Who’s hot and who’s not? It’s a question that has been constantly asked in the sports card hobby since cigarette companies first started pictures in their packs. The question was given new life when Dr. James Beckett started publishing his namesake magazine. Now with the magic of the internet, this immortal question can be answered quicker than ever before. Presented here is my first attempt at it.
This hot and cold list will be a weekly column. It will be a little bit different than other similar articles in that “hot” and “cold” will be only determined by the number of sales made in the previous week, not necessarily the price. The hot cards are those that have made the most sales in the previous week and cold cards, the least. Cards that have seen their value fluctuate up or down the most will be in a separate, “Trending,” article. While most hot cards will be trending up (many sales increasing in value), it is possible for cards to be hot and trending down. The designations are very closely related but I believe it’s important to separate them.
Now that the methodology has been explained, here is the inaugural MJR Sportscards Hot & Cold list.
2016 Bowman Draft Bobby Dalbec
The Red Sox 2016 4th round pick has exploded onto the scene since his August 30th call up and the baseball card market has responded accordingly. Propelled by a five game home run streak from September 5 – 10, Dalbec led all Top Prospect and Rookie+1 sales for the week of September 13 – 20 with 18. Although his home run pace has slowed down, expect this hard hitting third baseman to continue to command hobby attention as he makes himself known amongst one of the MLB’s biggest fanbases.
2015 Bowman Draft Ke’Bryan Hayes
The Pirates gave their fans little to cheer for during the 2020 season but the appearance of Ke’Bryan Hayes was one bright spot. The Buc’s number two prospect made his debut against the Cubs on September 1st, going 2-5 with 2 RBIs. Since then the 23 year old third baseman has slashed .310/.385/.603 and card collectors have noticed. There were 16 sales of Hayes’ first Bowman Chrome autograph during the week of September 13 – 20. Card collectors and Pirates fans alike are all hoping for this USA Baseball alum to bring Buctober back to the Steel City.
2015 Bowman Draft Ryan Mountcastle
The Baltimore Orioles have failed to reach the playoffs since 2016 but a group of top prospects, led by Ryan Mountcastle may be changing that soon. Baltimore’s preseason number five prospect made his MLB debut in late August and 109 plate appearance later is hitting .344/.404/.552. This sustained offensive excellence led to 16 sales of Mountcastle’s first Bowman Chrome during the week of September 13 – 20. Off to a very promising start in a shortened MLB season, don’t be surprised to see Mountcastle make regular appearances on future hot lists.
2016 Bowman Draft Kyle Lewis
The Kyle Lewis train continues to roll on as the 2020 regular season begins to come to a close. The breakout player of the year and potential MVP is still maintaining a firm grasp on the baseball card market, recording 13 sales of his first Bowman Chrome autograph card during the week of September 13 – 20. Whether or not the 25 year old center fielder brings home the MVP hardware, he is without a doubt the player of the year as far as card collectors are concerned.
2018 Bowman Draft Alec Bohm
The Phillies’ 2018 first round pick made his professional debut on August 13th and did not disappoint. In 144 plate appearances over those five weeks 25 year old third baseman from Wichita State has maintained a .326/.382/.496 slash line, including a couple of viral home run blasts for good measure. The hobby world has so far liked what they have seen of Alec BOMB, leading to 12 sales of his first Bowman Chrome autograph last week. With the Phils having a good chance to make the expanded postseason this year, don’t expect these numbers to drop too much.
2019 Bowman Draft J.J. Bleday
Collectors have been cool on the fourth overall pick of the 2019 amateur draft as of late. While his current prices still indicate that prospectors expect good things from the right fielder out of Vanderbilt, those that have his cards are not moving them. The last sale of his raw base first Bowman Chrome autograph was August 17 and in fact there were only four sales during the entire month of August.
2019 Bowman Draft Josh Jung
The steady stream of sales of the first Bowman Chrome autograph of the Rangers top prospect has dried up in recent weeks. After recording nine sales in June, nine more in July, and six in August, there haven’t been any more since August 20. The former Texas Tech Red Raider remains on the top prospect list of MLB, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and Keith Law however so it seems that most people that want to collect Jung already have him.
2019 Bowman Draft Hunter Bishop
The San Francisco Giants first overall pick of the 2019 amateur draft continues the cold streak for 2019 Bowman Draft top prospects. After recording 26 sales since June 1, Bishop collectors suddenly decided enough was enough and haven’t purchased a raw base first Bowman Chrome autograph of his the entire month of September. With the league wide stoppage of play across the minors this season, those that are holding Baseball Prospectus’ number 68 overall prospect are likely anxious to see what he can do next season.
2017 Bowman Draft Royce Lewis
The first Bowman Chrome autograph of number nine overall prospect according to Major League Baseball is being held close to the chest by those that have him. Besides not seeing any sales since the first of September, there was only one recorded sale in August and none in July. Collectors of 2017 first overall pick are still expecting big things from Lewis however, as indicated by his $100+ average price.
2019 Bowman Draft Corbin Carroll
The cold list for this week is fittingly rounded out by another 2019 Bowman Draft autograph. Collectors have been standing pat on the high school draft pick since September 3, his last recorded sale. The Diamondbacks’ number five prospect wasn’t getting much hobby love before that either, only recording three sales during the month of August. The 20 year old center fielder is not projected to reach the majors until 2023 so this card may make a few more appearance on the cold list before then.