The MLB regular-season is winding down and teams are starting to watch the scoreboard a little more closely. In September, reporters also begin to speculate which players will be receiving rewards for their hard work at the end of the season. For collectors, having a player that is doing well during the season can be a reason to collect, but do players with great stats always equal high cardboard value?
Let’s look at batting avg (as of Sept.1st):
- Melky Cabrera, SF -.346 avg. Even after his suspension, Cabrera still leads the majors in batting average, and even though the asking price of his highest valued card is around $1000, the most recent card sold with highest value was around $350.
- Andrew McCutchen, PIT-344 avg. Some believe McCutchen will be the National League MVP this season. His consistency at the plate and great play on the field definitely make him a top contender. His most recent top dollar sell was his 2004 Bowman Chrome Aflac auto that sold for $1925.
- Mike Trout, LAA-.335 avg. Trout has definitely become one of the most recognized names during this 2012 MLB season. His bat, his defense and his knowledge of the game, all at the age of 21, make him a leading contender for multiple awards. For most collectors- he’s definitely paid off in the investment sense. A year ago his 2011 Bowman platinum auto could be fetched for around $20; the same card averages $135-over $500 for the refractor version. His most recent top-dollar sale was the 2009 Bowman Chrome orange refractor auto selling for $3500.
- Miguel Cabrera, DET-.329 avg. The Detroit Tigers went into the 2012 season with extremely high expectations. They got one of the top NL 1st baseman in Prince Fielder and moved Miguel Cabrera across the diamond to play 3rd. Even though currently only 2 games behind the Chicago White Sox, the Tigers have fallen short of what experts believed they would accomplish. Fortunately, none of that affected Cabrera. He’s believed to be doing well enough to be the AL MVP, and if they continue to push through into the post-season- it might just happen. His most recent top-dollar card was his shared 2012 Allen & Ginter dual bat card with, who else, Prince Fielder. It sold for $810.
- Buster Poser, SF-.329 avg. Buster Posey was named the NL Rookie of the Year in 2010 but had his 2011 season cut short after he smashed his ankle taking a collision at the plate. Even with that setback, Posey came into 2012 as strong as ever, continuing to be the rock that holds the San Francisco Giants together. His 2012 Topps Tier one bat knob sold for $1763.
In some cases, like Trout, great performance may equate to a higher value for cards. There are obviously other reasons people collect and drive up prices for players not on this list. In other cases, like a Miguel Cabrera, or players like Matt Kemp, their cardboard value doesn’t, and shouldn’t, be a reflection of how much they’re ‘worth’ on the diamond.
Stay tuned to the Pitchers!
All card values were found using eBay’s “Completed Listings” search.