The start of the postseason brings a lot of excitement and this year is particularly thrilling. With the expanded playoffs, more teams than ever have a shot at a World Series title. The unpredictability of the playoffs has been kicked up a notch now and as the 2020 season has proved, anything can happen. Such uncertainty makes for exciting baseball games but makes it hard to predict which cards to buy or sell. I’ll take a crack at it anyways with the warning that this column is not meant as a recommendation, it is purely my own opinion. If you happen to like that opinion, follow along on Twitter (@MJRsportscards) and be sure to drop your email address in the signup box at the end of the article so you can have the Hot/Cold and Trending Lists delivered straight to your inbox every week. Now that all my plugs are done, here’s who I’m buying, who I’m selling, and who I’m collecting this week.
2019 Bowman Draft Bryson Stott
The first player selected in the first round out of UNLV since Matt Williams in 1986, Stott had a solid three year career for the Rebels. In three seasons in the Mountain West the short stop hit .340/433/.515 while also pacing all division I players in doubles his sophomore year. In recognition of his play he was named to the 2018 Team USA National Collegiate Team, where he led all his teammates in RBIs. Much like Tyler Freeman, who I wrote about last week, scouts report that the Las Vegas native does not do any one thing exceptionally well, but does many things very well. The 22 year old has a talent for working counts and getting on base. Once on base, he is reported to be an above average runner. Currently the Phillies number two overall prospect, the average sale for Stott’s first Bowman Chrome autograph card is $42.19 across 16 sales since May. He is not projected to reach the majors until 2022 but once he arrives he has a clear path to starter status. Provided the left handed hitter continue his well rounded play in 2021, I believe there to be good opportunity for a high return value on cards purchased below $40.
2018 Bowman Draft Nick Madrigal
It might seem strange to be selling on a player that has played less than 30 games on the major league level. But since his MLB debut on July 31 Madrigal’s first Bowman Chrome autograph card has not retained the value that collectors originally thought it would. After spiking to a high of $109.99, the second baseman’s card value quickly settled back into the $45 – $55 range. The White Sox postseason push reignited interest in the fourth overall pick of the 2018 draft however. The last five sales have averaged $78.85, up 17.2% from the $67.30 average sale price of the leading five sales. This upward trend could be interpreted as a sign to hold but if I’m holding this card, I’m selling. Now that the White Sox have been eliminated, Stott can’t improve his stock any more this season. Collectors have already been demonstrated to quickly lose interest, not only in general but in this specific card. This could be excused if Madrigal was a star but even on his own team he’s competing against Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, two much more popular players in the hobby. As the 23 year old starting second baseman on a team primed for future success, Madrigal still has a lot of potential as a ball player. However, if I had purchased his first Bowman Chrome autograph for below $50 I believe now would be the best time to lock in a solid return value.
2020 Panini Prizm Draft Picks Adam Trautman
The University of Dayton is a basketball school and no where is that more evident than working for the university’s football team. While the FCS program is a powerhouse in their division, it is difficult to gain national recognition when your school does not award football scholarships. This makes it challenging to attract top recruits, which is a large part of the reason no player from Dayton had been drafted by an NFL club since Bill Westbeld was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in eleventh round of the 1977 draft. That 43 year drought was ended when the New Orleans Saints announced Adam Trautman as the 105th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. As someone who worked for the Flyers’ football team as an undergraduate, the Saints’ selection was a watershed moment. Working for a member of the Pioneer Football League meant my coworkers and I were working for a team that had little chance of getting much recognition, not only nationally but from our own classmates. Yet we always dreamed of it. To have a player make an NFL roster, much less as a third round draft pick represents validation for all the work we put in. It shows the world that Dayton football is just as good as we know we are, even if they don’t care to listen. To have the that University of Dayton Flyers logo forever immortalized on a football card is a big deal. For that reason, Adam Trautman’s 2020 Panini Prizm Draft Picks card will always hold a special place in my collection.