Topps flagship rookie card. The latest iteration of Bowman is set to release April 15th, although there are some rumblings in #thehobby this release could be pushed back. Before that drops, I wanted to take a look at the top 25 players on our Prospects1500 Top 199 list and see how their 1st Bowman autograph cards have performed.


If there are other players you may be interested in knowing what the going rate is or want to get a second opinion on, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @jacob_swain3.

A few notes:

  • The prices you see are from eBay sales. They are a guide to give you an idea of what the average going price is for that player.
  • The card I looked at was the base version of the players 1st Bowman auto. The parallel refractors are more valuable.
  • If I refer to graded prices, I’m referencing gem mint condition (BGS 9.5 or PSA 10).
  • I don’t like using the term “investment” when referring to collecting. I think most of us want to collect cards of players we like for our own personal reasons. Do we all want those cards to gain value? Absolutely! Bowman is a pricy product, and the risk is high. Remember to collect with your risk tolerance in mind.
  • Overall, prices currently are lower than usual. With COVID-19 shutting down the season and prioritizing people’s disposable income, card prices have dipped. If you can, now is an excellent time to add one of these players, or one of your favorites, to your collection.
  • Let’s go prospecting!

 

1. Wander Franco, SS, Rays

  • Where to find: 2019 Bowman
  • Ranked #1 on Rays Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $450 (Peaked around $650-700 in October 2019)
  • Current Price: $600+
  • Franco’s 1st Bowman was one of the most anticipated cards in quite a long time, and the price reflects that. A graded version of this card is in the $750-800 range presently. If there is a prospect that can keep the value moving forward, I think Franco is the one that can do it.
    Photo Credit @gatorsosa

2. Jo Adell, OF, Angels

  • Where to find: 2017 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #1 on Angels Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $320-350
  • Current Price: ~$700
  • Finding an Adell raw, base auto is challenging. This shows how collectors feel about his talent and future. In December 2019, a base auto BGS 9.5 sold for $1,150! With Adell knocking on the doorstep of joining the big club, I think you could see prices grow some, but there’s only so much more room for growth.
    Photo Credit @zbaseball86

 

3. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox

  • Where to find: 2018 Bowman Chrome
  • Ranked #1 on White Sox Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $170-$190 (Redemption)
  • Current Price: ~$530-575
  • Just like Adell, Robert’s raw base autos are a hard find. Graded prices for this card are selling for around $800 now. After signing his big league contract, Robert will be given an opportunity once the season starts. I think there is still some room for growth in price on his cards, especially if he shows those five-tool skills in the MLB.
    Photo Credit @deepfriedbreaks

4. Gavin Lux, 2B/SS, Dodgers

  • Where to find: 2016 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #1 on Dodgers Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $15-$20
  • Current Price: ~$140-175
  • It seems absurd that a Lux 1st Bowman auto was trading for so cheap at one time. Even his current prices seem reasonable and maybe even underpriced. Position players of any importance frequently have good value when it comes to Bowman cards. With Lux’s potential impact with the Dodgers, I think there is room for notable growth in value on his cards. Bowman cards from 2016 are notoriously challenging to get a good grade on, so that could play into some of the lower values of his cards and the other prospects I’ll mention later that have cards from 2016 Bowman products.

5. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Padres

  • Where to find: 2017 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #2 on Padres Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $45-60
  • Current Price: ~$90-100
  • Gore’s base auto was a short print, which demonstrates why his release week price was higher than most pitchers. As most of you in the hobby know, pitchers get little love when it comes to their value on Bowman cards. Pitchers, more so than position players, have a high risk of making in the pros. Thus one of the reasons prices are lower. One of the positives of pitchers being on the lower price point is that it makes it more affordable to collect your favorite pitchers. Gore has retained value and grown over the past three years.

6. Julio Rodriguez, OF, Mariners

  • Where to find: 2019 Bowman
  • Ranked #2 on Mariners Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $110-120
  • Current Price: ~$270-290
  • One of the most buzzworthy prospects from both a playing and hobby standpoint, Rodriguez seems to be a steal at even his current prices. If you look at the increase in the value of the first four players listed, you can see that Rodriguez could follow the same pattern.

7. Jarred Kelenic, OF, Mariners

  • Where to find: 2018 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #1 on Mariners Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $75-100
  • Current Price: ~$190-200
  • Kelenic brings the same type of hype with him as his future teammate Rodriguez does. I could see both player’s card prices moving in comparable trajectories for the next couple of years.
    Photo Credit @tbanker28

8. Adley Rutschman, C, Orioles

  • Where to find: 2019 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #1 on Orioles Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $275-315
  • Current Price: ~$275-300
  • The #1 overall pick from the 2019 draft, Rutschman was one of the numerous big names to be released with 2019 Bowman Draft in December. Prices for his cards have floated around the opening week’s value. Once the season ramps up and we get to see him for a full season, I would presume those current prices to climb.
Photo Credit @tbanker28

9. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics

  • Where to find: 2016 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #1 on Athletics Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $10-15
  • Current Price: ~$35-40
  • Luzardo is another example of how pitchers fair when it comes to Bowman cards. He is in a Nationals uniform, which does matter to some collectors, but this shows just how little value even top pitching prospects possess when it comes to Bowman.
    Photo Credit @zbaseball86

10. Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays

  • Where to find: 2017 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #1 on Blue Jays Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $5-10
  • Current Price: ~$60-75
  • The flame thrower Pearson is one of the exceptions to the pitcher rule in regards to Bowman. His initial prices were amazingly low, while current prices show the value one can add on some pitchers. Graded base autos are currently in the $140-170 range.
    Photo Credit @jacob_swain3

11. Dylan Carlson, OF, Cardinals

  • Where to find: 2016 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #1 on Cardinals Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $10-15
  • Current Price: ~$140-160
  • Carlson had a fantastic year in 2019, and collectors took notice. Towards the end of the season, he was one of the hottest names in the hobby. Graded base autos are selling in the $250-275 range.
    Photo Credit @CoachBarbaRoja

12. Royce Lewis, SS, Twins

  • Where to find: 2017 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #1 on Twins Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $135-$150
  • Current Price: ~$135-$150
  • Lewis may be one of the more polarizing prospects in baseball as some have lost their faith in his ability to be a star, while others maintain hope. Collectors seem to be in the same boat as Lewis is one of the few top prospects to see their prices maintain over the years. If you are a believer, now would be a good time to buy.

13. Casey Mize, RHP, Tigers

  • Where to find: 2018 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #1 on Tigers Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $70-80
  • Current Price: ~$60-70
  • The #1 overall pick in 2018, Mize, has maintained his value, and I think they would have increased if he had not had a disappointing second half of the season in 2019. Being a pitcher, I’m not sure how much more room there is to grow from a value standpoint, but a comparison to Pearson seems reasonable.

14. Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Royals

  • Where to find: 2020 Bowman
  • Ranked #1 on Royals Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: TBD
  • Witt is the one high draft pick that was left out of Bowman Draft this past year. Witt’s card is featured on the sell sheet for the release in April, so I’m expecting it to be in that set. Bowman has occasionally done a bait and switch in these situations, so no guarantees. Being one of the more prominent names for the release, I would expect to see initial week prices to be in the $175-200 range.

15. Andrew Vaughn, 1B, White Sox

  • Where to find: 2019 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #2 on White Sox Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $150-170
  • Current Price: ~$140-160
  • Vaughn was another highly touted name that appeared in Bowman Draft in 2019, and one collectors have targeted frequently. A vast majority of the players featured in Draft have maintained their value so far. Typically, you would see their prices start to increase as the season ramps up. It could be an opportunity to buy if you missed out in December.

16. CJ Abrams, SS, Padres

    • Where to find: 2019 Bowman Draft
    • Ranked #1 on Padres Top 50 Prospects
    • Release Week Price: $160-180
    • Current Price: ~$160-180
    • Abrams is another trendy name in the hobby for obvious reasons. There is a lot to like about his game and the potential to be a superstar, two things collectors love.
Photo Credit @Alex_W_Sanchez

17. Marco Luciano, SS, Giants

  • Where to find: 2019 Bowman
  • Ranked #2 on Giants Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $135-$145
  • Current Price: ~$270-290
  • Another hot name in the Hobby, Luciano’s stock in both hobby and actual baseball, has taken a rocketship ride upwards. This is a case where hobby pricing matches the hype on the field.
    Photo Credit @Scotty_Ballgame

18. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros

  • Where to find: 2016 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #1 on Astros Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $7-11
  • Current Price: ~$30-35
  • One more example of the value you can get in Bowman when it comes to pitching prospects. Whitley’s cards are very reasonable and stand to gain some value once he cracks the MLB roster.

19. Carter Kieboom, SS/3B, Nationals

  • Where to find: 2016 Bowman Draft (No Auto); 2018 Bowman Chrome (Auto)
  • Ranked #1 on Nationals Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: 2016- Lot of 20 for $7; 2018 Auto: $80-100
  • Current Price: 2016- $3-5 per; 2018 Auto: ~$60-70
  • Kieboom is one of the quirky cases in Bowman, where he does not have a 1st Bowman auto. His 2016 card is just a base, while 2018 was his 1st Bowman auto. This card did not have the “1st” designation. His 2018 autos are fair, particularly with him knocking on the starting lineup in Washington. There are numerous other stars on the team, and I wonder if his value, even if he is successful, will ever progress dramatically.

20. Matt Manning, RHP, Tigers

  • Where to find: 2016 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #2 on Tigers Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $10-12
  • Current Price: ~$30-40
  • Even pitchers in the top tier of baseball still don’t get much love from collectors. Manning is no exception to that rule.

21. Alex Kirilloff, OF, Twins

  • Where to find: 2016 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #2 on Twins Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $25-35
  • Current Price: ~$90-100
  • Kirilloff’s value has grown over the years but tapered off in 2019 due to missing time with injuries. The talent is still there, and a healthy season to rebound would be a welcome sight. This could be an excellent time to buy cheap before that rebound occurs.

22. Michael Kopech, RHP, White Sox

  • Where to find: 2014 Bowman Chrome
  • Ranked #3 on White Sox Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $15-20
  • Current Price: ~$40-50
  • By this point, you know the deal with Bowman cards of pitchers. Kopech’s 2014 card is also him in a Red Sox uniform, which could be a partial reason for lower prices as some collectors prefer for them to be in their current team’s uniform.
    Photo Credit @Scotty_Ballgame

23. Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers

  • Where to find: See Below
  • Ranked #2 on Dodgers Top 50 Prospects
  • Dustin May does not have a 1st Bowman card. That applies to a base card or an autograph card. His initial Bowman card is from 2017, and his first auto our of Bowman is from 2018 Bowman Chrome. Prices on his autos from 2018 range from $35-45.

24. Brendan McKay, LHP/DH, Rays

  • Where to find: 2017 Bowman Draft
  • Ranked #3 on Rays Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $110-120
  • Current Price: ~$30-40
  • McKay had some good buzz coming into the hobby, and then I think he just was overshadowed by many who have come since. I believe there is still plenty of upside and value to be gained at these prices for McKay Bowman cards.

25. Cristian Pache, OF, Braves

  • Where to find: 2018 Bowman
  • Ranked #1 on Braves Top 50 Prospects
  • Release Week Price: $65-80
  • Current Price: ~$100-120
  • Pache and teammate Drew Waters have caused many to debate back and forth who has the most value. From a hobby perspective, I give a slight edge to Pache.
    Photo Credit @Scotty_Ballgame




2 Comments

  1. I’d like to know why the only woman team in the baseball hall of fame…dont have any value? They made a movie out of the team..why is it thier cards are not at the top of the list for collectors? I was just wondering

    • The market was over saturated with Rockford Peach cards so their value is lower. I think there was a image variation of Kit in a Racine uniform that’s worth a good bit if you can find it.

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